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J. R. R. Tolkien on the Eucharist

J. R. R. Tolkien’s vivid imagination and creative literary powers were surpassed only by his deep, heartfelt Catholic faith. His love for the Eucharist connected him to his convert mother and ignited his hope for an imperfect world. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was professor of Anglo Saxon at the University of Oxford and the […]

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Is the Mass a Propitiatory or Expiatory Sacrifice?

The precise meaning of words is important in understanding how the Church sees God’s saving action in Jesus Christ and the meaning of the Eucharistic rite. Change is difficult, and perhaps never more so than when it relates somehow to the very heart of our religious practice. A change that has become a dividing issue […]

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Jean Vanier on the Eucharist

Everything Jean Vanier did was inspired by his faith in Jesus and his firm belief that Christ has a special place in his heart for the poor and marginalized. Becoming bread for others and receiving their offering was at the heart of his spiritual vision. Jean Vanier, born on September 10, 1928, in Geneva, Switzerland, […]

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Musings on the Church and Theology

The Church is changing and changing fast. What will the future Catholic Church be like? “The temptation is found, in present controversy and in our interpretation of the past, to clarify complexity by dividing the wheat from the cockle, the light from the dark, ‘us’ from ‘them.’” (Nicholas Lash1) “The Roman Catholic Church is not […]

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Catherine de Hueck Doherty on the Eucharist

Catherine de Hueck Doherty sought to bring the mystical vision of the Christian East to the West in order to renew it and to serve the poor and marginalized. Catherine Kolyschkine (1896-1985) was born in Nizhny-Novgorod, Russia, and raised in an aristocratic family. At the age of 15, she married her cousin Baron Boris de […]

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The Sacramentality of the Church

When the sinful aspect of the Church is all too evident, we must never lose sight of its divine mandate and of the Lord who is the center of its life and the source of its grace and holiness. Any in-depth study of the Church leads to the study of Christ, of the incarnation, and […]

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Robert Hugh Benson on the Eucharist

Robert Hugh Benson’s conversion to Catholicism made him a leading figure in the Catholic literary movement of his day. His writings emphasized Christ’s friendship with us and his humility, both of which are wondrously revealed in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914) was one of the bright lights of the Catholic literary […]

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Henri Nouwen on the Eucharist

Henri Nouwen was an influential spiritual author. His writings touched on a wide range of issues and were flavored by his own struggles and experiences. The Eucharist was one of the mainstays of his spiritual journey. Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996), a Dutch priest, psychologist, pastoral theologian, and spiritual writer, was one of the most […]

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Can We Offer Our Sufferings?

Can we “offer” our sufferings? And for what purpose? In popular culture, sayings like “offering our sufferings,” along with the use of traditional words like “redemption,” “expiation,” and “salvific” to describe the suffering of Christians, are not generally well received or understood today. The expression “suffering is useful” does not resonate with many. These words […]

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Basil Pennington on the Eucharist

Basil Pennington’s approach to the Eucharist blended his Benedictine formation, studies in theology and canon law, and the liturgical impetus of Vatican II in a rich synthesis of mysticism, spirituality, and prayer. Dom M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, (1931-2005) was a Trappist monk and one of the founders of the Centering Prayer Movement.1 He entered Saint […]

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