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Drifting Towards Hell

“Before a man are life and death, and whichever he chooses will be given to him.” -Sir 15:17 We find ourselves on a river in a strange land.…

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Heaven: Homesick for Jerusalem

We can think of Psalm 137 as a “homesickness” psalm. After being conquered by the Babylonians, the Israelites are brought into a foreign land.…

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Judgement and Gregory the Great

According to Gregory the Great, final judgment is the pinnacle manifestation of Christ’s victory over his enemies and the fiery purification…

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How Do You Want To Live Your Last Hour?

“What are the four last things of man? Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell. What is Death? Death is the separation of man’s mortal body and immortal…

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St. Martin And The Variety Of Vocations

On November 3rd, we celebrate the Feast of St. Martin de Porres, the patron of cooperator brothers (and of barbers, innkeepers, public health…

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The Rosary: Delving Into The Details Of The Mysteries

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” – Ernest…

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The Rosary: Enter Into The Mysteries Of The Incarnation

As the Gospel of John tells us, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). And how wonderful it is that God chose to make his home…

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The Rosary: Role Models And Stories

There was a period of time during my childhood when my mother particularly emphasized role models: that my brothers and I choose wisely those…

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The Eucharist: Sacrament of Unity

Our nation—our world—is divided. You may have noticed. The Church is the source of unity for all peoples, but when division threatens the Church…

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The Archangels

As human beings, we have some frame of reference for understanding Mary and the Saints. We even have some insight into Jesus insofar as he was…

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The Eucharist, Grounds for HOPE

A certain desperation seems to be spreading through the world these days. Technological innovation has made our lives easier, yet seems to be…

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Mater Dolorosa vs. the Prosperity Gospel

What kind of title of honor is “Our Lady of Sorrows”? How does the Church expect us to be excited about our call to sanctity if the image of…

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Three words to help with confession

That, how, why.Years ago, a wise Dominican taught me these three words as a framework for thinking about confession, and they have stuck with…

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Now is the Day of Resurrection

Our faith juggles two seemingly opposed ideas. On the one hand, we are pilgrims in a foreign land, and we await the fulfillment of God's promises.…

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Would Pope Jesus be better than Ascending Jesus?

Tomorrow is Ascension Thursday, reminding us that we have ten final days of the Easter season to enjoy before Pentecost Sunday. On Ascension…

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Lord, to Whom Shall We Go?

“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art…

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Who is St. Joseph the Worker?

We think of St. Joseph working as a carpenter. Still, what did it really mean? To understand, we need to briefly go back to where it all beganIn…

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The Peace of Eastertide

At 21 years old, I sat in a train car on a warm August afternoon that was winding its way through the mountainous French countryside on my way…

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What is Freedom?

In some ways, the question seems to have such an obvious answer that it may seem strange to even ask. What more is there to say except that freedom…

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Spiritual Joy

Now that we have completed our Lenten journey (hopefully a challenging one), we can relax and enjoy the delights of the Easter season. Chocolate…

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Alleluia! Alleluia!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia!We are in the midst of the Octave of Easter. Like Christmas, Easter Sunday does not last…

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The Greatest Show on Earth

“It’s like theatre!” my mom once exclaimed when explaining what she loves so much about the liturgies of Holy Week. When a worshipping community…

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Thwarting the Devil

Tomorrow the Church celebrates the moment of the Incarnation, wrought in God’s infinite love from eternity and brought to time by the simple…

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A Tale of Two Oceans

“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the…

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CHRISTIAN IDENTITY

Fr. Bruno Cadoré, former Master of the Order of Preachers, during his canonical visits, usually asked the friars, “What is your identity?” “What…

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Try This Weird Benedictine Trick (Demons Will Hate You for It!)

