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  • Lenten sacrifices: What about Sundays? | Catholic Culture
    emphasizes the sacrificial mission of the Christ who has not yet risen So again we must ask who is right If you look around the web for answers you ll find a number of reputable Catholic sites which state that Lenten penances are not customarily observed on the Sundays of Lent and even that fasting is never appropriate on a Sunday The latter might be true if we are speaking of real fasting the kind of fasting performed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday But ought that apply to the metaphorical fasting we voluntarily undertake for Lent If I decide to give alms more generously during Lent should I make a point of not doing so on Sunday The question answers itself and in fact John Paul II officially recommended special service to the needy as a way of keeping the Lord s Day holy If I m cutting back on reading mysteries for Lent and I am should I be sure to read a good mystery novel every Sunday If I ve given up candy or coffee must I feel guilty if I fail to eat candy or drink coffee on Sunday Again the answers to these questions are obvious In point of fact the Church does not regulate our voluntary Lenten penances She recognizes the penitential value of the Season of Lent and she recognizes that Sunday is always a special remembrance of the Resurrection But she does not regulate our self imposed penances For most of us the current laws pertaining to fasting and abstinence during Lent apply only to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday fasting and abstinence and to all the other Fridays of Lent abstinence That s it If you are seeking a recommendation to guide you in making your own decision for the decision is yours alone let me quote from the advice given on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops If you reside elsewhere you may wish to check the current recommendations of your own Conference or particular bishop It is generally salutary to give up one s own will in such matters so if your bishop would prefer that you do things a certain way that s a very reasonable argument for doing so Indeed the benefit of giving up my own will actually provides a good argument all other things being equal for me to follow the pastoral advice of a priest who has the care of my soul But your decision really is up to you Here is what the USCCB says Q So does that the fact that Sundays are not counted in the 40 days mean that when we give something up for Lent such as candy we can have it on Sundays A Apart from the prescribed days of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and the days of abstinence every Friday of Lent Catholics have traditionally chosen additional penitential practices for the whole Time of Lent These practices are

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1232 (2016-02-11)
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  • Entering the Season of Lent | Catholic Culture
    penance for me for Lent He knows just what I need And when Lent begins earlier I know that I already have one of my beginning penances keeping calm and persevering even when I am falling behind and feeling discouraged I m not ready for Lent to start but I must keep on Tomorrow our foreheads will be marked with the ashes with the reminder of turning back to the Gospel and remembering that this human life begins and ends as dust It s a remarkable day with much richness but I m not recollected enough to write something witty and inspiring For this season of Lent we will be treading a similar path with the family reading a few different books looking at ourselves one year older and choosing penances according to the personal areas that need some work As my sons are 8 and 12 we are moving into more personal and interior work than exterior shows of Lenten devotions Just as the liturgy gives the first four days of Lent as a time to contemplate and get adjusted to the new season I give myself that time to acclimate to my new surroundings If we are ready to rend our hearts the next six weeks can be fruitful but they are also hard and isolating Turning off the outside noise and being still to hear the small quiet voice of God can take time I pray that you will have a blessed season of Lent My previous posts during Lent Preparing for Lent Seven Lessons the Flu Taught Me Are Sundays Part of Lent It s About the Cross Not the Ashtag Lent a Time for Contemplation for All Lenten Mnemonics Keeping Our Focus in Lent Lenten Wake Up Call Lenten Conversion and Repentance The True Vine

