Thursday, November 27, 2008

“Be watchful! Be alert!"

"For I was hungry and you gave me food"
Issue Date: November 23, 2008 (34A)

BURNING QUESTION: Do you invite the poor to your banquet?
FEATURED BLOG: This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful to God for ...
RECONCILIATION: This Advent, set the pace for Peace
PASTORAL HISPANA: Comienza Nuestra Esperanza

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individual prayer. This Sunday we begin another Advent season. For some it is a time of delight, waiting eagerly for Christmas. For others it is a dreaded time, as they worry about how they will pay for the gifts and meals they want to provide. Whatever our situation, the Scripture readings this Sunday help us to adopt a stance of faithful watching and waiting.

We know that Jesus' birth has happened already but also, in a surprising way, it has not happened at all. We are still mean to our neighbors. Fr. John Foley tells us that we need the birth of Jesus into our hearts. Each moment, each event of our life is a sign of the Lord's coming. Fr. Campion P. Gavaler reminds us that whatever the moment, we can say in faith that it is the Lord and he awaits our response of love and gratitude. While Father Cusick warns us that You Snooze, You Lose!"

But Advent, according to Fr. Alex McAllister, is also a season which looks forward - to the second coming of Christ at the end of time. And somehow these next four weeks, we must learn to live as if the Christ was crucified yesterday, rose this early morning, and will return for us at any hour. Quite a pointed message by Fr. James Gilhooley.

Fr. Joseph Pellegrino likens our spiritual life to driving a car. We can be going about our business but warning signs are often ignored. Temptation is there, but we don't have enough spiritual energy to resist. Fr. Phil Bloom, on the other hand, likens it to visiting the doctor. Many people avoid seeing the doctor, afraid of what he will tell them. But when a person does get the courage to go, the diagnosis can be a relief. It's the first step toward finding a cure. And reconciling with Jesus in the Sacrament of Confession is the cure.

CELEBRATING ADVENT. Many Catholic parishes are offering Penance services over the next four weeks. It would be a good exercise to read this next article before you go: 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession. Also, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher for the Pontifical household, discusses how there are many means for those looking for God's will to find it through meditation on Scripture, specifically the Readings we celebrate every Sunday at Mass. And you'll be surprised to know that Evangelical Christians are now adopting — and adapting — the rituals of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas that are traditionally celebrated by Catholics.

THANKSGIVING. Is “Thanksgiving” Catholic? The history books will tell you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims in 1621. Not true. Catholics celebrated it with a Mass celebration about 80 years earlier. But one thing is sure. This feast is truly American. And the“moral history” of America is what we ought to ponder at Thanksgiving. For America is, was, and always will be a moral experiment—an experiment in our capacity to live freedom nobly.

Also, When you sit down with family and friends at Thanksgiving dinner and bow your heads to pray, what should you say? We have the article that displays the different prayers people are expressing for this feast. And while we should all make it a point to attend Mass on this special day, we should remember that Thanksgiving can’t be limited to Sunday Eucharist. We are called to develop a lifestyle of thanksgiving everyday. Ask yourself this, "Do you invite the poor to your banquet?" It's our Burning Question this week. So, as you take stock of your life, we ask you to complete this sentence: This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful to God for ... Click here to share your thoughts with us.

STRUGGLING WITH FAITH? It happens to all of us at some point in our lives. A college student asks, "I'm in college and my heart isn't into Church anymore. What now?" See the advise she received. And sometimes, we can be so enamored with Christ and feel so loved by Him, knowing that He is holding us through our difficulties. And then, in a split second, our A.D.D. kicks in and all of a sudden we are alone. Well, it just so happens that the Church has the prescription for us. It's listed here. Bo Sanchez wisely reminds us that despite everything, we need to remember that "God is a Happy God!"

ENJOYING THE HOLIDAYS. It's the day after Thanksgiving. You have a ton of leftovers from the night before and overnight family guests to feed for breakfast. What do you do? Check out this video tip. And sure, we know the holiday leaves us stuffed. But it's not just the extra calories that make us groggy. Here are the "Four Reasons Thanksgiving Makes Us Sleepy." And if you're like me, the fallin of the leaves means your allergy symptoms are starting to rise. For many people, fall is the worst time of year for symptoms such as frequent sneezing, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Fight Fall allergies. We show you how.

