May 13, 2020

Is There a Heaven?

Q: All my life we have been told that when we die we will be with God for all eternity. I sometimes feel, however, that when you die that’s it—no heaven, God or anything. It’s frightening to think that what I have believed all these years might not be true.

A: God has not revoked the biblical promises about sharing divine life forever. There have always been people who did not accept them, but that does not make those people more trustworthy than people who believe in heaven.

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Casual Sex on TV Programs

Q: Many TV shows include sexual remarks or people sleeping with people to whom they are not married. I don’t watch much television, but I do enjoy several hospital-based programs that have good plots but frequently include these situations, which are becoming more and more common.
Is it a serious sin for me to watch such programs? Do I need to confess such viewing?

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One-hour Fast Before Communion

Q: Are we still expected to fast one hour before receiving Holy Communion? I have seen a woman chewing gum as she comes into Mass and is still chewing it as she stands in line to receive Holy Communion. I was taught that this is not permitted.

A: You are correct that this is wrong. The current rule is that, except for medicine and accompanying liquids, we are to fast from solid food and any liquid other than water for one hour before receiving Holy Communion.

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Franciscan Inspirations: Zacchaeus: The Man with No Friends

One of the most endearing Gospel moments is when Zacchaeus, a tax collector for the Romans, spotted Jesus entering Jericho from his perch in a tree (Lk 19:1-10). If sinners were ranked by the Jews, tax collectors would be right at the top.

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Inspired by Sassy Saints

“Some people have been put off by the title, but I think it’s a shame for people to judge a book by its cover—literally,” says Johnson with a laugh. Maria Morera Johnson, who is witty, quick to smile, and slightly irreverent, explains that the idea to write a book about saints first began to take shape one day on a weekly podcast entitled “Catholic Weekend.”

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Kids, Meet Mary

Last May, as my family sat in church, I noticed my then-five-year-old son, Alex, carefully eyeing the statue of Mary in the front of church. It had been decorated in honor of the month of May—the month of Mary. When Mass was over, I asked him what about the statue had him so fascinated.

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