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The Faith in Slow Motion  
The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 57)
From One Sinner to Another: How To Confess Your Sins
First, it is important to know that confessing one's sins in personal prayer before God is a daily form of penance for all Christians. Every mass begins with a penitential rite. The Catechism teaches us that prayer, giving alms, acts of love toward those in need, fasting, spending time reading Holy Scripture—all these may be offered as acts of penance. It is the confession of sins to a priest in the simple liturgy of confession and forgiveness that is the sacramental form of penance, often called the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 58)

“Were You There . . . ?
Those who read the Gospels carefully notice something striking about the narrative strategy of the  authors. About one-third of the way through, Jesus is already entering what the Church calls Holy Week. St. Mark, for example, gives us almost the whole of Jesus' public ministry in a few pages, while the final week takes up about two-thirds of his Gospel. We find the same strategy in Matthew, Luke, and John.


The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 59)
The Resurrection: Not a Problem, Not a Riddle, But a Mystery 
What's the difference between a problem and a mystery? A famous Catholic philosopher once explained it this way. A problem is to be solved; a riddle is to be worked out. A mystery – not as in a “whodunit” plot, but in a spiritual sense—is never solved. A mystery is entered into, explored, meditated upon, lived.

The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 60)
The Diaconate
As we pray every day for an increase in vocations to the holy ministry and the consecrated religious life, we should not forget to give joyful thanks for those who are answering the call. By the time you read this article, Bob Scarpa—so well known and well loved in our parish—will have been ordained to the diaconate by our Bishop (May 1). It's a good time to reflect upon the nature and dignity of the diaconate.

The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 61)
 The Ascension of Our Lord 
This coming Thursday the Church will celebrate the Ascension of Christ (see the liturgy schedule in this bulletin). St Luke, in the opening chapter of his Acts of the Apostles, writes this account...
The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 62)
God's Right Hand
In the Bible, the “right hand of God” is an image of that heavenly place from which God's eternal power and authority are exercised over all creation. Where is the right hand of God to be seen at work in history?

The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 63)
The Event of Forgiveness
I believe…in the forgiveness of sins (Apostles' Creed). To believe in the forgiveness of sins is to believe in a particular event. The event is described briefly earlier in the Creed, in the second part, which speaks about the coming of Jesus, and especially about his suffering, death, and resurrection. This is important to remember—that “forgiveness of sins” is not simply an idea; it is not simply a declaration that God is merciful. Forgiveness is a happening.
The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 64)
Death The Enemy, Death the Friend
My father, Max L. Johnson, died last month in Cookville Tennessee, on May 26. In the days immediately before his death and after his funeral, although I was some eight hundred miles southwest of Cherry Hill, I was vividly aware that the people of my parish were nearby me and my family in prayer, sharing in our grief, and joyful with us in the Hope of Life Eternal. When Janet and I returned, your expressions of sympathy were visible in the large stack of mass intention cards on the rectory living room table. During my ten days away on retreat the stack swelled and continues to swell. Our personal acknowledgements of such kindness are finally on the way. But we want to express publicly our deep gratitude for all your words and gestures of Christian charity that have comforted and strengthened us.

The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 65)
Praying Every Day: The Habit of Love
Many Christians, many Catholics, want to pray more—more often, more regularly, more fervently. They sense that there is an experience of prayer that they are missing. But when they pray, the heart is dry, the mind is distracted, the will is weak. If this describes you, give thanks to God and pray that he will intensify this sense of failure! This place of defeat and disappointment is a blessed starting point. 
The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 66)
Praying Every Day:
Help From the Church's Treasury of Prayer
In my last reflection we recalled St. Paul's words about prayer. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). And I suggested that that, for most of us, a constant habit of prayer begins with a regular discipline of “saying our prayers”. This involves saying a chosen set of prayers that have been commended to us by the Christian devotional tradition.


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