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed holiday weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

"For I was hungry and you gave me food"

"For I was hungry and you gave me food"
Issue Date: November 23, 2008 (34A)

BURNING QUESTION: Is Jesus and God the same?
FEATURED BLOG: Servant Kings
RECONCILIATION: Nobel Peace Prize Winner on Micro-credit’s Long Shadow
PASTORAL HISPANA: Cristo es el Rey del universo y de cada uno de nosotros

Dear Friends: We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individual prayer. This Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Church year. Next week we will begin the new Church year, starting with Advent, our waiting for the birth of Jesus into the world.

“I believe in God, never hurt anybody - everyone knows I am good person, so I guess I’m in!” This Sunday’s gospel hints that lots of folks are in for an unpleasant surprise at the last judgement.

"God's Reign is for all People," Deacon Alex Jones says in his podcast homily. Father Cusick echoes that the kingdom of Christ, a reign of charity and peace, is for all - even those who have not heard of our King.

And like all good kings, Christ the King modeled how to live in His kingdom. Fr. Clyde A. Bonar explains that by what He did, Jesus showed us how to act as a Christian, giving us standards for a faith-filled life. Paul Dion discusses how we are expected by Jesus to live our lives as "Servant Kings" - with a towel around our waists. And while the Gospel is good news, the authentic Christ is not comfortable news. Fr. James Gilhooley says enlisting with the real Jesus may be dangerous to health and life. And at the Last Judgment, Marcellino D’Ambrosio explains, we will be asked to reckon not just with our sins of "commission" but also with our sins of "ommissions," the acts of love we did not do.

And what are these sins? “I was present in those who reached out to you for help,” Fr. Joseph Pellegrino reminds us from Scripture. Fr. Alex McAllister says we are challenged by Christ to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, to welcome the stranger, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick and the imprisoned. And it is on these things that our ultimate fate will be decided. At that time, Christ the King will determine who will be judged worthy and who will be rejected, says Fr. Demetrius R. Dumm. That's why, Fr. John Foley advises us, we have to ask ourselves which side we are on right now, before it is too late.

NOT FOR COUCH POTATOES. Fr. Phil Bloom preaches this week that recognizing Christ as First Fruits - as the source of our redemption - is something you and I must "own." The president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity said also this week, “The time has come to free ourselves from our false hang-ups of inferiority towards the secular world and courageously be ourselves, disciples of Christ.” It's all neatly summed up by Pope Benedict whe he said Christianity is not for couch potatoes.

MORALS & SCRIPTURE. In "Coming to Our Senses," Mark Shea tackles the Moral Sense of Scripture. From the Vatican, a pontifical aide reflects with a broader perspective on the economic crisis and says, "It's About Morals, Not Dollars." From Kansas city, Archbishop Naumann explained that while the Church is interested in a wide range of social issues, there are certain issues -- such as the protection of the unborn -- that carry a heavier "moral weight." And appropriately clarified by Pope Benedict thus: the Church must care for the born as well as the unborn.

CATHOLiCS IN THE NEWS. You will be inspired by "Drop-kick me, Jesus," the story of John Harbbaugh - the Catholic coach of the Baltimore Ravens who carries his Catholicism on his sleeve. And learn how a dying Robert Novak isfinding inspiration in his Catholic faith as he fights for his life against a brain tumor. What he said when asked what the most helpful thing people can say: "If they're a man or woman of faith, is to tell me they're praying for me." And only in Beverly Hills - Mark Wahlberg says a family trip to church has become a curse. People approach him in church with business proposals and story lines. And he just wishes others would leave him alone when he's worshiping.

STORIES OF HOPE. "Find Purpose, Live Longer." It tells you how you can add years to your life. By adding life to your years. In a sobering story, a husband tells his crying wife, "I want a divorce." You'll be surprised to see how a little time together change his perspective. And from a reader in Orlando, Florida, we would like to with you some "Wonderful Thoughts to Brighten Your Day."

YOUTH & LIFESTYLE. In a just-released survey, majority of youths in the world say they are spiritual and think religion and spirituality are both positive. Good news indeed. And finally if the cold weather is starting to challenge your skin, you can look great! Here how you can beat back the dry-skin scourge.

