The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Carrying of the Cross and the Heaviness of Discipleship

As we continue our Lenten journey, let’s reflect on the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: the Carrying of the Cross. When Jesus was sentenced to death by Pilate, he was made to carry his Cross—most likely a wooden cross beam weighing about 75–100 pounds, which would then be attached to a wooden pole already in the ground on Calvary. The Gospels and the Stations of the Cross remind us that, under this burden, Jesus, in his weakened […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Holy Week

I wonder how many parents have a dandelion, given to them by a child, pressed in a memory book somewhere. A dandelion is a very ordinary thing—a weed, actually. And yet, when a child picks a dandelion to give to Mommy or Daddy to show love, it becomes a precious thing. It is not tossed out, but is set aside, first in a vase with water and then pressed in the pages of a memory […]

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Crowning with Thorns and a Different Kind of King

Today we pause to reflect on the Third Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary: the Crowning with Thorns. According to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ Passion, Jesus was mocked by the Roman soldiers. One of these acts of mockery was to place a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head to ridicule the king of the Jews. This mockery went further with the placing of a purple robe on Jesus’ wounded body and a sign placed above his […]

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Scourging at the Pillar and the Protection of the Voiceless

As we journey deeper into Lent, we pause to reflect on the Second Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary: the Scourging at the Pillar. This violent scene is depicted in all four Gospels (Luke’s Gospel refers to Jesus being “beaten.”) with very little description, yet it is one of the most vivid images of the Passion, because it was such a barbarous act intended to humiliate the victim and instill fear in onlookers. It’s important to […]

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden and the Myth of Self-Sufficiency

As we venture deeper into this season of Lent, let’s reflect upon the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary—those events that lead up to and culminate in the Crucifixion and Death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. In this first installment, we reflect on the Agony in the Garden. The Book of Genesis introduces us to the Garden of Eden—that place where Adam and Eve enjoyed absolute intimacy with God. It is within that paradise that everything […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Stations of the Cross

One of the hallmarks of Catholic spirituality is the practice of going on a pilgrimage, a spiritual journey to a location of significance to our faith. In the centuries following Jesus’ Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, it was common practice for people to visit Jerusalem and retrace the steps of Jesus as he was led to his Crucifixion on Calvary. As time passed and Christianity spread, it became increasingly difficult for people to travel to the Holy Land for this pilgrimage. As […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Dealing with Temptations

You know what it’s like to have a mosquito bite that you want so badly to scratch! Of course, the more you scratch, the more it itches and, eventually, you risk breaking the skin. It’s not easy to avoid the temptation to scratch such an itch. Similarly, in life, we sometimes grow restless or “develop an itch” that we are tempted to scratch in a variety of ways, not all of them healthy. These temptations […]

Lent: Promises Made, Promises Kept

There are many ways to enter into Lent and to draw from the riches of the season and its Scripture readings. One very effective way is to focus on the Old Testament readings for each Sunday of Lent (this year, Cycle B). During Lent, the Old Testament readings stand by themselves in many ways, which means that we shouldn’t try too hard to bend and shape them to connect with the second reading or the Gospel, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

One of the hallmarks of Catholicism is sacramentality, which means that we rely on tangible, visible objects in our prayer and worship to raise our awareness of the intangible, invisible graces of God. One popular example of this sacramentality is our use of candles for prayer and worship. We know that we’ve entered into a Catholic church when we see the flickering of vigil candles and smell the scent of burning wax. These burning candles represent the […]

Liturgical Year Family Activities

The Church’s liturgical year forms us so that we more closely reflect the image of God. Families can facilitate this formation by observing the liturgical calendar and by engaging in family rituals and activities that mark the seasons and feasts of the Church year and remind us of their significance. To help families in observing the liturgical calendar, download our Liturgical Year Family Activities. This resource is full of ideas to draw families more deeply […]

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