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The Way of Beauty
January 21, 2015
From Paul's Desert to His Garden of Wonder and Delight
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Several years ago, I went to see Philip Gröning’s movie, “Into Great Silence,” chronicling the life of Carthusian monks, the most austere religious order in the Catholic Church.   It is a silent film without music or commentary, long but riveting. It shows the monks, who live in almost total silence, at prayer, tasks, rituals, and weekly outdoor excursions. Following the spirit of their founder St. Bruno (11th c) into the “Desert of Chartreuse” near Grenoble, France, they have...

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January 14, 2015
Study and Beauty in the Family and Consecrated Life: Part II
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The Catholic Church has a long, deep, and abiding respect for the habits of the minds and for the pursuit of beauty.  One could say that the Church’s vocation is to show the world that faith and reason are inseparable friends and that beauty is a stepping stone to God.
 
The Catholic family is ‘the domestic church,’ where a love of learning is fostered and where beauty is lived from day to day. Children learn from exposure to learning and beauty. If their parents read, most likely, they...

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January 07, 2015
Charism and Consecrated Life: Part I
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In popular jargon, the word charisma is used to describe a person with dazzling gifts of charm or grace. Charismatic individuals form part of every walk of life—stage, screen, sports, and faith-traditions. 

Charism and the Married Vocation

In the vocation of marriage, a woman wishes to marry a man not for what he earns but for the person he is. She doesn’t fall in love with a career but with a man whose strong identity and values harmonize with hers.  He attracts her through his...

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December 17, 2014
Renaissance and Baroque Christmas Music
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Every year, Händel’s Messiah seems to claim the center stage of Christmas performances. Yet, there are other classic works no less sparkling that repay listening during this season.  Timelessly beautiful, their joy and buoyancy are sure to lift the spirit.

Music of the Renaissance

Christmas music of the Renaissance is sufficiently removed from contemporary sounds that it refreshes the ear and the whole person with its sobriety and restraint.  Any of the following CDs make for a satisfying...

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December 10, 2014
Here Is Your God! He Comes to Save Us!
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In many respects, 2014 has been a dark year.  One tragedy after the other has befallen Americans while our brothers and sisters around the world endure hunger, starvation, persecution and even martyrdom for their beliefs, all unimaginable in America.  

    ‘Where have you been, Lord,’ we ask, ‘where were you this year?’  
    ‘I am with you all days,’ Jesus replies, without hesitation.  
    ‘We’ve already had our winter of our discontent,’ we quip.  
    ‘I give you Advent...

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During the month of December, children of Christian families dream about the gifts they hope to receive on Christmas Day. How would it be otherwise? Ads have inundated—no, they have bombarded parents,grandparents, and guardians, pressing them, coaxing them to splurge on their children! The syndrome of Santa also contributes to the fever-pitch desire for trinkets, many of which will be discarded soon after their excitement has waned.

Christmas may be a time for giving to our children, but...

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December 03, 2014
Francis, This Is Your Mission
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

This was not the plan.  Not the human plan. Xavier, the gifted, debonair hidalgo-turned-Jesuit was destined for great things.  At forty-six years of age, exhausted from serving others, he died on an island off the mainland of China thousands of miles away from his community.

Xavier, the nobleman, who was unused to roughing it, became the greatest itinerant missionary-saint in history, second only to St. Paul of Tarsus.  Such are the strange but wonderful ways of Providence to fulfill the...

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November 26, 2014
A Hymn of Thanksgiving
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The thirteenth-century German mystic, Meister Eckhart once noted that “if the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank-you,’ that would suffice.” William Shakespeare echoes these words: “O Lord, that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thanksgiving” (“Henry V”).

This Thanksgiving, Marine Sargent Andrew Tahmoorressi will prolong his ‘thank-you’ for his release from a jail in Mexico and his return to American soil.  The recently-released prisoners of war must be...

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November 19, 2014
The Q&A for All Seasons
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Jn 67-68) This was St. Peter’s burning question and answer.  

Peter’s Q&A has to be put on the back burner, comes a response. We are immersed in ninety-nine pressing issues. We resolve one, and others appear. When an unemployed family member is looking for work, when bills are piling up, when the one and only family car needs replacing, when an older relative needs home care—these worries, and those unnamed,...

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November 12, 2014
God at the Ritz: A Tribute to Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Last week, the American Catholic Church lost one of its leading priest-theologians. Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, a physicist, friend of liberals, skeptics, and atheists, and confidant of popes, died at the age of seventy-three from complications of Parkinson’s disease.  A short, rotund man with a towering mind and a deep bass voice, he became a regular guest of Charlie Rose, CNN, and National Public Radio.  This urbane priest made the faith attractive to his audiences beguiling them...

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January 25, 2015

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Mk 1:14-20

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St. Romuald »

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Mk 1:14-20

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