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Have a nice and blessed new week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

PS: CATHOLIC WEBSITES FOR PARISHES! If you belong to a Catholic parish or organization and your website has been unproductive, static and unchanged for months and provides no real evangelization value, we can help. ParishWorld is one of the leading providers of Catholic websites in the USA. We deliver websites that accomplish the missionary work! They evangelize, they catechize, they touch many lives.Click here to see our FAQ. Or call us toll free at 866- 288-0713 and we will tell you how we have helped many parishes enjoy websites that achieve as many as 30,000 pageviews per month! We offer your parishes and organizations evangelization websites that "Make a True Catholic Difference." Call us or send us an email today.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

"To each according to his ability"

"To each according to his ability"
Issue Date: November 16, 2008 (33A)

BURNING QUESTION: "Does God Want You to be Rich?"
FEATURED BLOG: "Are you saved?"
RECONCILIATION: Ending a Bitter 10-year QuarrelP
ASTORAL HISPANA: Todos Tenemos Talentos
PLUS: Do you need help with your parish website?

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individual prayer. In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus preached a parable about a Master who called his three servants as he was about leave for a journey. He entrusted his possessions to them "to each according to his ability." It was the final parable and last major speech before His crucifixion.

Sunday's parable, the parable of the talents, seems to be a commentary on financial management. Timely, to say the least. Well, not really, says Fr. Joseph Pellegrino. Fr. Phil Bloom explains that Jesus is asking us to consider what is most important and to invest accordingly. He invites us to take a step.

Fr. Clyde A. Bonar reminds us that in this Gospel, Jesus only complimented two of the three servants, the two servants who took a risk. Christ calls us to risk failure rather than waste our talents. We are responsible to God for the way we use the abilities He has given us. Father Cusick says to use our abilities to enrich and help others is our fulfillment of Christ's command to love others as we love ourselves.

But the most important aspect of the Parable is that the Master will eventually return. Fr. Alex McAllister explains that the parable is about Christ’s Second Coming and the judgement we will all face at the end of time. However, the mere avoidance of serious sin does not make for good Christians. Fr. James Gilhooley tells us we must use all the gifts God gave us. If we are not moving forward, chances are good we march full speed backwards.

Fr. Philip Merdinger delivers a stirring homily about the Four Last Things: Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. And we bring you a relevant burning question: "Does God Want You to be Rich?"

READING YOUR BIBLE. We are exposed to an enormous amount of Sacred Scripture at Holy Mass. But sadly, this source of divine wisdom seems to have little effect in the life of most Catholics. Why is this, when the Word of God should shape our lives? Maybe we need to understand that there is a difference between literalistic interpretation and the literal sense of Scripture. "Reading the Bible Like a Grown-Up" explains it well. And the Bible Synod concluded in Rome with an official statement from the Bishops which concludes thus: "Let it resonate at the beginning of our day so that God has the first word, and let it echo in us in the evening so that God has the last word."

LIFE AND FAMILY. Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions in Serbia, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia - after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country. His is a gripping story. And if you're still struggling with Proposition 8, California's traditional marriage proposition, remember that it's all about protecting marriage to protect children. And if we consider that your marriage is like a garden, as in nature, how do you begin? "How Does Your Marital Garden Grow?"

CATHOLIC NEWS. Catholics and Muslims have signed a charter of rights. But now comes the hard part for Pope Benedict and the Muslim leaders - moving from theory to practice. And in the aftermath of the US elections, real work begins as President-elect Obama calls Pope Benedict - "And Now They've Spoken." And from their meeting in Washington DC this week, the US Bishops declared that they intend to support the new administration but also to stress areas of disagreement, above all abortion and other “life issues.”

AFTERLIFE. November being the month of remembering the dead, Pope Benedict pointed out that faith in the Resurrection should bring Christians to three fundamental attitudes. We list them here. Bo Sanchez editorializes that "Heaven Has Delicious Tinola (Chicken Soup) Today," as he remembers the passing away of the woman he considers his second mother. In another story, Jack returns to his hometown upon hearing the news of the death of their old neighbor, Mr. Belser. Find out what the old man says is "The thing I valued most in my life." Plus a moving story of a man who was befriended by a little six-year-old during his daily beach strolls. Read all about them.

SUPER HEALING AND SAYING THANK YOU. Gratitude is a virtue every man should cultivate. Yet gratitude means nothing if you haven’t mastered the art of expressing it. Check out "The Art of Thank You Note Writing." Finally we talk about something I've suspected all along: Super Healing. Our body has the amazing ability to repair itself!

