Faith, doubts, and difficulties in the Year of Faith

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A talk given as part of the Lenten Mission Series for the Year of Faith, at St. Mary’s of Piscataway, in Clinton, Md., on Feb. 19, 2013.

Faith is our response to God’s revelation to us:  a personal receptiveness to his personal reaching out. Father Dan explores how we can address doubts that might undercut our faith in general, or difficulties that we might feel about particular teachings of the faith. “Be not unbelieving, but believe!” (more…)

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Immaculate Conception: All beautiful!

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The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Dec. 8, 2012
Gen 3:9-15, 20; Ps 98; Eph 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38

“Where are you?” we hear the Lord God call to Adam in the first reading. “Where are you?” For we read in the previous verse that the Lord is walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and Eve have hidden themselves. On previous days, surely, they had run out to meet their beloved Creator with joy as soon as they perceived his presence near them. But now they have sinned for the first time. They have allowed fear and greed and lies to drive a wedge between them and God, and to reshape them in that twisted image; to place that stain upon their hearts, and upon human nature itself which they would pass on to their descendents forever after. Suspecting, accusing, hiding, lying, taking, killing: all of this and more in the stain of original sin. (more…)

Immaculate Conception: Open hands, open heart

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Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Dec. 8, 2011

Gen 3:9-15, 20; Ps 98; Eph 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38

Today we celebrate that great gift that was given to the Virgin Mary from the first moment of her conception—a unique gift to prepare her for her unique vocation to be Mother of God. And our Scripture readings set her beside Eve—one woman and the other, so often compared, so often contrasted. And as the two of them come into focus, one thing that draws my attention is their body language—especially what they are doing with their hands.

For Eve’s hands, earlier in the same chapter of Genesis from which the first reading is taken, had closed—in fear and suspicion of God. She had reached out with them to take the fruit from the forbidden tree. (more…)

Inmaculada Concepción: Con las manos abiertas

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Inmaculada Concepción de la Virgen María:
8 Diciembre 2011

Gn 3, 9-15.20; Sal 97; Ef 1, 3-6.11-12; Lc 1, 26-38

En esta fiesta celebramos el don dado a la Virgen Maria en el primer instante de su concepción—un don especial, un don único, que la preparó para vivir su vocación única. Y para que entendamos este don, la primera lectura nos señala a Eva.

Y, en pensar en esta pareja de mujeres, sucede que pienso en su lenguaje gestual—en lo que hacen con sus manos.

Las manos de Eva, anteriormente en el capítulo, han cerrado en miedo y el recelo de Dios. (more…)

The Blessed Virgin Mary

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Faith Seeks Understanding: The Truth at the Heart of Christmas, 3 of 3

Father Dan concludes a series of classes on the truths at the heart of Christmas (and indeed of our Catholic faith and practice) by presenting the four dogmas about Christ’s mother: that she is Mother of God; that she is ever-virgin; that she was conceived free from the stain of sin; and that she was assumed body and soul into heaven. Learn how these truths connect closely with truths about her divine Son.