The Way of Beauty
October 09, 2013
Yeast in the dough
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

On her TV program, “Martha Bakes,” the talented Ms. Stewart cannot contain her delight when she makes a yeast dough. She swoons: “Look at the sheen—so soft and shiny! The aroma is bee-you-tee-ful, and the fragrance gratifies all the senses!” Her exuberance is preceded by meticulous instructions: proofing active yeast, blending it into the flour mixture, and letting it rise to double the size.  The yeast dough serves as the basis for baking a variety of baked goods from breads...

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October 02, 2013
Is the world growing more secular? Is religion on the decline?
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

What is the status of religious belief in America? Those who say that the world is growing more secular are convinced that religion has withered away. It is a psychological illusion, a myth to which the uneducated, the weak, and the superstitious cling to as a crutch. Many use the arts as their god. With so many other options to religion, secularization is inevitable. 

Others affirm that religion is not on the decline say that the problem is wrongly stated and needs clarification. It is...

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September 25, 2013
The papacy in a new key
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

It is said that Jesuits don’t sing. But recently, Pope Francis broke with the tradition of his Order. He is singing and conducting in a new key, at least metaphorically. The key, it seems, is F Major. To explain:

When composers begin a new work, they choose a key that will suit an overall feeling they wish to convey.  Every key, major or minor, suggests its own ethos, but there is a decided difference in feeling between major and minor keys. A major key typically sounds dynamic and...

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September 18, 2013
'Q' and 'non-Q' in Catholic education
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In November 1980, Barbara Tuchman, the historian and twice-winner of the Pulitzer Prize, published an essay in the New York Times Magazine entitled “The Decline of Quality.” It is still timely. She argues that, despite our improved material progress, a deterioration of standards has taken hold in craftsmanship, the arts, morals, and education, and politics. This deterioration is due to the era of the mass output. We are a culture dominated by commercialism, directed to popular...

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September 11, 2013
That fateful day; that day of faith
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

That clear, crisp Tuesday morning began quietly.  By the end of the day, a city and a nation had witnessed horror and grace.  Minutes after the explosions at the Twin Towers, the police and fire departments were helping to evacuate the most vulnerable.  Ubiquitous emergency crews—first responders and volunteers, some wearing purple vests, others, grey, others orange, were issuing orders, raising their hands, prompting the stunned crowds to come, go, or wait.  The intense, controlled...

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September 04, 2013
Catholic Education
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Once again, the new school year is in session. Once again, a quality education for our youth claims center stage for solicitous parents and dedicated teachers. The word education, from the Latin, educere, means to lead out. Education is a journey intended to lead students out of darkness in to the light.

The Judeo-Christian view of education is based on Genesis 1:26 that esteems man and woman as replicas or mirrors of God. Brokenness did not destroy their original vocation.Through their...

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August 28, 2013
St. Monica's 'Unfinished Symphony'
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

He was in love with love. He was in love with beauty. Into his extended adolescence, he sought to find their perfection in all the wrong places. Some commentators have called him “the patron saint of college students.” Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), “a world-class figure,” as Peter Brown, a leading biographer calls him, sinner-turned-saint of international repute. An early life of debauchery was eventually overcome in one of the greatest...

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August 21, 2013
The Harp of the Holy Spirit
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Think of a harp. What words come to mind?  Heavenly, gentle, ethereal, light and airy, refined? In the movie, “In the Good Old Summertime,” Judy Garland as Veronica Fisher, a salesperson, charms shoppers into buying Irish harps through her delicate touch on the instrument. A harpist can dazzle the eye and the ear, as does Cary Grant in the movie, “The Bishop’s Wife” where he plays the role of Dudley the Angel. A harpist often provides background music at an afternoon tea or...

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August 14, 2013
The Hammer of God
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The Church is largely indebted to St. Athanasius for hammering out the dogma of the Incarnation, the mystery of God’s Son becoming a human person by Mary of Nazareth.  This core belief of Christianity is not only the mystery of God; it is also the mystery of human life in which Jesus assumes the human condition without reserve, exception, or limit to man’s cruelty to man.  It is the mystery of God’s solidarity with the world for the redemption of the world. 

The life of...

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August 07, 2013
Irenaeus, the Radiant
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

If St. Irenaeus were to speak at a public forum today, his reflections might rouse his audience. What could this second-century Father of the Church possibly say to perk up contemporary ears? How could he enlighten Sophisticates, especially about the human body when the social media has given us more than enough information to ponder?

St. Irenaeus of Lyons was beside himself, dazzled by the teaching of Sacred Scripture on the beauty, wonder, and power of the human person. He just could not...

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July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

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Mt 13:47-53


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Mt 13:47-53


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