National Catholic Reporter

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Spirituality

Preview: 2015: The Year of Love

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We are coming to the end of the year when holiday celebrations overshadow the ongoing realities of war, poverty and violence. For a moment the good cheer (and good spirits) lighten our hearts and dull our worried minds. Life is good when it is celebrated with friends and family at Christmas and, in many ways, this time of celebration nourishes us for the New Year ahead. December 25 is like hitting the pause button on your computer or television and saying – Wow!

Our Holy Family

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As far as we can tell, nothing in Scripture was written exclusively for cloistered religious. We assume our sacred authors had ordinary married people and their children in mind when they composed our biblical writings. The spirituality and theology expressed in them were meant to be lived in a real world populated by real people: husbands, wives, children, grandchildren, men and women who related to one another on a normal, human level. We especially must keep this in mind when we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family.

Listen to the unexpected

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Blessed Fra Angelico produced various depictions of today's Gospel story of the Annunciation. Although the 15th-century Dominican painter created significant variations on the same scene, it is said that he never retouched his paintings because, like the iconographers of Eastern Christianity, he believed that he produced them under divine inspiration; thus, they should not be changed.

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Everything is a gift from God. Be thankful, and you will be joyful

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I think it's possible to be a little bit frustrated when we first hear the message from St. Paul this morning: "Rejoice! Again, I say rejoice!" See, be filled with joy. Most of us probably have discovered that being joyful isn't something you can suddenly be by sort of pushing a button. You know, if you're really discouraged and frustrated and upset and things are going badly, how do you suddenly be joyful?

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In This Issue

February 27- March 12, 2015

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