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Surrender to prayer and release yourself from paralyzing fear

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 12, 2011

One reason we need to pray is so that we don't lose heart. We all do sometimes. We lose heart whenever frustration, tiredness, fear and helplessness in the face of life's humiliations conspire to paralyze our energies, deaden our resiliency, drain our courage and leave us feeling weak in depression.

Poet Jill Alexander Essbaum gives us a poignant example of this in her poem Easter. Reflecting on the joy that Easter should bring into our lives, she shares that Easter can instead be a season of defeat for us because its celebration of joy can highlight the shortcomings of our own lives and leave us with the feeling that everyone I've ever loved lives happily just past my able reach.

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Advent gives us a sacred place to prepare for Jesus' birth

WCR Logo

December 12, 2011

It is a good thing we have Advent, that season of joyful expectation. Advent becomes more precious every year as the Western world increasingly uses December (and November) to denigrate the human person into a consumption machine whose main social purpose is to prop up a flagging economy.

In Advent, we celebrate anticipation, an anticipation that can never be sated by material possessions. It is only through the coming of God that men and women can be fulfilled. It is only through the divine life with which we are graced by participation in Word and sacrament that we gain a slight taste of the gift that transcends all consumption.

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Tree from Ukraine

December 12, 2011

The Christmas tree is placed in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Dec. 5.

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Vatican says seat-belt complaint drew papal smile

December 12, 2011

The Vatican said Pope Benedict greeted with a smile the news that a German citizen had filed a complaint against him for not wearing a seat belt in his popemobile.

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Christian families part of new evangelization

December 12, 2011

Christian families are called to welcome, demonstrate and spread the love and presence of Christ in the world, Pope Benedict said.

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N. Zealand diocese to halve number of parishes

December 12, 2011

The Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, will reduce the number of parishes by more than half, Bishop Barry Jones announced.

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Benedict says Asia is field for evangelization

December 12, 2011

Pope Benedict said Asia offers "vast scenarios of evangelization" for the Church, but currently faces difficulties and "true persecution" in some places.

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Pope says Orthodox, RCs must work together

December 12, 2011

Pope Benedict said Catholics and Orthodox have a duty to show a united front of mature faith in facing challenges intensified by increased secularism.

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Irish dioceses improve at handling clergy abuse

December 12, 2011

Audits of six Irish Catholic dioceses reveal "a marked improvement" in how the Church is handling clerical abuse allegations.

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Theology can help promote peace, pope says

December 12, 2011

Theology is not simply an academic discipline or a means of explaining the faith to believers, it also has a role in promoting peace and harmony, Pope Benedict said.

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