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/blog/index.cfm?id=242 (2016-02-11)
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  • Religious unity, evangelization and the salvation crisis | Catholic Culture
    Over time then the hostility of the two religious factions gave way before a more common experience of tolerance and even cooperation for the common good In addition a pressing socio political need for inter religious collaboration grew ever more apparent as the larger culture grew more secular This cultural shift inconceivable just a few centuries earlier was a major pragmatic cause of the displacement of evangelization by the quest for at least a broad and generalized religious unity Evangelization still remained a priority in world regions being assimilated by European culture such as Africa not without a certain rivalry among Christian groups But this impact of pluralism was one of the two most important reasons for the displacement of evangelization by religious unity among Westerners themselves The Crisis of Salvation This experience of pluralism which had largely been absent since the fourth century also stimulated substantial developments in the Catholic theology of salvation European Catholics had to think very hard about the operations of Divine grace outside the visible borders of the Church Although such questions were addressed by St Paul and were probably somewhat familiar to early Christians throughout the medieval and early modern period Catholic theologians tended to associate salvation with what we might call juridical membership in the Church But now theologians were forced to confront the obvious goodness of many non Catholic Christians as well as the salvific power of those salvific goods which were quite clearly operative outside the visible borders of the Catholic Church such things as Baptism Scripture the preaching of the Gospel Christian spiritual direction personal and communal prayer through Jesus Christ At the same time the experience of missionaries with non Christian cultures led to a significant appreciation of the elements of natural goodness in such cultures as well as the attractiveness of these elements in the lives of those who took them seriously and committed themselves in various incomplete ways to the Good By the mid twentieth century there was a far greater emphasis on the ability of the Holy Spirit to act everywhere and of the importance of each person s response to whatever good the Holy Spirit has enabled him to know in his heart Much more attention was being paid to the Church not as the boundary of grace but as the operative principle and vital conduit of the ongoing action of Christ in the world The Church in other words was viewed not so much as a closed repository of grace as the visible presence of Christ s body in history without which there would be no continuing operations of grace at all At the same time there was much less emphasis on juridical membership in the Church as the key to salvation and much greater emphasis on the ways in which people can be joined to Christ and the Church without being visible juridical members St Paul of course had touched on all these concerns in his Letter to the Romans Again one can

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=667 (2016-02-11)
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  • Lay member of papal abuse commission defends vote to remove outspoken member : News Headlines | Catholic Culture
    the papal commission on sexual abuse has defended the group s decision to ask Peter Saunders to take a leave of absence Marie Collins an Irish abuse victim who has admitted that she wondered whether the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors would be just a PR exercise tells the National Catholic Reoporter that she abstained from the vote calling for Saunders removal but all other members supported the measure It was not a vote of no confidence she says but a suggestion that Saunders should reflect on how he could contribute to the group s work If a member cannot commit to work on policy development which undoubtedly is laborious tedious and slow while other members are deeply committed to it an impasse is reached Collins writes Any expectation that the Commission can attack or demand things of the Pope or insert themselves in particular cases ignores the actual mandate the group works under Saunders was asked to take a leave of absence from the commission after making critical public statements about bishops who have been accused of mishandling abuse complaints and after saying that it was outrageous that Pope Francis has not attended the commission s meetings

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=27456 (2016-02-11)
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  • What’s this about a Solidarity Campaign? | Catholic Culture
    just say a quick prayer for the Church while hitting DELETE This simple technique makes every email a positive experience it supernaturalizes everything But many still regret they cannot do something more The Solidarity Campaign is designed with that problem in mind The emphasis in this campaign is not on the amount of the donation but on the number of people who pitch in In the Solidarity Campaign I regard a 5 gift to be just as important as a 1 000 gift What we are looking for is the encouragement of broad participation It is discouraging to constantly run behind financially It can get our staff down But the Solidarity Campaign buoys us up because it puts the emphasis not on personal wealth but on working together We use this February campaign to boost our hopes for the entire year How many people out there really care about what we do The Solidarity Campaign answers that question because it asks so little of any one donor If the participation numbers go up each year we know we re on the right track Last year we received 738 individual gifts in February This year we are hoping for 1 000 The gifts are typically not as large as those we receive during our matching grant campaigns But the numbers can be very encouraging So please make as small a one time gift as you like It is true that 5 is the minimum by credit card because of processing fees but you can always mail a check for less to Trinity Communications at P O Box 582 Manassas VA 20108 USA The Solidarity Campaign is also a demonstration of what can be accomplished when large numbers of Catholics join together to do something good even if they are not rich

