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The Way of Beauty
January 22, 2014
Who Am I?
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

A recent article in the science section of the NY Times reveals the mystery of the human person.  The opening sentence of James Gorman’s “A Search for Self in a Brain Scan,” begins with: “I knew I wouldn’t find myself in a brain scan” (Jan 6, 2014).  The inscrutable question, who am I, remains a constant, even if it is lodged deep within the psyche.

From the Paleolithic period (15,000 B.C.), human beings have explored their relationships with others and from one culture to...

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January 15, 2014
Pearls
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The creation of a pearl is one of Mother Nature’s miracles and one of her prized secrets.  Unlike other gems which are mined, pearls are made by live oysters (mollusks) far below the surface of the sea.  Pearls are rare, beautiful, valuable, and purchased at a high price.

The life of a pearl begins as a grain of sand or external irritant which pierces an oyster’s shell and lodges itself within.  It cannot be expelled. The oyster protects itself from the irritant by secreting...

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January 08, 2014
'To Shine in Use'
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The month of January is named after the Roman god, Janus, who presides over beginnings, transitions, and ends.  Janus wears two faces, the one looking back and the other, forward.  2013 is no longer within reach except through our memories and through history; the future is a blank canvas on which our stories must yet be inscribed.  We seek happiness, succinctly described by Aristotle: Happiness is the full use of one’s faculties in the pursuit of excellence.  The Book of Proverbs...

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December 18, 2013
Beautiful Christmas music
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

With the arrival of Gaudete Sunday, the Church’s liturgy now focuses with intense eagerness on Christmas Day itself.  The readings cannot contain themselves, such is their exuberant joy. Down through the centuries, the Advent-Christmas narratives have been told and re-told, yet we never tire of them.  Why not?  First, because the story is open-ended with its message of Emmanuel, God-with-us. The ancient narrative always inspires, always elevates; it again prompts us to live in God’s...

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December 11, 2013
Beauty – the Church’s Greatest Power
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In this month’s issue of First Things, Dana Gioia’s superb article, “The Catholic Writer Today,” sums up the diminished state of the fine arts in the American Catholic Church. While the Church registers the largest religious and cultural group in the country, Gioia writes that, paradoxically we “currently enjoy almost no positive presence in the American fine arts—not in literature, music, sculpture, or painting.” 

Dana Gioia is well known to the literary world.  A poet...

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December 04, 2013
Advent beauty
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

There is no time quite like Advent. This liturgical season is rich in symbol and exalted in sacred poetry and music. Advent signals “a new journey of the People of God with Jesus, our Shepherd, who guides us through history toward the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. Through Advent, we experience a profound sense of the meaning of history” (Pope Francis, Homily, First Sunday of Advent). 

The period from December 1st to December 16th recalls Christ’s historic coming at the...

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November 27, 2013
You can never say thank-you enough
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

On the eve of Thanksgiving Day and the season of Advent, a few thoughts ...

The Jews Say ‘Blessing’ and ‘Thank You.

The Jews learned from their Exodus experience that they could never thank God enough for their deliverance. The Passover meal, celebrated in a hurry, was filled with praise and thanksgiving for the wonders God did in rescuing them from slavery in Egypt.  The Jews pray psalms of blessing and thanksgiving every day, but in the Passover banquet, these psalms held a...

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November 20, 2013
Rose, Mother of John F. Kennedy
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Toward the end of her memoir, Times to Remember, published in 1974, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, an octogenarian, reflects on the family’s grief at the time of President Kenney’s death in 1963.  It would be neither the first tragedy nor the last in the family. Years earlier, her oldest son, Joe, Jr., and a younger daughter, Kathleen had predeceased Jack at different times and in different circumstances—but both in plane crashes.  In 1968, the assassination of son, Robert.

“We in the...

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November 13, 2013
Out of darkness, light
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

On October 12, fifty years ago, a plane landed in the United States from the former USSR carrying the Jesuit priest, Walter Ciszek. It was a large media event because, for some twenty-four years, he had been imprisoned in the Soviet Union as a Vatican spy.

In 1929, as a novice, he had responded to Pius XI’s plea for priests to volunteer for the Russian mission, but religious formation awaited him. On that Columbus Day in 1963, he was being exchanged for two Soviet agents, a husband...

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November 06, 2013
The Invasion of Mobile Devices
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In 1532, Thomas More resigned his position as Lord Chancellor of England because he refused to take the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church in England. In Robert Bolt’s play, “Man for All Seasons,” on hearing of her husband’s resignation, Alice scornfully asks:  “What will you do now – sit by the fire and make goslings in the ash?” 

To which More replies: “Not at all, Alice, I expect I’ll write a bit. I’ll read, I’ll think....

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Oct
31

Liturgical Calendar

October 31, 2014

Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

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Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Gospel
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
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Daily Readings


First Reading:: Phil 1: 1-11
Gospel:: Lk 14: 1-6

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

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Date
10/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

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