A Devotion to St. Bernadette

Posted by Caroline Murphy on Mar 12, 2020 7:02:00 AM

Editorial Note: This post is a part of our saint devotion series, in which one of our staff or faculty members explores their relationship with a particular saint. In honor of International Women's Day, we are highlighting female saints this week.

Messages. We’re surrounded by them. Phones are ever-messaging, ever-announcing, ever-calling out to us, as is our environment, saturating our senses with advertisements, music, screens, and images. Messages consume our attention and punctuate our consciousness. Their demand for our engagement can be overwhelming; not responding to every tug at our attention becomes a psychological survival mechanism. When we do respond, we often polish and curate what we say from a safe distance. 

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Topics: communion of saints, prayer, saints, spirituality, devotions, saint devotions

A Devotion to St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Posted by Jessica Keating on Mar 11, 2020 7:30:00 AM

Editorial Note: This post is a part of our saint devotion series, in which one of our staff or faculty members explores their relationship with a particular saint. In honor of International Women's Day, we are highlighting female saints this week.

Saints are often most well known for a luminously singular event in the popular imagination—a radiant moment of faith, hope, or charity. For St. Gianna Beretta Molla this moment is surely her insistence that the life of her unborn child be protected and preserved, even at the cost of her own.

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Topics: communion of saints, prayer, saints, spirituality, devotions, saint devotions

A Devotion to St. Hildegard of Bingen

Posted by Carolyn Pirtle on Mar 10, 2020 7:03:00 AM

Editorial Note: This post is a part of our saint devotion series, in which one of our staff or faculty members explores their relationship with a particular saint. In honor of International Women's Day, we are highlighting female saints this week.

On my desk and bulletin board is a smattering of icons, statues, and a rotating collection of inspiring quotes and prayers. Amid this mish-mash are two images of a woman with whom I’ve had a strange relationship over the past 18 years: St. Hildegard of Bingen. One is a retablo by artist Lynn Garlick; the other, a woodcut by Julie Lonneman.

In the retablo, Hildegard holds a book and a feathered quill and looks up to heaven, where rays of light reach out in response to her gaze, penetrating her inquisitive mind. In the woodcut, Hildegard smiles serenely, eyes closed, as rays of light emanate from her head.

Both images speak to the active contemplation, or contemplative activity, which defined Hildegard’s life. No one who reads even a cursory biography could call her inactive: Hildegard composed music and dramas for her nuns to perform. She wrote poetry, as well as medical treatises offering remedies using plants and herbs. She traveled up and down the Rhine on a preaching tour during the latter years of her life—unheard of for a woman at that time (perhaps for our own time too). Men in power sought her counsel, including royals, clergy, even the Pope.

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Topics: communion of saints, prayer, saints, spirituality, devotions, saint devotions

Making Peace Like St. Casimir

Posted by Paul Fujawa on Mar 4, 2020 2:13:04 PM

We often strive for money, power, and praise without realizing that what we really desire is God. In the synoptic Gospels, a rich young man asked Jesus what he must do to share in eternal life. Jesus answered that he should give his wealth to the poor and follow him. The man went away sad because he was attached to his possessions and could not put others before them. Jesus said: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (see Matthew 19:16–24; Mark 10:17–25; Luke 18:18–25). 

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Topics: communion of saints, saints, St. Casimir, peace

The Church: Imitating Her Saints

Posted by Catherine Cavadini on Nov 21, 2019 7:03:00 AM

“The dazzling genius of Augustine, the luminous wisdom of Thomas Aquinas, have shed forth upon souls the rays of an imperishable splendor; through them, Christ and his doctrine have become better known. The divine poem lived out by Francis of Assisi has given to the world an imitation, as yet unequaled, of the life of God made man. Through him legions of men and women have learned to love God more perfectly. But a little Carmelite who had hardly reached adult age has conquered in less than half a century innumerable hosts of disciples. Doctors of the law have become children at her school; the Supreme Shepherd has exalted her and prays to her with humble and assiduous supplications; and even at this moment from one end of the earth to the other, there are millions of souls whose interior life has received the beneficent influence of [her] little book [The Story of a Soul].”

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Topics: communion of saints, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, saints, universal call to holiness

Living and Handing on the Faith

The McGrath Institute Blog helps Catholics live and hand on their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in the family, home and parish, and cultivates and inspires everyday leaders to live out the fullness and richness of their faith in the simple, little ways that make up Church life.

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