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 10/26/08

"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
Issue Date: October 26, 2008 (30A)

BURNING QUESTION: What does "Priesthood Sunday" mean to you?
FEATURED BLOG: If the youth are online, the Church must go there
STORIES OF RECONCILIATION: Building an Effective Peace Movement
PASTORAL HISPANA: El amor a Dios y al projimo el fundamento de nuestra fe

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individualprayer. This Sunday, Jesus plays the role of the radical rabbi who dares rewrites the rules. St. Matthew relates the encounter Christ had with a lawyer who asked him a question, not in order to learn, but in a malicious plot to destroy Christ: "Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?"

This Sunday, October 26, is also Priesthood Sunday. First launched five years ago, this nationwide effort is designed to recognize the contributions of the clergy and to give the laity an opportunity to thank their pastors. Our Burning Question this week celebrates this event: What does "Priesthood Sunday" mean to you?

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENTS. Ever since we were little we have been taught the Ten Commandments. Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio asks us what if someone came along and told you there were only two commandments in the Bible that mattered, what would you say? Neither commandment is original to Jesus and there is nothing new about their being placed together. What is new, Fr. Alex McAllister explains, is that Jesus presents them as dependent on each other, inseparable one from the other.

RESTED IN LOVE. The commandments are all rested in Love. That's the message Deacon Alex Jones expresses in his podcast homily. Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B. adds that - even among humans - it is unconditional love that creates freedom, confidence and beauty. Such love is really divine. And Fr. Joseph Pelligrino preaches that loving God with our whole heart is really loving our neighbors as ourselves because it is loving as God loves. While Fr. John Foley, S. J. explains that all law, all life is really about fair care of one another. It is about loving concern for each other under God, and ultimately about imitating God’s love for us. Finally, Fr. Cusick tells us that the "sense of the sacred" is not optional for the Christian. And if we do not reverence the Lord, we cannot with sincerity say that we love him.

ELECTIONS 2008. Fr, Phil Bloom sees in the Sunday Readings another aspect of love: to do whatever positive we can. He says one aspect of Stewarship - or love - is political involvement and no adult citizen can shirk from it. Even our US Bishops have made many public statements about the moral issues. This prompted Fr. Jonathan Morris to ask a very relevant question, "Should Catholic Bishops Stay Out of Politics?" And from Rome, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, talks about the "Profile of a Catholic Politician." He said last week's Gospel about Caesar and God explans the beginning of the separation of religion and politics, which until then had been inseparable among all peoples and regimes. Finally, Fr. John Corapi urges everyone to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th for the end to the "grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion."

CATHOLIC NEWS. From the Vatican, Cardinal Saraiva pointed out the parents of St. Therese as fruitful witnesses of conjugal love. Cardinal Walter Kasper spoke of the Bible and said it is the principal instrument of ecumenical dialogue for promoting Christian unity. And two Vietnamese Bishops attending the Bible Synod in Rome declared that while it has been highly persecuted, the Church in Vietnam isn't afraid. But the Communist regime is. Also a new Catholic pharmacy that opened in Virginia, is refusing as a matter of faith to sell contraceptives of any kind. No candy. No sodas. And no birth control. And ever wondered if that Saturday afternoon Mass you went to covered your Sunday Mass requirement? We have the answer for you.

QUEST FOR MASCULINE SPIRITUALITY. The Family Theater Productions is sponsoring "A Catholic Men's Conference" on November 1st in West Hollywood, CA. All men are invited to spend All Saints Day with other Catholic men for this free conference. Click here for details. We also have a related story that talks about how Friendship can be the key to the evangelization of men. And we have a very timely article for all men: Be a Modern Knight: Protecting Your Lady in the 21st Century.

YOUTH LIFE. A young Jesuit priest says, "If The Youth Are Online, The Church Must Go There." Spending hours online each day, he reflects on the challenges and value of his ministry to young people of the "Internet Age." And we talk about the largest Newman Center of its kind that has served some 70,000 students. It recently celebrated 80 Years of ministering to college students.

STORIES OF HOPE. Watch this amazing video of a a 3rd grade student in Dallas, Texas talking to the 2008 teacher's convention of 20,000 teachers. The words he's speaking about 'believing in me' are what we all should want and need to hear. And "Prescribed by the Great Physician" is an inspiring discussion on how God can use you to your full potential.

