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Is ‘The Chosen’ series about Jesus Christ a cultural moment worth watching?

The Chosen. / Press image.

CNA Staff, Apr 19, 2021 / 14:12 pm (CNA).

The Easter Sunday season two premiere of The Chosen, an evangelical Christian-produced internet series dramatizing the life of Jesus and his disciples, could have significant influence on religion and culture, a veteran religion journalist has said.

U.S. bishops commemorate 'horrific tragedy' of Armenian genocide

Armenian orphans being deported from Turkey. Ca. 1920. / Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Washington D.C., Apr 19, 2021 / 11:15 am (CNA).

The U.S. bishops’ conference issued a statement on Monday recognizing the upcoming anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

Monday Morning Offering: 4/19

    Image: George Mendoza







Good morning, good God!

I was thinking last night before I went to bed,
well, I guess I was praying, Lord,
because I was thinking about you...
I was thinking, praying, hoping, trusting
that you're very much like a wonderful mom or dad,
or grandmother or grandfather,
who smiles and oohs and ahs
over the simplest things  
a child comes running
to drop in their lap...

Little kids do this all the time, Lord
-- and I know you know this already:
they find some little trinket
or they scribble something on a scrap of paper
with stubs of crayons or magic markers
and they come running, grinning,
to hand such a prize, such a gift to another...

I've got plenty of trinkets and scribblings
to offer you, Lord,
and I hope you like them
not because they're all that beautiful
but simply because they're from me...

I'm pretty sure that's why wonderful parents
and grandparents cherish and love
whatever a child drops in their lap,
simply because - it's from their child...

Of course I'm not a child, Lord, I'm a grown-up
- well, at least I try to be a grown-up...

But sometimes I'm still a child
and sometimes I'm really childish
and sometimes I am just who I am,
the child you made me to be...

I want to offer you gifts you'll love and cherish, Lord,
gifts made from the gifts you've given me,
gifts made from who I am,
the gifts I have to offer this Monday morning,
April 19, 2021... 

I want to offer you what I have right now:
not what I've lost and wish I still had,
not what I hope to find but haven't yet,
just the gifts I have right now...

I want to offer you gifts from the heart of me,
from the heart of who I am, today...

And what I have today is unfinished, Lord:
it's incomplete, has rough edges,
isn't all that pretty no
and not near as neat as I wish it were...

But it's what I have...

And as I lift my gift to you
I see that it's falling apart in a few places
and the patches on old mistakes are showing
- just in the places I wish they didn't show...

But as I stand before your giant lap this morning,
I believe, I hope, I pray there's a place 
for what I have to offer you today...

And when I look up into your face,
I'm pretty sure I see you smiling at me
and marveling at my little gift,
just like a wonderful mom or dad
or grandmother or grandfather would...

And for that I'm thankful, Lord, so very thankful!

Help me see the beauty you see 
in what I offer...
Help me look beyond my gift's unfinished edges...

Help me to accept what's falling apart
as work for your mending hand...

Help me learn to love the patches
as the places where you've healed me...

Help me to see that it's the giver you love
and that my simple gifts are but tokens
that bring us together...
Accept me, Lord, I pray, 
and what I have to offer...

Help me offer my simple gifts
to others I meet today...

Open me to the gifts others have for me...

And most of all,
open me to the gift of this day, Lord,
the day you've offered me...


Society of Catholic Scientists prepares for conference on non-human intelligence

John Williams RUS via Shutterstock.

Washington D.C., Apr 18, 2021 / 15:00 pm (CNA).

The Society of Catholic Scientists (SCS) will hold its 2021 conference in Washington D.C. on the subject of non-human intelligence. 

NIGHT PRAYER: Sunday 4/18

(Renewing my intention to focus Sunday's Night Prayer
on an element from that day's mass...)
Your presence, Lord:
eternal, all encompassing, elusive,
consoling, invisible, palpable, 
immanent,  divine, faithful,
caring, abiding, challenging, 
mysterious, gracious, persistent,
compassionate, forgiving and loving...
Your presence, Lord:
above me, beneath me,
before me, behind me, 
on my left, on my right, 
within me, beside me, 
wherever I am,
wherever I turn, 
wherever I run,
wherever I hide,
wherever I go...

