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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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Fulton Sheen on the Eucharist

Fulton Sheen’s theology of the Eucharist was rooted in his grasp of the mystical union between Christ and the Church. It was also an expression of devotion, a sacrament he celebrated daily and revered deeply. Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) was an American bishop, theologian, author, radio broadcaster, and Emmy Award winning television personality. He was […]

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The Universal Call to Holiness

One in Christ by baptism, each of us is called to holiness of life. Saint Paul calls Christians “saints.”1 This is neither hyperbole nor presumption. It is a simple statement that God’s plan, mission and purpose in creating human beings is to make them holy. “Be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect,” Jesus tells […]

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Remembering Paul VI (1963-1978)

Giovanni Battista Montini was a conciliar bishop before the council. As pope, he was charged with the task of implementing Vatican II’s program and shepherding the Church through turbulent times. “When Cardinal Montini became Paul VI, this meant that one of the most thoughtful and determined of the moderately progressive conservatives was now pope.” (Adrian […]

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Poor at Heart

How can we be happy or blessed when we lack? “Blessed are the poor at heart, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). Poor in fact, but also poor at the deepest level of personhood, is what Christ is talking about. Some have translated this as “Happy the destitute, the miserable,” which is […]

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Frank Sheed on the Eucharist

Frank Sheed was a devout Catholic, a street preacher, an apologist, a publisher, and a theologian. The Eucharist was central to his teaching, as it is central to the life of the Church. F. J. Sheed (1897-1981) was a popular twentieth-century Catholic lay theologian, public speaker, publisher, translator, and apologist. He was born in Sydney, […]

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Body of Christ: Say Amen

By baptism, we are incorporated into the church, the body of Christ. Communion deepens that union as we are progressively transformed into the very mystery we receive. This article is a follow-up on my reflection “The Eucharist and the Unity of the Church” in the January/February 2017 issue of Emmanuel. The article explored the subject […]

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