Facing Fears: Draw Near to the Burning Bush

#MyMassTakeaway for the 3rd Sunday in Lent.

Moses reacts to the burning bush in a way I never would.

Something uncomfortable and inexplicable happened in Moses’ life, right in front of his eyes. A bush was engulfed in flames, but it didn’t burn.

I would have been out of there so fast.

No way would I have gone and taken a closer look. But Moses didn’t run away. Moses entered into the mystery.

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What do You Know About the Liturgical Year?

We play Catholic Trivia over on Instagram each month. These are the questions and answers to this month’s #4thFridayTrivia game.

What’s more familiar to us than the year?

We live it every day, every week, every month, year-in and year-out. You’d think we would know it like the back of our hand.

The liturgical year is packed full of amazing feast days and celebrations. And those feast days and celebrations are surrounded by traditions, customs, symbolism, history, debate, and meanings you may not know they had.

Let’s see how much you know about the liturgical calendar!

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Father Ben Gets Ready for Mass

This post is sponsored by Katie Warner and Faith First Treasury and contains Amazon affiliate links. I received a free copy of Father Ben Gets Ready for Mass in exchange for an honest review.

Katie Warner has been releasing so many amazing Catholic kids books, I can hardly keep up!

I’m just the biggest fan of everything Katie, does, so when she offered me a copy of Father Ben Gets Ready for Mass, I was all over it.

As soon as it came in the mail, my kids swarmed. We tore the packaging open, and sat down to read it.

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The Gospel in Which God Tells Peter to Shut it.

#MyMassTakeaway for the 2nd Sunday in Lent.

I just love St. Peter. He’s the guy to turn to when we feel like we’re getting it all wrong. Chances are, he’s been there done that.

Peter denied Jesus, rebuked Jesus, lost faith in the middle of a miracle and began to drown. Even Saint Paul had to tell Peter what’s what once in a while.

Despite all Peter’s shortcomings, though, Jesus called Peter the Rock. He built the Church on Peter, and left Peter to take care of it.

If Peter, with all his faults and shortcomings, can be the Rock on which Christ’s Church is built, then there’s hope for me to be who Christ is calling me to be, too.

Let’s take a look at what Peter’s up to, today.

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Teaching Kids to Pray the Catholic Way

This post originally appeared as a guest blog I wrote for The Thin Place. You can find the original posts here:

Part 1: Teaching Kids to Pray: A Catholic Perspective.

Part 2: Teaching Kids to Pray: Common Catholic Prayers.

As Christian parents, we long to see our children embrace the faith we hold so dear to our hearts.

We teach them about Jesus and about the Bible. We help them learn about the virtues. We have them memorize daily prayers and, as they grow, study theology.

But most of all, we want them to have something deeper than a collection of facts and information.

We want our kids to love Jesus with all their hearts. To have a meaningful and vibrant relationship with Him.

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God: the only surgeon qualified to remove splinters (and boards) from eyes

#MyMassTakeaway for the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time. This post contains amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through the links, I make a small percentage at no extra cost to you.

First of all, could these planks and splinters not be sticking out of eyes please? Cringe-city over here.

It doesn’t matter what size the wood is – if it’s in your EYE we have a major problem.

And for that matter, you shouldn’t by trying to take a sliver out of your friend’s eye, regardless of what’s in your own. Keep your tweezers away from my eye-splinters, thank you very much.

That job is for a qualified surgeon.

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You can be your enemy’s greatest gift

#MyMassTakeaway for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Just imagine the world as a place where people were quick to extend mercy and slow to pass judgment. Where forgiveness prevailed over condemnation. Where enemies loved each other.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says,

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What do you know about the Rosary?

We play Catholic Trivia over on Instagram each month. These are the questions and answers to this month’s #4thFridayTrivia game.

The Rosary is a very Catholic prayer. In fact, the Rosary may even make some people nervous.

Are we praying to Mary? Worse, are we worshiping Mary? Saying vain repetition?

This article should lay some of your worries to rest, as well as introduce you to some interesting facts about the Rosary!

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The Shock Value of the Backwards Beatitudes

#MyMassTakeaway for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Guys, Jesus is trying to provoke us with the Beatitudes.

Blessed are you who are poor,
for the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.

Luke 6:20-26

The Beatitudes aren’t something that are supposed to make us feel good. They’re not comfortable or safe.

The Beatitudes are intentionally counter-intuitive. Their worth begins with their shock value.

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The Burden of Blessing: Why So Many Fish, Jesus?

#MyMassTakeaway for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

I found myself shaking my head at Jesus (once again…) during today’s Gospel reading.

Those poor fishermen had been out fishing all night and caught nothing. Jesus (a carpenter, you guys) told them to go out and try again.

Simon put up mild resistance, but did what Jesus asked anyways. To his great astonishment, Jesus miraculously filled their nets with fish.

Jesus didn’t just fill the nets – he filled them so much that the boats almost sank.

Now why did he go and do that? Couldn’t he give them a normal amount of fish? Why so many fish, Jesus?

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