LIFESTYLE. The next time someone claims that Halloween is a cruel trick to lure your children into devil worship, we suggest you invite them to discover its Christian significance, along with the two greater and more important Catholic festivals that follow it. It's Halloween: The Real Story! We also bring you what scientists are now saying should be the five simple things you should do daily to stay sane. And finally, we give you "Oprah's Shortcuts to Healthy Meals."

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Vote Life, Vote "Yes on Pro. 8 in California." Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar" 10/19/08

"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar"
Issue Date: October 19, 2008 (29A)

BURNING QUESTION: Was the Blessed Mother a Virgin Forever?
FEATURED BLOG: Scripture Alone: What Does the Bible Say?
STORIES OF RECONCILIATION: Mission and Ministry in a Changing Social Order
PASTORAL HISPANA: Dad al Cesar que es del Cesar y a Dios lo que es de Dios

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individual prayer. This Sunday's Gospel is the famous story where Jesus tells the Pharisees to "repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." And in the heat of the current US election fever, it has brought out a lot of discussion this week about the way we Christians are expected to merge our political and moral thoughts to the issues that matter.

Fr. John Foley says there seems to be two realms, God’s and Caesar’s. Which do you live in? Father Clyde A. Bonar explains further that we are both a Christian and a Citizen. And Jesus charges us to live our Christian faith in every sphere of life — in business, in our civic duty, in our personal lives.

Father Phil Bloom explains that as Christians we cannot escape the duty of political involvement. Whether opposing the culture of death or any tyranny of the political order, Father Cusick reminds us that the Christian gives first allegiance to the laws of God. When faced with challenging issues, Fr. Philip Merdinger challenges you to ask yourself, "Is it lawful before God?"

It can be intimidating to get involved in today's controversial issues - even if it's just writing a "letter to the editor." But Fr. Campion P. Gavaler assures us that Christ keeps his promise
to be "God with us."
He is the same God that, according to Father Joseph Pellegrino, used a pagan, Cyrus, and returned his people from exile. Today He uses us to return the world to its
natural state of union with its Creator
. And to make this happpen, Father Alex McAllister says we need to constantly re-examine our faith and we need to study the Gospel.

ELECTIONS 2008. Two and a half weeks to the 2008 Presidential elections and many catholics are still undecided. But one thing is sure: most Americans want abortion restricted. A recent survey says 92% favor limits on legal abortions. Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio writes that these are times when Christians have a duty boldly to insist that while Caesar is owed his due, we won’t stand by and silently watch him step on God’s toes. Bishop Robert Vasa, Diocese of Baker, reminds all that as you form conscience to discern the issues these election, know that not all issues are equal. And Cheryl Dickow posted a parishWorld blog with a very pointed and inquiring question, "Can a Catholic Vote Anti-Life?"

ECONOMY BLUES. The economy continues its uncertain swings and everyone is worried and anxious. For many people, God is just some kind of vague emergency service to be called upon when the going gets tough or when we have some kind of need. "Why Turn to Jesus when we are Suffering?" offers some faithful insights. Bo Sanchez has news for you, "God Has Nothing To Do With Our Poverty!" And when hard times hit, what should you tell your kids? Finally, we offer you a way to shift out of neutral. It's "4 Easy Steps To Get Motivated and Get Moving In Life."

THE BIBLE AND THE SYNOD. We continue with our coverage of the Bible in light of the Bible Synod currently being held in Rome. And so far, the Bishops have summarized their proposals on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church into 19 items. Check out the list here. Also, if you're one of the many who struggle with the Bible, we offer you one of the most powerful articles we've seen on how to understand the Bible. This is a must-read. From the Vatican, Cardinal Bertone offers "A Secret for Making the Youth Read the Bible." And here's an interesting Bible question you've probably heard from your Protestant friends, "Was the Blessed Virgin Mary a Virgin Forever?"

In other news, Pope Benedict clarified this week that the Church isn't a human association as he notes St. Paul's emphasis on God's role. Plus a most common question among American CAtholics is answered here: Are civilly married couples considered cohabiting if not married in church?

STORIES OF HOPE. When Catholic music composer Jon Niven let God in, his apostolate took off. "Getting a LIFT From the Blessed Sacrament" tells his story. "Awesome Caller ID" is a stirring story about a pastor who called his wife from work late one night and the unexpected blessing that followed.

