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Among Women Podcast 207- Defending the Faith with Charity and Clarity (with Kathryn Jean Lopez)

Among Women Podcast 207- Defending the Faith with Charity and Clarity (with Kathryn Jean Lopez)

This episode of Among Women looks at an important book and subject. It’s something that will help us in this election year, or whenever we need to discuss theScreen Shot 2016-04-20 at 4.28.54 PM Catholic faith in a public setting, or at a cocktail party, or among friends and family — How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice. 

Today our Among Women segment features co-author of the book, syndicated columnist, and NRO Editor-at-large, Kathryn Jean Lopez. I’ve been blessed by this book’s great principles, and I hope you will be too! Kathryn and I will also discuss Pope Francis’ “The Joy of Love”, and Kathryn’s trips to EWTN and religious order foundress Mother Angelica’s funeral Mass, and also her trek to frosty Massachusetts for Divine Mercy Sunday in the Year of Mercy.

Plus we’ll look at the life and social action of Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey — an innovative educator and missionary from the early 19th century and the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny. Listen now!

There are so many good links for this episode, so be sure to check the show notes after you listen to this latest Among Women.

An Espresso Double Shot: Among Women’s short form podcast on Amoris Laetitia

An Espresso Double Shot: Among Women’s short form podcast on Amoris Laetitia

Last night I uploaded Episode 9 of Among Women “Espresso Shot”IMG_0230
– it’s a short strong coffee break of faith sharing and teaching from yours truly.

Our Topic: Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, (On Love in the Family), or as its popularly known, “The Joy of Love”. 

I’m calling this podcast a “double espresso shot” because its twice as long — 30 minutes. I hope you’ll indulge me. In this podcast I’ll be encouraging you to read, read, read Pope Francis’ latest document following the two previous Synods on marriage and family life: Amoris LaetitiaI’ll also review the table of contents, offer some excerpts, and add a few personal thoughts.

Read the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “The Joy of Love” (PDF form).

There are so many good links over at the AW blog regarding the release of this document.

Listen to the AW Espresso Shot at my AW website, or find it on iTunes.

A Prayer to the Holy Family, from Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, (plus links) #AmorisLaetitia

A Prayer to the Holy Family, from Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, (plus links) #AmorisLaetitia

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A photo from my trip the Carmel Mission, Carmel CA

Prayer to the Holy Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love;
to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again experience
violence, rejection and division;
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Graciously hear our prayer.

Amen.

 

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The English translation of Pope Francis’ latest apostolic exhortation on the family is out today. You can read a PDF of Amoris Laetitia here. It’s over 200 pages long and there is much to read.

Vatican Radio offers a shorter summary of what the document contains here.

Perhaps beginning with the prayer offered within the document (found on the last page of the document, that I’ve capture above) might be a good place to start.

 

Among Women Espresso Shot #6 – The #YearOfMercy

Among Women Espresso Shot #6 – The #YearOfMercy

Here’s Episode 6 of the Among Women “Espresso Shot”– a short strong coffee break of faith sharing and teaching from yours truly.

Today’s topic: The Year of Mercy

I’ve long written a column called “From the Catechism” for Catholic Digest Magazine and I’m happy to share some themes from my IMG_0229recent articles are we look at the Year of Mercy, proclaimed by Pope Francis.

Listen to the podcast! 

Our Lady of Charity answers my prayers… she sent Maria Morera Johnson on pilgrimage with the #PopeInCuba

Our Lady of Charity answers my prayers… she sent Maria Morera Johnson on pilgrimage with the #PopeInCuba

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Sisters in Christ, daughters of Mary.

One of the many fruits of my friendship with María Morera Johnson, is not only finding a friend who loves the Blessed Mother and the Rosary, but through her I learned about Mary’s title as Our Lady of Charity, the patroness of Cuba. Her full title in Spanish is La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre. 

Good friends teach you about stuff. They share what moves them. I visited María’s extended family in Miami in 2011. Part of that trip included a little pilgrimage to Our Lady of Charity’s shrine there, also known as the Ermita del la Caridad. It is dear to many with Cuban ancestry. When I’m there, I think of the many people in the course of my lifetime who have left their country under difficult circumstances. The shrine looks out to sea from the shoreline. I can only imagine how many prayers and tears have mingled with those waters that fill the 90-mile gap from Florida to Cuba.

I have been very taken with this title of Our Lady of Charity, and her patronage.

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My statue of Our Lady of Charity.

After that Miami visit I had an opportunity to write about the story of Our Lady of Charity. I’ve even been back to Miami two more times to visit the Ermita. I’ve prayed for my friend and her Cuban family members’ intentions both there and before the image of Our Lady of Charity that is in my home — a gift from the Morera family.

Over the years I have prayed that María would one day have a chance to make a pilgrimage to the original El Cobre shrine in Cuba, the country of her birth.

I think Our Lady had that same prayer.

The thing about God’s timing and God’s plan is that it is always so much better than anything we can ever hope for or imagine.

I would have never predicted that such a pilgrimage would include a selfie with the Pope.

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Pope Francis, Maria Morera Johnson, Cuba, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Maria M Johnson.)

