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The Faith in Slow Motion  
The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 67)
Catholic Funerals:  What the Church Teaches About Cremation
Hope in Christ teaches us to speak openly about death, to resist a culture of the denial of death. As death may come unexpectedly, it is important that families think and talk about funerals beforehand. Even when death occurs after a long illness, it comes as a shock. Grieving families should not have to make  important decisions in a hurry.
The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 68)
The Papal Encyclicals on Social Justice
The recent encyclical letter of Pope Francis, Laudato Si' (“On Care For our Common Home”) has generated much discussion and argument, and not only among Catholics. It addresses the controversial issue of “global warming”.  I have started a list below of the eight preceding social encyclicals (four here, four more next week). My summaries will be inadequate, but they may at least demonstrate a remarkable continuity of moral vision. 

The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 69)
Who Is The Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified. I believe in the Holy Spirit. With this profession, the Trinitarian “shape” of our faith is complete. Each of the three parts of the creed confesses faith in God: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit—the One God who is a fellowship, a communion of three “persons” or identities.

The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 70)
The Social Encyclicals of St. John Paul II (part one)
An Encyclical (lit. circular letter) is a formal pastoral letter written by the pope, addressed to the universal Church, and some times to “all persons of Good will”. The term “social encyclical” indicates those letters that address universal matters of political, social, or economic justice. In the long line of papal  encyclicals, only ten fit this description.

The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 71)
The Immaculate Conception:  Faith's Perfection 
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin ( Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus,).

The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 72)
The Jubilee Year of Mercy
Having begun on December 8 (Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) this “Holy Year of Mercy” will conclude on Sunday, 20 November 2016 (the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe). Pope Francis announced the Jubilee Year last March 13, during the season of Lent. The following words are taken from that announcement.

The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 73)
God in the Womb
As we bid farewell to the Christmas Season, we carry with us the Christmas ethic. Christian morality flows directly from Christian faith. And if we lose the interconnections that unite faith and morals, we have lost the Catholic moral vision. This concern comes to mind especially now as we anticipate the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and the ethical confusions and contradictions that flow from it.
The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no, 74)
Our Father
The first words of the Lord’s prayer are no longer a shock. Millions assume that “our Father” is a universal and generic way of speaking to God, perhaps an obvious synonym for “God”. So, in receiving this prayer from our Lord, the first thing we need to know is its specific origin in the Christian revelation.


The Catholic Faith in Slow Motion (no. 75)
The Corporal Works of Mercy: Burying the Dead
Feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, burying the dead: these are the seven corporal works of mercy. The first six of these require little explanation. Almost all who honor religion will honor these works of mercy, even if many seldom practice them. By utter necessity, the seventh corporal work of mercy, the burial of the dead, is not, strictly speaking, neglected. But I am not sure its quality of mercy is well understood.

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