Your presence, Lord:
here, there and everywhere
but most of all 
here where I need you, 24/7;
here where I need you
   when I try but can't find you;
here where I need you
   when I don't think I need you;
here where I need you 
   when I try to evade you; 
here where I need you
   when my needs are so many;
and here where I need you
   when you're all that I need...
Be with me, Lord, when I'm wide awake
and be present to me in my sleep and my dreams
that awake I might keep watch with you
and sleep deeply and safe in your presence, your peace...

Surely the Presence of the Lord Is in This Place 

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place,
I can feel his mighty power and his grace.
I can feel the brush of angel wings, I see glory on each face,
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
In the midst of his children the Lord said he would be;
It doesn’t take very many it can be just two or three.
And I feel that same sweet Spirit that I’ve felt oft times before;
Surely I can say I’ve been with the Lord.
There's a holy hush around us, as God’s Glory fills this place.
I've touched the hem of his garment, I can almost see his face.
And my heart is overflowing with the fullness of his joy;
I know without a doubt that I’ve been with the Lord.


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Chicago's Running Nun talks about faith and sport

Sister Stephanie Baliga of the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago runs a marathon on a treadmill in 2020. / Courtesy: Sister Stephanie Baliga.

Denver Newsroom, Apr 18, 2021 / 02:00 am (CNA).

Through the Chicago marathon, Sister Stephanie Baliga and her team have raised more than $1.1M for her community's outreach to the poor on the west side of Chicago. She talks with CNA about the intersection of running and her Catholic faith.

Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 4/18

Image source
Here are some things I need to remember - but don't!
(Why, oh why, do I keep forgetting them?)
1) No matter how tough things get, Lord,
       you're there with your love and your help.

2) The tougher my life becomes,
       the closer you stay by my side.

3) The more often I stop to pray,
        the more trust I have in your presence.

4)  Yesterday's gone, tomorrow's not here,
         today is all that I have.

5)  Today's the day that you made, Lord:
         help me remember and not forget!


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Pro-abortion billboard campaign in Kentucky draws pro-life response

Tatiana Vdb via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Louisville, Ky., Apr 17, 2021 / 17:03 pm (CNA).

“The Catholic Church has a deep and cherished commitment to give voice to the child in the womb and to support mothers in choosing life for their unborn children.”

NIGHT PRAYER: Saturday 4/17

Sometimes it's at night, Lord, when I feel closest to you
and sometimes it's at night when I wonder if I've lost you
- or if you've lost sight of me... 

But regardless of how I feel, any night or day,
you are there, Lord, you're there with me and beside me,
before me and behind me, within me, all around me...

And should I try to flee your presence,
there's no place I might go, Lord,
but that you'd be there to meet me...

And should I try to slip beyond your grasp,
with you there'd be no letting go...

Though I close my eyes and turn my back
on every side you'd be there:
there's no place, Lord, where I might hide 
- your gaze would find me out...

Sometimes, at night, I'm close to you,
sometimes I cannot find you, but
   wherever I find myself tonight,
   however lost I might feel,
   remind me of your presence, Lord,
   your strong, relentless love
   pursuing, seeking, finding me 
   and never letting go...
Wherever I go, you're there, Lord:
   however fast I run away - you outpace me;
   however foolish my ways - you guide me;
   however lost I am - you find me;
   however alone I may be -
      you hold me in your arms, 
      carry me in your heart,
      you embrace me in your love...

Protect me, Lord, while I'm still awake
and watch over me when I fall asleep,
that awake, I keep night watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...


If You Find Me By The Ocean by Steve Warner

If you find me by the ocean, 
at the sea's farthest end,
even there, Lord, you watch over me,
even there you place your hand.

1) O Lord you search and you know me, 
my rising and my rest,
you discern my journey from afar, 
when I wander or lie down.

2) And from your Spirit, where can I go? 
Where might I flee from your face?
If I climb the heavens, you are there 
and at my final rest.

3) And if I fly on the wings of dawn,
to ocean's farthest end,
ever leading you are at my side, 
your mighty hand upon me.

4) Your hand, O Lord, created me 
within my mother's womb,
I thank you for the wonder of my life, 
your marvels of creation.


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