Before entering the Dominicans, I attended a diocesan seminary run by Benedictine Monks, one of whom was my spiritual director. He gave me a…

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Solid Armor, Trained Arrows: Persevering in the Desert of the Conquering Christ

Lent is not only a time of bodily affliction and psychological combat; it is a time of continual victory for those who hold onto the victorious…

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Fixing Our Attention on the Paschal Mystery During Lent

In the office of Readings for Ash Wednesday, St. Clement I, the bishop of Rome in the late first century, exhorts the Christian people to fix…

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Christian Dignity

Our life on this side of death is marked by a deep and insatiable desire. Human persons, strange creatures that we are, live constantly on the…

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The Friendliness Called Affability

It seems a certain nastiness is becoming increasingly common in the way we deal with those who are not our closest friends. From public figures…

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The Noonday Demon

Have you ever felt bored on the spiritual journey and wanted to give up? Have you ever felt that the spiritual life is such an unbearable burden…

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Time to Ditch “Pro-Life Day of Prayer” for “Pro-Life Day of Action”?

On January 22nd, the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, we Catholics have the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, and in California,…

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A Spirituality Behind the Wheel

I remember once when I was a teenager, a family member was driving me somewhere on the freeway. And suddenly, the truck in front of us began…

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Backpacking Rosary Reflection

In August, along with a number of my fellow student brothers, I had the opportunity to go on a three-night, four-day backpacking trip through…

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Crossing 2020 to 2021

No doubt that the year 2020 has been a year of tremendous hardship. As we reach the last days of this year, we look forward to 2021 with great…

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A Season of Hope

One prominent theme of the season of Advent is the virtue of hope. In preparing for Christmas, we foster hopeful expectation for the coming Messiah.…

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Getting Ready for Christmas

The season of Advent is here, and now that we’re getting some cold weather, it’s finally starting to feel like winter! For me, this weather gets…

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How to Be a Neighbor

We live in perhaps one of the most divided eras of our nation’s history. While the dust is beginning to settle from this rough year, it still…

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The Jesus Prayer

The Jesus PrayerOne of the most well-known and beloved prayers in Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches is the Jesus Prayer. There are…

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Sunflowers! Thank God!

Harvest festivals, like our American Thanksgiving, are found all over the world. From Korean Chuseok to Jewish Succoth, many farming societies…

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A Meditation on Ecclesiastes

All men are dust and to dust they shall return. This is a seemingly grim statement, yet it is also one imbued with humility. What is man, whose…

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Reflections on Death

Why does the Church focus on death? In his monastic rule St. Benedict tells his monks to “keep death daily before your eyes.” St. Jerome is famously…

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Serving

By the grace of God, I was ordained to the diaconate this past month, and I have had the privilege to serve at Mass as a deacon.Part of the petition…

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Crash Course: How to Discern Your Vocation

I spent several years discerning my vocation before I joined the Order. Despite the stress and uncertainty, the process of discernment was incredibly…

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How to Waste Time Like a Saint

Our common life as Dominicans follows a daily schedule of prayer and meals called an horarium, but that still leaves us with a lot of time left…

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The Eucharist: Our Burning Bush

“And the angel of the Lord appeared to [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning,…

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Valuing Truth Wherever It Is Found

St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the intellectual luminaries of our Order, is a model thinker. He integrated the thought of diverse intellectuals in…

Livestream: Saturday Night Rosary with the Dominicans

I was so happy to see hundreds of you join me for the Rosary last Saturday. We've now planned to livestream another Rosary tomorrow at the same…

Three More Friars to Make First Profession

The Dominican Friars of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesusjoyfully announce the First Profession of their BrothersMichael Thomas CainXavier…

Br. John Winkowitsch, O.P., to profess Solemn Vows

The Dominican Friarsof the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesusjoyfully announce theSolemn Profession of their Brother John Winkowitsch,…

The Beauty of the Vow of Chastity

I love the vow of chastity! Yes, you heard me right. I, a twenty-four-year-old male, who grew up in the hyper-sexualized culture of twenty-first…

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The Night is Always Darkest Before the Dawn

Psalm 130:6-7 “My soul looks for the Lordmore than sentinels for daybreak.More than sentinels for daybreak,let Israel hope in the Lord,For with…

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The Ark of your Might

Today marks the 103rd anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima. All such apparitions are judged the way we judge any private revelation, namely,…

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Dead Man Walking!

