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United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

usccb.org

Brace yourself.  I always get a little dizzy on the USCCB website, in part because it reminds me of just how much there is to Catholicism.  You’ll find everything from news to readings for the day, beliefs and teachings to the complete Bible.  In the 10 years I spent as our parish’s bulletin editor, I was on this site no less than twice a week, and usually more.

 

Star Quest Production Network (SQPN)

sqpn.com

One of the first things I did when I got my iPod seven years ago was to start subscribing to almost all of the shows available through the SQPN network.  There are shows for everyone, they’re done professionally, and they’re all free.  This remains one of the best resources I know of for Catholic content.

The Vatican

vatican.va

You will find enough here to keep you busy for hours on end.

On the home page is a handy way to find all the recent writings, activity and news relating to Pope Francis.  You can check out photos and follow his current and upcoming activities.  Do a bit more clicking and you can find just about any encyclical, papal writing or Church document you could want to read.  The site has been overhauled recently, and while it’s not perfect, it’s better than it was-and there’s no denying the usefulness and opportunity that’s here!

 

EWTN Global Catholic Network

ewtn.com

I once had a project where I had to dig through some of the content on the EWTN website.  I thought it would be quickly done, but that’s because I vastly underestimated the amount of content that is there.  Yes, there’s the media linkage you’d expect to the TV and radio programming and the tireless news work they conduct.  But there also are subsites on faith that could take you the rest of the year to plumb, including devotions, a document library and a dozen mini-sites that are beautiful, enducational, and awesome.

They also have a subsite dedicated to kids, with games, prayers, and TV Programs.


Christ Our Hope in Every Season of Life

(from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

 

Identity Crisis

As a society and as individuals, we often measure ourselves by false standards: by what and how much we do, our successes or failures, how others treat us, the degree of our pleasure or independence, etc. And when these things happen, we may feel helpless, alone, or abandoned; we may be tempted to feel as though our lives have no value anymore…that we have become worthless.

 

But God's love is the true source of our worth, identity, and dignity. It really is not about who we are, but rather whose we are. Because God’s love will never change, nothing can reduce our God-given dignity or diminish the great worth of our lives. 
 

Our Response

When someone is facing great trials, we need to meet them where they are, walk with them on their journey, intercede for them, and be open to sharing Christ's love however the Lord directs.

When a woman becomes pregnant, and her boyfriend threatens to leave if she continues the pregnancy, we need to lovingly walk with her. When family members or friends become seriously ill, we need to assure them that God still offers them something in this life, and they still have purpose. We need to consistently be with them every step of the way.

A Culture of Life

This is how we build a culture of life, a culture that joyfully proclaims the truth of God's love, purpose, and plan for each of us. Changing the culture is a process of conversion that begins in our own hearts and includes a willingness to be instructed and a desire to be close to Jesus—the source of joy and love.

When we encounter Christ, experience his love, and deepen our relationship with him, we become more aware of our own worth and that of others. His love for each person is cause for great joy, and growing understanding of this priceless treasure motivates us to share his love with others. Our lives are often changed by the witness of others; so too, others' lives may be changed by our witness and authentic friendship with them.

Let us go, therefore, and not be afraid. God is always with us.