The National Catholic Review

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  • The most beautiful inheritance we can leave to others is the faith: that was Pope Francis’ message during Holy Mass on Thursday morning at the Casa Santa Marta. In his homily, he invited us to not fear death, because the course of life continues.

    The day’s first reading tells the story of the death of King David. “In every life there is an ending,” the pope said. This is a thought “that is not pleasing to us,” that we always pass over, but “it is an everyday reality.” Thinking about...

  • February 15, 2016
    Second Sunday of Lent (C), Feb. 21, 2016

    Everyone’s life seems more glamorous on social media, basically a curated series of magical moments and constant achievements, but much more of our time is spent attending to the things of daily life, like making coffee, changing diapers, cleaning out the garage, commuting to work, writing out the minutes for a church committee, shoveling snow, taking the car in for repairs or tidying the house. Not much of it seems glorious....

  • Humility is the way of holiness. That’s what Pope Francis said in his Homily at Monday morning’s Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. The pope focused on the story of King David who, aware of his own sin, accepts humiliation in a spirit of trust in the Lord. While God forgives sin, the pope observed, “the wounds of corruption are difficult to heal."

    King David "is one step away from corruption," says the pope - but the prophet Nathan, sent by God, makes him understand the evil he has done....

  • Let us pray to God that the weakness that leads us to sin will never lead to corruption. This was the theme of Pope Francis homily at daily Mass on Friday morning, a theme he has taken up many times. Beginning with the first reading, which tells the story of David and Bathsheba, the pope distinguished between regular sinners and those who are corrupt. Unlike regular sinners, the corrupt do not feel the need for forgiveness.

    One can sin often, and always return to God seeking...

  • February 8, 2016
    First Sunday of Lent (C), Feb. 14, 2016

    The Second Vatican Council’s “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” outlines the two essential features of Lent. Christians are to recall or to prepare for “the celebration of Christian Initiation,” and they are to participate in penance which “disposes the faithful…to celebrate the Paschal Mystery” (No. 109). In stressing the need for penance, by various spiritual disciplines and ascetic acts, the council fathers understood that the goal of all these acts was...

  • The heart of the Christian is magnanimous because we were born of a loving Father and our arms should be open wide to welcome everyone with generosity – that’s what the pope said at Thursday morning’s Mass at the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican. Among those attending the Mass was a number of priests who celebrated with the pope their 50th year of ordination.

    "The mystery of God is light," says Pope Francis, who comments on the day's Gospel in which Jesus says that the lamp does...

  • The bishop's task is to pray and to proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus; if a bishop does not pray and does not announce the Gospel but is concerned with other things, God's people suffer. That’s the message Pope Francis imparted to the faithful gathered Friday for the daily morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.

    The day's Gospel (Mk 3: 13-19) indicates why Jesus chose the 12 Apostles "to be with him and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons." The 12, said Pope...

  • February 1, 2016
    Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), Feb. 7, 2016

    The prophet Isaiah’s call narrative is also a theophany, in which Isaiah perceives God on the heavenly throne. God’s majesty and transcendence overwhelm the prophet, and Isaiah’s descriptions of God by means of physical images— a vision of a high throne and the hem of a garment that fills the Temple—evoke God’s universal kingship and splendor.

    In this divine vision, the seraphim minister to God, praising God’s holiness and...

  • February 1, 2016

    We are able to borrow traditions from other religions without compromising our own. This insight defined my interfaith journey as a Muslim at a Catholic college. My pilgrimage was set into motion by an invitation from the college’s chaplain to attend a Sunday worship service at the beginning of my freshman year. That single act of outreach and goodwill sparked a period of intensive spiritual growth and development during my undergraduate career. This...

  • Pope Francis says God looks beyond appearances and into the heart. He was speaking on Tuesday morning during Mass at Casa Santa Marta.

    Drawing inspiration from the First Reading of the day that tells of the choice of the young David as king of Israel, the pope pointed out that even in the lives of the saints there are temptations and sins, as demonstrated by the life of David.

    The Lord – he said - rejected Saul "because his heart was closed," he had not obeyed him, and he...