Finally, if you're looking to download Christian music to your MP3 player, we found some online sites where you can load your device with songs for minimum cost.

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

CLICK HERE to view any of our previous weeks' issues
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"Many are invited, but few are chosen" 10/12/08

"Many are invited, but few are chosen"
Issue Date: October 12, 2008 (28A)

BURNING QUESTION: Why don't you read the Bible?
FEATURED BLOG: Elections 2008 - Economy Matters, Life Matters
STORIES OF RECONCILIATION: 'I didn't want to come back here'
PASTORAL HISPANA: Aceptamos la Invitacion la Eucarista Dominical

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individual prayer. This Sunday’s Gospel is about a party to die for. Jesus relates the Parable of the Wedding Banquet. The King invited every one, but many made excuses and didn't come.

Father James Gilhooley says Jesus compares living in His company to the equivalent of a grand party. And Father Clyde A. Bonar agrees. He calls God’s invitation as the hottest ticket in town. But, he warns that God does not say, "Come as you are." We need to wear our wedding garment and Father Alex McAllister says that garment is our personal conversion.

So, "How do we wear our Christianity?" Father Joseph Pellegrino challenges us. It is the same garment that begins to look somewhat soiled and shabby when we begin to probe our hidden prejudices. Father Cusick preaches that this also about believing in the Church but not practicing charity towards our neighbors. It's about the pride that can spoil even our best efforts as Father Demetrius R. Dumm explains it. While Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio opines that Sloth is the sneakiest of the seven deadly sins and this Sunday's parable addresses it.

Finally, Father John Foley, SJ explains it's all about receiving and giving. Jesus wants us to receive his life and then give it out to the world. And in a moving podcast, Fr. James Faman reflects on the First Reading from Isaiah when he says, "Behold our God."

BIBLE SYNOD. The Bishop's Synod called by the Pope to discuss the Bible is in full swing at the Vatican. its theme is "The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church" and all the bishops from the entire planet are in attendance. We bring you a special day-by-day coverage of the bible Synod. We also launched a Burning Question Series on the Bible. This week's challenging question is "Why don't you read the Bible?" What's your excuse? Share your thoughts with us.

ELECTION FEVER. We're about three weeks to the Presidential elections and many are still undecided. Father Thomas Berg pointedly asks our Catholic voters, "Does the economy really trump abortion this year?" This week also marks the the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Those debates marked the gravest crisis in our political history for the issues truly ran to the core. Slavery was the issue then and they ran back to what John Paul II called the question of “the human person.” Today's grave issue is Abortion. Is it really just
one more issue among many?

ECONOMIC CRISIS. As efforts continue to resolve the financial crisis, a number of commentators argue that it’s not only a lack of monetary capital but a lack of spiritual capital that has contributed to the problems. Can ethical principles help the troubled markets? Even families are feeling the pinch and more parents are reportedly moving in with their kids. The number of parentswho live with adult heads of households grew 42% from 2000 to 2007. And while anyone can suddenly lose their job in this environment, men are vulnerable to feelings of worthlessness when unemployed. Here are 11 suggestions for "Dealing With Unemployment like a Man."

CATHOLIC NEWS. From India, the violent attacks on Christians are reportedly "Worse Than Ever." Christians knew the attacks were coming, but no one knew they would be this deadly. From the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI renewed the position of the Catholic Church against the use of birth control and contraception. Also, amid growing political ferment over immigration policy in the United States, the Pope urged “brotherly love to the full” for migrants and refugees, calling them “the weakest and most defenseless … marginalized and often excluded by society.” And turning to St. Paul, he said even though the apostle never knew Christ in person, he knew the heart of Jesus, and that's what matters.

STORIES OF HOPE. In "Sparks of Faith," the best-selling novelist who wrote "The Notebook" & "Nights in Rodanthe" talks about how his Catholic faith guides his life and career. "Good Chills" tells the story of a young man who couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?? "LORD, PROP US UP" offers lesson from an old barn and why this old deacon always prayed, "Lord, prop us up on our leanin' side."

YOUTH & LIFESTYLE. Being an adolescent is not easy. This is the time when they experience a lot of pressure from people around them. Now, they're encouraged to have fun by being a member of a Catholic Youth Group. The youth are also asked if those who serve in Catholic youth ministry take care to present themselves as disciples of Jesus when they are online. Fianlly, we all know that snacking can be a dietary disadvantage or a nutritional edge. Here's how to make snacking work in your favor.

