“Have you no such custom at meal?” — Praying before meals in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”…

During November in the United States of America, families will celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a national holiday where we reflect upon our state in life and express our gratitude to God for His providential care. It is also a time to be with friends and family and to be thankful for the gift of their presence.

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Ralph Martin: The biggest crisis in the world revealed…

The biggest crisis in the world “is alienation from God, rebellion against God, it’s not believing in Jesus Christ, it’s not accepting the offer of mercy and salvation that God’s offering to the human race. The primary mission of the Church is not to improve the world. We should absolutely apply the social teaching of the Church, out of charity in all these different areas…

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Sober but serene themes of judgment in the spirituals…

I’ve often been impressed by the ability of old African-American spirituals to treat serious subjects in a clear, memorable, and almost joyful way. This is true even of weighty matters like sin and judgment. During early November we are focused on the four last things (death, judgment, Heaven, and hell) and November is also Black Catholic History Month. So, this seems like a good time to look at some of the creative lines from different spirituals that articulate these topics…

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