The National Catholic Review

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  • There is always resistance to the surprises of the Spirit, but it’s the Spirit who continues to lead the church forward. That was Pope Francis’ message at Mass on Thursday at the Santa Marta chapel as he reflected on the reading about division and resistance within the early church in Jerusalem.

    Commenting on today’s reading from Acts about the Council of Jerusalem, Pope Francis said the protagonist in the church is always the Holy Spirit. It’s the Spirit who,...

  • Dear young friends, what an enormous responsibility the Lord gives us today! He tells us that the world will recognize the disciples of Jesus by the way they love one another. Love, in other words, is the Christian’s identity card, the only valid “document” identifying us as Christians. If this card expires and is not constantly renewed, we stop being witnesses of the master. So I ask you: Do you wish to say yes to Jesus’ invitation to be his disciples? Do you wish to be his...

  • Pope Francis on Thursday urged Christians always to memorize the way and circumstances in which God has been present in their lives, saying this helps to strengthen their faith. His words came during his homily at Mass celebrated at the Santa Marta residence.

    Taking his inspiration from the day’s readings, the pope reflected on the need for Christians to look back and store in their memories all the key moments and signs of God’s presence in their lives. He said we must memorize both...

  • May 2, 2016
    The Ascension of the Lord (C), May 8, 2016

    The ascension is a proof of the significance of the incarnation and, as a result, the significance of each of our lives. Certainly, the ascension directs us to the uniqueness of Jesus, as God and man, and specifically to Jesus’ enthronement as Lord, but it also points to the uniqueness and value of each human life. Because Jesus’ human being does not cease with his resurrection or his ascension, Jesus’ incarnation, the particularity of his human personhood,...

  • May 2, 2016

    The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people. – Martin Luther Kin g Jr .

    It has been just over two years since the abduction of close to 300 teenage schoolgirls in the town of Chibok, in northern Nigeria, by the radical Islamic group called Boko Haram. This horrible event and the nightmare associated with it continue to draw media attention and condemnation both in Nigeria and...

  • Pope Francis said Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. Following the readings of the day, the Holy Father offered some reflections on the theme of docility to Christ, who is the door through which we must pass if we would enter into eternal life, the way we must take if we are to reach eternal life, and the voice of the teacher who has words of eternal life.

    Drawing especially on the Reading from the Gospel according to St. John (Jn. 10:1-10),...

  • April 25, 2016
    Sixth Sunday of Easter (C), May 1, 2016

    When discussing questions of tradition and change in the church, whether at the parish level or that of the universal church, “peace” is not the first word that jumps to mind. The tensions in the life of the church today, though, mirror those at the time of the Apostles.

    Acts 15 outlines the deliberations of the Council of Jerusalem, which took place around A.D. 49 or 50. Prior to the gathering, certain disciples of Jesus in...

  • April 25, 2016

    Each time I visit her, my friend Mae says she had another dream about my son. She lives in the nursing home I visit on Sunday afternoons with the community of Sant’Egidio.

    “Come and take a walk with me,” Mae says my son tells her in the dream, putting his hand in hers and leading her outside, her bad leg somehow good again. Or he comes to her bedside and rests his head on her chest. “I love you, Mae,” he says in the dream,...

  • One must be docile to the Holy Spirit, said Pope Francis Thursday at Mass in his residence of Casa Santa Marta, and one must not resist him. Pope Francis warned against those who resist the Spirit with "so-called fidelity to the law" and invites the faithful to pray for the grace of the docility to the Spirit.

    Philip evangelized the Ethiopian, a senior official of Queen Candace. Pope Francis was inspired by this fascinating account in the Acts of the Apostles, in the first reading of...

  • Pope Francis said on Tuesday that "persecution is the church’s daily bread.”

    Speaking during morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, the pope recalled the first Christian martyr, Stephen, and said that “still today so many Christians are killed or persecuted for their faith in Christ.”

    Pope Francis said “there are bloody persecutions, like being torn to pieces by wild beasts to the delight of the audience in the stands or being blown up by a bomb at the end of Mass” and there...