Vallombrosa 300x100 12.2017
  • Romantic and realistic views of responding to God

    We can romanticize the response of Samuel. He hears a call in the night and responds, “Here I am.” The standard spiritual reflection is, “How can I respond to the call of God? How can I be obedient like Samuel?”
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  • My top 10 books for 2017

    Taste is subjective. Keep that in mind as I share with you the ten books that most touched me this past year. That isn’t necessarily a recommendation that you read them.
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  • How the ‘Star Wars’ franchise lost its way

    I fell sound asleep for about 10 minutes during the most recent installment in the “Star Wars” franchise, “The Last Jedi.”
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  • Pot is fair crop

    With regard to San Mateo approving cannabis farming, concern was expressed regarding becoming the “Napa Valley of pot.” I am not sure what the problem is with being regarded as the home of product that is known worldwide for its superior qualities.
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  • Temptation and the Lord’s Prayer

    The Holy Father’s comments in response to a question about a line in the Lord’s Prayer have gotten much attention and perhaps left some confusion.
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  • A simple change

    With reference to Pope Francis’ idea for more focusing the Lord’s Prayer, my preference would be: “… and lead us away from temptation and deliver us from evil,” a simple change.
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  • On cracked knuckles and self-care: A resolution for 2018

    The themes emerge predictably. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we gravitate toward the biggies: Get healthy, get organized, get a life. We vow to travel more, read more, save more and volunteer more.
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  • The bitter pill of ‘false liberation’

    A major study published on Dec. 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that hormonal contraception increases the risk of breast cancer for women.
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  • Your New Year’s resolution

    One of the best ways to be faithful to the Lord is to take him at his word: “Be not afraid.” This is a call to courage.
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  • National Migration Week: A reminder of our duty to welcome the stranger

    In 2003, the Catholic bishops of the United States and Mexico issued a historic binational pastoral letter on immigration, “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope.” The title takes its inspiration from St. Paul, who, in the second chapter of his letter to the Ephesians, states: “. . . you are strangers and aliens no longer. No, you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God.”
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  • A saintly Advent journey

    Advent is a time to prepare for Christmas, recalling the hope surrounding Christ’s first coming and looking forward to his second coming, when all things will be fulfilled in him.
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  • Books for Christmas

    It’s been a good year for publishing – at least in the sense of a lot of good books getting published – so here are some for the readers on your Christmas gift list (in addition, of course, to “Lessons in Hope: My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II” [Basic Books], by your scribe):
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  • Who am I and what is my mission?

    The first three readings for the third Sunday of Advent remind people to rejoice – to be optimistic, hopeful, forward-looking and confident in God’s goodness, intervention, nearness, healing power and restorative presence.
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  • The real tragedy of sin

    The real tragedy of sin is that often the one who is sinned against eventually becomes a sinner, inflicting on others what was first inflicted upon him or her. There’s something perverse within us whereby when we are sinned against we tend to take in the sin, complete with the sickness from which it emanated, and then struggle not to act out in that same sick way.
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  • Family history fills this Christmas tree

    In magazines and on television, Christmas trees are tall, symmetrical and tastefully decorated, using just the right amount of restraint. Sets of ornaments are distributed evenly and garland perfectly draped.
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  • Paul VI and marital reality

    It may be helpful to consider the following points for a more comprehensive discussion. First, the church does a disservice to Catholic husbands when it asserts that the use of artificial contraception will lead to the objectification of wives.
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  • Local Daughters of St. Paul are praying for a miracle

    Since 1966, the Daughters of St. Paul have maintained a bookstore in the Bay Area where their ministry is evangelization through the media. Currently, Pauline Books & Media in Redwood City is the only Catholic bookstore in the Bay Area run by the order.
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  • Facing up to our sin

    In the first reading, Isaiah tells us that God comes into our lives as comfort for our sorrow, as glory for our wonder, as power for our weakness, and as reward for our faithfulness.
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  • Pope: Church must strive to embrace people with disabilities

    We know the great development that throughout recent decades has taken place in relation to disability. The growth in awareness of the dignity of every person, especially the weakest, has led to courageous positions being taken for the inclusion of those who live with various forms of handicap, so that no one need feel like an outsider in their own home.
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  • The art of giving, the challenge of Advent

    Oprah Winfrey sings and claps when presented with the $69 lunch box that makes her 2017 “Favorite Things” list.
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