María just returned from a pilgrimage to Cuba that coincided with Pope Francis’ Apostolic Visit to Cuba. It’s her story to tell. And I’m happy to ask you to read it.

Read her second installment about her Cuban journey, complete with the selfie with the Pope, over at Aleteia. Her first installment is here.

You can also follow María Johnson’s blog.

Oh, in other news, María has a book coming out in the next few weeks: My Badass Book of Saints… 

One last thing… you see that little medal María is wearing in the photo above?  I’ve never seen one until I met her. It’s Our Lady of Charity.

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Update from 10.5.2015: An Offering to Our Lady of Charity in Cuba. This post really touched my heart.

Two New Among Women Podcasts feature #PopeInPhilly

Two New Among Women Podcasts feature #PopeInPhilly

I had a great trip to Philly for the World Meeting of Families and the Papal Mass accompanied by my dear friend, Lisa Hendey.

There’s so much to unpack spiritually and professionally, but let’s start with the two new podcasts… one short and one long.

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The new ‘espresso shot’ length of Among Women has been fun to institute and the most recent one uploaded today has women responding to this question: “What would you like to ask Pope Francis?” Check it out here. 

Then there’s a long special edition podcast — a conversation with Lisa Hendey as we drove home in my car.

Buckle up as we drive home and record this podcast examining the World Meeting talks, homilies, the city of Philadelphia, music by Matt Maher and Andrea Bocelli, praying with saints, the people we met, and the fun we had with the global convention known as the World Meeting of Families that sparked the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the US.

We covered the high points, the things that were meaningful to us. Its hard to reduce 8 days of travel into a single conversation, but we cover a lot of ground. This rambling conversation took place IN a MINI, but it ain’t a mini conversation. It clocks in at 90 minutes. We are two friends in real life who love to travel together and gab! I hope you enjoy it.

Lisa and I, Papal Mass.

Lisa and I, Papal Mass.

 

It’s like I’m going to the Catholic Super Bowl. #PopeIsHope #goodiswinning #PopeinPhilly

It’s like I’m going to the Catholic Super Bowl. #PopeIsHope #goodiswinning #PopeinPhilly

I feel like I’m going to the Catholic Super Bowl! And we’re all rooting for the same team! It seems to me that the World Meeting of Families (WMF) has morphed into the World Meeting with Francis, and I could not be happier. So many details, so many people coming to see him. I’ll be part of the Philadelphia audience for Pope Francis’ first ever visit to the US!

IMG_0057I’ll be on the road with one of my favorite globe-trotters, and good friend, Lisa Hendey. I know she’ll be in high demand, media maven that she is, and I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two. Look for her tweets and mine, and follow us on Facebook. I’m not yet on Instagram and Periscope but Lisa is! And be sure to follow and use the hashtags #goodiswinning #PopeIsHope #PopeinPhilly and #PopeInUS.

We’re looking forward to interviewing people about this experience as well! And writing it about of course. I hope to get some good Espresso for Among Women!

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The WMF’s theme is “Love is Our Mission.” Spend the $10 on this book that is about 100 pages and breaks out this mission. It’s wonderful.

Want to know more about World Meeting of Families, go here. Read about its themes here. 

It all started with the World Meeting of Families that was scheduled to meet in Philadelphia September 22-26. And then the Pope decided to join us too, and now there’s not just #PopeinPhilly, the Pope is coming to Washington DC to address Congress, and canonize Blessed Junipero Serra* at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception — another saint for the Americas! — and visit the city of my birth, NEW YORK! Check out the papal schedule for the US.

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Oh and that’s not all, before he flies to the US, Francis is making an important visit to Cuba. Here’s more on that from my friend, Maria Morera Johnson…For her, it’s a faith pilgrimage as well as a personal one.

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*See my post about my pilgrimage to Blessed Serra’s mission and grave with Lisa Hendey.

 

This makes me think… about Mercy as a bridge that connects us to God and others…

Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him. The Father, “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4), after having revealed his name to Moses as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6), has never ceased to show, in various ways throughout history, his divine nature. In the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4), when everything had been arranged according to his plan of salvation, he sent his only Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary, to reveal his love for us in a definitive way. Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (cf. Jn 14:9). Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.

We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to a hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.

Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers; nothing in her preaching and in her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love. The Church “has an endless desire to show mercy.” [Evangelii Gaudium, 24.] Perhaps we have long since forgotten how to show and live the way of mercy. The temptation, on the one hand, to focus exclusively on justice made us forget that this is only the first, albeit necessary and indispensable step. But the Church needs to go beyond and strive for a higher and more important goal. On the other hand, sad to say, we must admit that the practice of mercy is waning in the wider culture. It some cases the word seems to have dropped out of use. However, without a witness to mercy, life becomes fruitless and sterile, as if sequestered in a barren desert. The time has come for the Church to take up the joyful call to mercy once more. It is time to return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters. Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look to the future with hope.

Pope Francis
Misericordiae Vultus, Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy 

This makes me think… a merciful heart is not a weak heart…

Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure… Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.

I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.

During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.

-Pope Francis-
Message for Lent