James was a severe alcoholic. After a serious illness that almost took his life, James stopped drinking. He vowed to return to his faith after having lapsed for a decade. However, when he started going back to the Catholic Mass, he began to have strange reactions.
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Saint Joseph the Worker: Model for Workers
Each year on May 1st, we peer into the workshop at Nazareth to view the daily life of Saint Joseph the Worker. Added to the liturgical calendar by Pope Pius XII in 1955, this feast calls our attention to the humility and everyday practicality of the manual labor performed by a unique man among men.
The Passion and Death of Jesus: The Minor Players
The final days of Lent call us to reflect more deeply on the Sorrowful Mysteries – key scenes in the climax of Jesus’ earthly life from Holy Thursday night through the Friday we call Good. As Pope Saint John Paul II writes, “the Rosary selects certain moments from the Passion, inviting the faithful to contemplate them in their hearts and to relive them” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 22).
Saint Joseph and Friends: Our Lenten Helpers
As the feast of Saint Joseph arrives, several weeks of Lent have passed. At this point, our Lenten efforts toward prayer, fasting, and almsgiving may be beginning to pale. Now could be the perfect time to focus on some sterling qualities of Jesus’ earthly father as they relate to these traditional Lenten practices. We may find therein some fresh ideas to carry us spiritually through the remainder of Lent.
Saint Katharine Drexel: The Heavenly Worth of Earthly Wealth
The rarified atmosphere of center city Philadelphia was the privileged milieu into which Katharine Drexel (1858 – 1955) came into the world. The second child of wealthy financier Francis Drexel and Hannah Langstroth, sadly, Katharine and her sister Elizabeth suffered the loss of their mother in Katharine’s fifth week of life.
The Presentation of the Lord: A Feast Spanning the Stages of Life
“The presentation of Jesus in the temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord. With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Savior … Jesus is recognized as the long-expected Messiah, the ‘light to the nations’ and the ‘glory of Israel,’ but also ‘a sign that is spoken against.’ The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ’s perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had ‘prepared in the presence of all peoples’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 529).
The Perfect Christmas Gift
It’s not too late to take a tip on Christmas gift-giving from two Doctors of the Church: St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Teresa of Avila. Help a soul in purgatory reach heaven on December 25. And — marking the eight days of the Octave of Christmas — keep giving, keep helping, through January 1.
Advent: Prepare Your Heart, Prepare Your Spirit
“Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, 'ad-venire' in Latin or 'to come to') is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas” (The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website).
Fallen in Battle Honoring and Praying for Our War Dead
While the country commemorates those who served on Veterans Day, the Church invites us during the month of all souls to pray for and honor our war dead.
Gathering Jewels: A Personal Testimony
After listening to Johnnette Benkovic Williams speak about the power of testimonies on Women of Grace Live, one listener shared this personal testimony with us. Her childhood "treasure hunt" of collecting little pieces of smooth glass and keeping them in a jar foreshadowed something much deeper- where she would find her true treasure in the Catholic faith. She also wanted to thank Johnnette for being a spiritual mentor to her through her 30+ years of listening to the Women of Grace radio program.
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