Another eventful day in our Catholic World. Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in Chief

"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone" 10/05/08

"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone"
Issue Date: October 5, 2008 (27A)

BURNING QUESTION: What are your Personal Bible Habits?
FEATURED BLOG: Why Confession?
FEATURED VIDEO: Catholic Vote 2008
PASTORAL HISPANA: Mi amigo que es Dios tenía una viña

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individual prayer. Two weeks ago we had the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, last week the parable of the two sons who were asked to work in the vineyard and this Sunday the parable of the wicked tenants who killed the son of the vineyard owner.

Fr. Clyde A. Bonar, Ph.D. says the question is do we ignore God the same way the wicked tenants did in the parable? Fr. Joseph Pellegrino says we have been entrusted with the vineyard to bear fruit for others. It is a great honor and also a great responsibility. Fr. Phil Bloom chimes in saying God entrusts his vineyard to tenants and they are not just the powerful ones. You and I are the tenants.

Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B. says the crucial point of the homily is that Jesus, the now-vindicated Risen Lord, addresses each of us as tenants of God's vineyard today. The "vineyard," according to Father Cusick, is the Church which leads to the kingdom. And there is no salvation outside of the Church for those who deny their Catholic faith once having truly understood and embraced it. And in a moving podcast, Fr. Philip Chavez explains that this parable is a warning against rejecting the gifts of the Father.

This parable also tells us what Jesus thought about Himself. Fr. James Gilhooley explains that the agents who preceded Jesus were the prophets. Yet, exalted as they were, Jesus says there is only one Son of God and He is the Christ. In "Walls Come Tumbling Down - A Warning to America," Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. tells us that instead of killing the prophets, we ought to listen to them. Maybe we can begin honoring God rather than exiling Him. And Fr. John Foley, S.J. preaches that God sent his own son into the trap of human life not because life is perfect, but because love is.

LIFE & FAMILY. Sunday is Respect Life Sunday and a US Cardinal list three focuses for Catholics: Euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and the threat of a federal bill that could obliterate 35 years of pro-life gains. In "You do what you have to do," an unwed mother's story of courage and strength is a Life story that just demanded to be told, and shared, and repeated. While Paul Dion, STL adds another dimension to the discussion with his personal story about how caring for his aging mother-in-law allows his family to "bring God into the space that exists under my roof."

“It is sinful” is Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto’s keynote speech to the National Association of Diocesan Gay and Lesbian Ministries meeting in Long Beach on Sept. 18, 2008. It is a clear picture of the teachings of the Church on maintaining the dignity of the family. And Pope Benedict caps it by saying, "With the help of God, marriage crises can be overcome."

WALL STREET CRISIS. As Congress goes back to the drawing board to consider the nation's finances after the failed bailout vote, the country's bishops have their own list of five principles they hope will be taken into account. We also bring you "10 Basics for Financial Peace of Mind in Tough Times," real world tips everyone can use in these trying times. And if the economy and the world has you in a frenzy, have you considered trying to turn to God for solace and peace of mind? And we bring you tips on how to find a job during a recession.

2008 ELECTIONS. We begin our coverage this week with a must-see video called "Catholic Vote 2008." This is not a Dem/Rep video. It is a call for all Catholics to form their conscience and vote. Watch the video and share it with everyone you know. The stakes are just too big this election cycle. And from the Vatican, a Bishop called on Catholics to stop dozing saying we need to wake up when it comes to politics, and stop leaving "God in the pew."

CATHOLIC NEWS. More from the Vatican, Pope Benedict made a big clarification. He said the importance that Paul gave in his letters to sacred Tradition proves false the claim the Apostle invented Christianity. He also reminded us that "Angels bring us great help and consolation." While in California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered a big victory for gaming tribes and the Catholic Church. He signed legislation that outlaws non-Indian bingo machines while
authorizing high-stakes bingo for charities and nonprofits.

YOUTH LIFE. October 4 is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Benedict exalted the saint as a role model for the youth. He also prayed to promote universities to be the home of an ever increasing witness to the Gospel. It's a response to the reality that many Catholic universities have been losing their identity over the last 40 years. The story is called "Our Youth, Our Universities."

Another event-filled week in our Catholic world. Have an enlightening and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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