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1229 (2016-02-11)
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  • Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes - February 11, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    for two weeks Now she frequently spoke to Bernadette On one occasion she ordered her to tell the ecclesiastical authorities to build a church on the spot and to organize processions Bernadette also was told to drink and wash at the spring still hidden under the sand Finally on the feast of the Annunciation the beautiful Lady announced her name I am the Immaculate Conception The report of cures occurring at the grotto spread quickly and the more it spread the greater the number of Christians who visited the hallowed place The publicity given these miraculous events on the one hand and the seeming sincerity and innocence of the girl on the other made it necessary for the bishop of Tarbes to institute a judicial inquiry Four years later he declared the apparitions to be supernatural and permitted the public veneration of the Immaculate Conception in the grotto Soon a chapel was erected and since that time countless pilgrims come every year to Lourdes to fulfill promises or to beg graces Excerpted from The Church s Year of Grace Pius Parsch February 11 was proclaimed World Day of the Sick by Pope John Paul II Therefore it would be appropriate to celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick on this day during a Mass or Liturgy of the Word The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is only to be given to those of the faithful whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age Roman Ritual This Sacrament must not be given indiscriminately to all who take part in Masses for the sick We pilgrims to Lourdes Anyone who has made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Lourdes will not have missed the opportunity to pray at the Grotto where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the 11th of February 1858 A mystical place similar to the welcoming bosom of a mother almost a baptismal font in which to immerse ourselves and rediscover the unrivalled beauty of being Christians having God as our Father and Mary as our Mother Lourdes is one of the most important places of grace known to the Church It is like a vast basin of purity where countless souls have removed the clothes of sin and put on the snow white garments of spiritual rebirth Some like the author found the light necessary to embrace the call to the priesthood others the strength to remain faithful to this commitment How can we deny that the Mother is the one who knows the Will of the Son better than anyone else and that turning to Her we understand better the mysterious plan God has for each one of us No one better than Mary can convince us to do whatever he tells you In Lourdes like the servants at Cana we too sincerely open our hearts to the presence of the Mother and attentive to her words we are captivated by the mystery of the Son Then we see His Will

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2016-02-11 (2016-02-11)
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  • Ash Wednesday - February 10, 2016 - Liturgical Calendar | Catholic Culture
    Wednesday to Saturday Way of the Cross To Keep A True Lent Book of Blessings Blessing and Distribution of Ashes Book of Blessings Blessing Before and After Meals Lent 1st Plan Blessing and Distribution of Ashes show Library 2 Ash Wednesday Emphasizes That Life Is a Pilgrimage Cardinal John O Connor What Are the Origins of Ash Wednesday and the Use of Ashes Fr William Saunders Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e books Old Calendar Ash Wednesday The time has now come in the Church year for the solemn observance of the great central act of history the redemption of the human race by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ In the Roman Rite the beginning of the forty days of penance is marked with the austere symbol of ashes which is used in today s liturgy The use of ashes is a survival from an ancient rite according to which converted sinners submitted themselves to canonical penance The Alleluia and the Gloria are suppressed until Easter Abstinence from eating meat is to be observed on all Fridays during Lent This applies to all persons 14 and older The law of fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday applies to all Catholics from age 18 through age 59 The feast of St Scholastica which is ordinarily celebrated today is superseded by the Ash Wednesday liturgy Stational Church Ash Wednesday At the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday ashes are blessed during Mass after the homily The blessed ashes are then imposed on the faithful as a sign of conversion penance fasting and human mortality The ashes are blessed at least during the first Mass of the day but they may also be imposed during all the Masses of the day after the homily and even outside the time of Mass to meet the needs of the faithful Priests or deacons normally impart this sacramental but instituted acolytes other extraordinary ministers or designated lay people may be delegated to impart ashes if the bishop judges that this is necessary The ashes are made from the palms used at the previous Passion Sunday ceremonies Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year Msgr Peter J Elliott The act of putting on ashes symbolizes fragility and mortality and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God Far from being a merely external act the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolize that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptized are called during Lent Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy From the very early times the commemoration of the approach of Christ s passion and death was observed by a period of self denial St Athanasius in the year 339 enjoined upon the people of Alexandria the 40 days fast he saw practiced in Rome and elsewhere to the end that while all the world is fasting we who are in Egypt should not become a laughing stock as the only people who do not fast but take our

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2016-02-10 (2016-02-11)
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  • Cardinals discuss curial changes, decentralization : News Headlines | Catholic Culture
    Connect Home On Facebook On Twitter eNewsletters Site Tour Web Widgets Feeds Contact Us Advertise Subscribe Login Donate News Home Important Popular Week Month Archives About CWN Catholic World News Cardinals discuss curial changes decentralization February 10 2016 The Council of Cardinals the body established by Pope Francis in 2013 to assist him in the reform of the Curia has concluded its thirteenth meeting which took place on February 8 and 9 Father Federico Lombardi the director of the Holy See Press Office said that during the meeting s three sessions in which Pope Francis took part the members of the council discussed the Pope s call in October for a healthy decentralization in ecclesial governance The cardinals also finalized their proposal for two new curial dicasteries Laity Family and Life and Justice Peace and Migration for the Pope s consideration and discussed changes to the Secretariat of State and Congregation for Divine Worship These latter discussions said Father Lombardi are a work in progress References G 9 meeting Decentralization and the new dicasteries Vatican Radio Sound Off CatholicCulture org supporters weigh in All comments are moderated To lighten our editing burden only current donors are allowed to Sound Off

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=27451 (2016-02-11)
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