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October 18, 2023
St. Peter wrote, "Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope." (1 Peter 3:15)

Before we can do that, we must Combat the Temptation to Give Up. We have to be people of hope. It's not easy right now. War, terrorism, persecution. Child sex trafficking, the proliferation of pornography, not even promiscuity but sexual depravity. Lack of meaning and committment, missing families. Our own failings.

1. "The devil can tempt us into thinking that it is all over by hindering us from hearing, understanding, and applying the word of God to our lives. ... We can counter the lies and deceptions of the devil through cultivating a spirit of prayerful vigilance."

2. "The 'it's all over' message can come from our present trials and difficulties. ... We counter the negative message from our trials by cultivating perseverance and courage."

3. "The discouraging message can come from our anxious thoughts. ... We counter this source of negativity by mortifying our imagination."

In prayer for hope! - Meaghen Gonzalez

Image: Detail from St. Luke Drawing the Virgin by Rogier van der Weyden, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
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  "Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable." - G.K. Chesterton  
New Resources
The Importance—and Power—of Forgiveness
Raïssa Maritain, Prayer and Intelligence & Selected Essays
In Saint Matthew we read: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and in Saint Luke: And for give us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us.
Combat the Temptation to Give Up
Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, Catholic Exchange
"It's all over." This is the debilitating message that we sense in our commitments when we face difficult and trying times and the future seems so bleak and hopeless.
Pride and Prejudice
Fr. Paul Scalia, The Catholic Thing
Armando Valladares was initially one of Fidel Castro's supporters.
Sheen and Hiroshima
Dr. Christopher Shannon, CWR
The dropping of an atomic bomb on Japan on this date in 1945 provides an opportunity to consider how the unthinkable so often becomes thinkable and doable in the context of competing goods rather than through a direct embrace of evil.
Discipline and Doctrine: Law in the Service of Truth and Love (Part II)
Cardinal Raymond Burke,
Over the past few years, certain words, for example, "pastoral," "mercy," "listening," "discernment," "accompaniment," and "integration" have been applied to the Church in a kind of magical way, that is, without clear definition but as the slogans of an ideology replacing what is irreplaceable for us: the constant doctrine and discipline of the Church.
Inside Man
Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing
Apologies, but I am going to mention a television show, not to praise it or blame it, but simply because it portrays an interesting, troubling character.
Editorials of Interest
Dramatic Graces Witnessed as St. Jude Relic Tours US Parishes
NC Register
The "Apostle of the Impossible Tour" will be in Michigan and Ohio throughout October before moving on to other states.
9 Essential Bible quotes for when you need clarity
Look to these words from Scripture when you can't think straight through all the chaos of life.
Symptoms of the Synod 2023: No. 1: What Is Synodality? Pay Attention to the Symptoms
The Catholic Thing
Fr. Raymond de Souza, one of the most astute commentators on the contemporary Church, here begins a new (occasional) series of reflections on what's been happening at the Synod.
Synod Files: Of Open Windows and Closed Doors, plus the Hard Math of Priest Shortages
Two dramas of governance are playing out simultaneously this month in different parts of the world, and each seems to capture fairly perfectly the pitfalls and challenges of the other: The Synod of Bishops on synodality in Rome, and the chaotic race to find a new Speaker of the House in Washington.
Confidential synodality synod docs posted to unsecured server
The Pillar
Confidential records from the Vatican's October synod on synodality have been posted to an unsecured cloud server in the days since the synodal assembly began this month, with new records added as recently as Thursday.
PODCAST: The Synodal Dream as Toxic Nightmare
The Catholic Thing
Fr. Robert Sirico and Robert Royal discuss a new book of essays by and about the late great Australian Cardinal Pell Contra Mundum, and his view of the synodal process as a "toxic nightmare" from which the Church must awake.
Lessons of Natural Law in Gaza
The Catholic Thing
I think about Shani Louk and pray for her, the 22-year-old German-Israeli tattoo artist and globe-trotting pacifist, who was kidnapped by Hamas from the Tribe of Nova rave festival in the Negev Desert.
Pastor of only Catholic church in Gaza: 'Never have we seen things like this time'
"All of our men and women religious in this part of the Holy Land of Palestine and Israel are okay [but the mission in Gaza] is the one that is going through very difficult times."
Untangling Some Crucial Questions
The Catholic Thing
As all the world now knows, Cardinal Raymond Burke and four fellow cardinals (Brandmüller, Sarah, Sandoval, and Zen) sent five dubia (questions) to Pope Francis this past July.
Adoption: "An Exchange of Gifts"
Why are adoptions so rare? Why don't more women choose adoption, especially over abortion?
4 Lessons from a kid’s book that is teaching me how to pray
I have read and re-read 'The Monk Who Grew Prayer' with my children. This wise and beautifully illustrated book has changed how I pray.
Let Them Be Born in Wonder
The Imaginative Conservative
We are made for the stars but rooted in the soil. We are made to seek spiritual realities, but we must use this world, this visible creation, to do so.
Beauty, reality, and craft
"Nowadays, people don't even know the names of even the plants and animals in their backyard," says poet Maya Clubine, recipient of the prestigious Vallum Chapbook Award. "I think that's important for me artistically, but I also think it's almost part of our call as Christians and especially as any sort of small-c creator to attend to the thing by calling it by its name."
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PODCAST: Does your boyfriend watch porn? Here's what to do.
Among The Lilies
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VIDEO: Why Venting Negative Emotions Only Makes Things Worse
It's a widespread belief that when experiencing negative emotions like anger or frustration, it's helpful to vent them. In fact, this practice is counterproductive.
St. John Henry Cardinal Newman
and St. Justin Martyr, pray for us.
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