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Summit reflection video for The First Sunday in Advent with Joel Stepanek.
Covecrest is more than a retreat center and summer camp. Covecrest is a community of Catholics committed to transforming teens, transforming parishes, and transforming culture. Will you join us?
Hidden Lake is home to an incredible Catholic community, gorgeous views, welcoming meeting spaces and so much more. Dedicated to leading teens closer to Christ, we hope you'll be welcomed home to Hidden Lake soon.
There are many women who are a vital part of salvation history and their stories are critical parts of Sacred Scripture. This scriptural devotion will inspire young women to raise their heads along with Mary, Martha, Lydia, and Esther and look into the eyes of Jesus, the God who loves deeply and perfectly.
You are going to make thousands of decisions today and one of them might change your life. Are you confident that what you want and what God want are the same thing? Don’t leave it up to chance - leave it in the hands of the Holy Spirit.
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by Mark Hart
Also, eye contact is important. How many times does the person you're speaking to feel they have your undivided attention? Turn off screens … get away from them. Eye contact is the quickest and simplest way to acknowledge Christ in the other.
Now, if you're having a 'conversation' through a screen, ask yourself if that's the best medium to be using to have that conversation. Words can be misread and mistaken. Do you ever text just 'because you don't want to get into a long conversation?' Go the extra mile. Don't text when you can call. Don't call when you can sit face to face. Don't sit face to face and have your mind in another area code. A huge part of authentic communication is emotional presence, not only physical presence.
by Life Teen
Man lives more in the external world, because made from the earth and closest to it; it is his mission to rule over it and subject it. Woman lives more in the internal world, because she was created from an inner, human life.
Man is more interested in the outer world; woman in the inner world. Man talks about things; woman more about persons. Man fashions products of the earth; woman fashions life, having come from life, both Divine and human. Man, more related to the earth, makes sacrifices for things that are in the future and are abstract; woman, more related to the human, is more inclined to make sacrifices for persons and for that which is immediate.
Can you see the truth through the Religion vs. Jesus debate? We're praying for you as you talk about this issue and the viral video with your friends. We loved how well Peter Kreeft articulates this question about 'church' in his book Before I Go: Letters to Our Children about what Really Matters. Here is the truth, boiled down to the basics without any fancy distractions.
Only Catholics are able to receive Communion at Mass because the Eucharist is the Sacrament of our unity in Christ; those who receive it need to have unity in the Faith. Those who reject Catholicism including Protestants and non-Christians, reject the doctrine of Transubstantiation. We Catholics believe that Jesus does a miracle in every Mass and turns our offerings of simple bread and wine into His Own precious Body and Blood, but others do not believe this. The Catholic Church isn’t doing something mean or intolerant.
We have four Nativity sets in my house: not out of overindulgence but out of sheer necessity. One set is for my five year old, who likes to take a more 'interactive' approach to the Nativity, including putting Disney princesses and Barbies into the Biblical narrative. Last year when I asked why the baby Jesus was in Barbie's convertible, she responded, 'Barbie is baby-sitting, Daddy… the trip to Bethlehem left Mary and Joseph very tired.'
You may have a Nativity set beneath your Christmas tree or on a table inside your house. You almost certainly have one on display somewhere around your local Church…
Catholics do not pray to statues.
That would be idolatry and therefore, a violation of the First Commandment. If a person prays to a statue out of superstition, believes that the statue has special powers or is even God – that is idolatry.
However, this is not what Catholics do when they pray in front of a statue. Catholics worship with their whole person and all of the senses. A statue, or any other piece of religious art, is intended to draw the soul deeper into prayer by helping the senses to recall the mystery that it represents.
But when we talk about the union of God the Father with God the Son, it is not enough to just say that they are the same. They are both God … one God in three unique Persons. By asking us to now use the word consubstantial when we pray the Creed (remember, the Creed is a statement of what we believe as Catholics) the Church is reminding us of the importance of professing that the Father and the Son are the exact same substance.
If you find yourself under attack for your faith, Saint Ambrose is a great intercessor to have in your corner. When you stand for truth, not only do you defend the faith, but you will also help others to abandon the world's lies in favor of the freedom only found in Jesus Christ. Ambrose brought many souls to Christ, and he baptized one person you'll probably recognize: a certain guy by the name of Augustine. Wherever he went, Ambrose preached the truth … something it seems he had been born to do.
To God everything is exposed: all of our faults, imperfections, personal secrets but also all of our talents, traits, successes and achievements … that's the good news. The even better news is that God is always seeking you and me.
When we skip Mass on Sunday, we are violating our covenant with God. We are saying to God, 'I don't need to be united to you. I don't need to worship you.' It may seem innocent, but we are actually declining His marriage proposal. We are not showing up for our own wedding.
When we make a decision to deny His invitation to covenant we are saying we don't want a relationship with Him. Because our God loves us and is a gentleman, he allows us to do this.
However, it’s a grave sin to miss Mass.