Who was Isaiah, and what does his message mean for us?

During Advent, we read quite a bit from the Prophet Isaiah. Therefore, for my own meditation and yours, I offer the following reflection on Isaiah, the man and his message. Each of the issues with which he dealt is still with us, even though we live in a far more secular world than he could have imagined. Let’s consider key elements of his life…

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Church now faces “Sheen dilemma” in evaluating saints and their halos…

Now that we know why the scheduled Dec. 21 beatification ceremony for the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen has been postponed, it raises broader questions about how we evaluate not only potential candidates for sainthood, but those who’ve already crossed the finish line, vis-a-vis the clerical sexual abuse scandals. After being initially reported that the Vatican had postponed the beatification at the request of a “few U…

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Ancient Romans got their lumber from as far away as France, study finds…

At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Great Britain to Egypt and served tens of millions of people. Supporting that many people, and erecting the cities to house them, took massive amounts of stone, wood and other building materials. To feed their empire’s ambitions, the Romans looked far beyond their Mediterranean homeland…

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Advent is a good time to meditate upon the central role of Mary in our redemption…

As Marino Restrepo was being held hostage for six months in 1997 by Colombian FARC rebels and near death, he had a great mystical experience of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. In his testimony, he describes a vision of the Virgin Mary to whom he was united by “a spiritual umbilical cord.” He further testifies to her centrality: “Everything that I was receiving from Heaven went through her first…

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The professor talked about Jesus, and made her throw up…

My old friend said she walked to the bathroom and threw up. She’d just heard a professor explain that Christians believe Jesus is fully God and fully man because an emperor said so. She’s now a bestselling religious author, but then Diana Butler Bass was a doctoral student at Duke, preparing for a career as a Church historian…

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Why would anyone eat locusts and wild honey?

Wearing a camel-hair garment and a leather belt is one thing but eating locusts and wild honey is another. I don’t suppose John the Baptist was wearing the camel hair garment that I am familiar with – although I think it would certainly have given an ecumenical advantage with the Brooks Brothers crowd – of whom I have been a sometimes admirer…

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