Readings: John 12: 24-26 | Phil 3: 8-14There was a morbid custom in parts of the American prison system before the 1960s: as a man condemned…

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Alone?

I am always fascinated by flying. It is remarkable how many people and systems have to work together in order to allow travelers to go from one…

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We Shall Reap Our Harvest

When I was growing up, my family kept a garden. There would be a certain day in the mid-spring, a warm and dry day, when we’d start the work…

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The Good Shepherd Lays Down His Life for His Sheep

There is no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic is a global tragedy. It has been heartbreaking to hear news of many dying weekly. However, I…

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Pandemic Reflections

This has certainly been a strange and disturbing few weeks we have lived through, with practically our entire world going into shelter-in-place…

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A Short History and Theology of Spiritual Communion

With many facing limited or no access to the Eucharist, the practice of making a Spiritual Communion is becoming increasingly known. But what…

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Praying in the Dark

A few people have told me that it’s easier for them to pray in the dark than in the light. So why is that? C.S. Lewis inquires, “Why must holy…

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Sacred Study in a Time of Isolation

Throughout the world people are on lockdown, confined to their homes, with their lives put on hold until the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Along with…

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Is repentance an archaic response to Coronavirus?

When illness or plague struck Christian or Jewish people in the past, their two-pronged reaction was 1) to cure or flee from it, and 2) to repent…

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What Is Man That You Should Care for Him?

The Catholic Church has a very exalted view of human nature. The creation narrative in the book of Genesis reveals the powerful Word with which…

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Persevere in the Race

St. Paul famously likens perseverance in the ‘race’ towards heavenly glory to athletes who train their bodies for competitions in his 1st letter…

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Lenten Aspirations

The season of Lent is underway! This time of preparation for Easter gives us an opportunity to reexamine and refocus our spiritual lives. We…

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The Gift of Understanding: Loving our Enemies

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit originate from the Latin Vulgate of Isaiah 11:2-3, where the prophet lists the qualities of the “Spirit of…

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God Around the Corner

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.” (Ps 89:15)You don’t need special training to…

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Jordan the Magnanimous

Tomorrow is the feast of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, the second Master of the Order of Preachers and the successor of our Holy Father St. Dominic.…

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The Lord Works in Everyday Circumstances

I recently recovered from a cold. It began gradually. I noticed that my throat hurt a little with every swallow. I thought to myself, “I’ve had…

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Ask!

“Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.’”…

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The Mercy of God

I have been thinking about mercy lately. Mercy is something so fundamental to our Christian faith, and yet it seems to be so elusive. It’s not…

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Seattle’s New Recording of Liturgical Music

At the beginning of this year, over twenty musicians — including Dominican friars from three different provinces — convened at Blessed Sacrament…

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An Epiphany of Love

They shall bring gold and frankincense,and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD. (Is 60:6)This verse is found at the end of our first reading…

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You Could Die Tomorrow

When will I die, and how? Will it be at the ripe old age of ninety after I’ve lived a full life? Will it be painless? What if I die tomorrow…

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Reflections for the New Year

It’s fitting that we celebrate January 1st as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. In her essay The Mystery of Christmas, the philosopher and…

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Christmas in New York

On my first visit to New York City, I had the pleasure of being among the many tourists who flock to Manhattan for the holiday season. New York…

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O Antiphons

Today, the Church begins to sing the seven, so-called “O Antiphons.” Dating from the early Church, these antiphons are sung at Mass and Evening…

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Loving God as a Habit

I vaguely remember, as a child, being so proud of the fact that I could tie my shoes. I consciously thought through what my fingers were doing…

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Advent’s Pregnant Pause

Advent has begun!We’ve entered into a pregnant pause. The hope of the world—of our lives—is imminent ! The canticles of Zechariah, Simeon, and…

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Thanksgiving and Surrender to Divine Providence

While millions of Americans gather to give thanks to God for blessings given throughout the year, to many of us, it might be a difficult time…

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Reflections of Entering Religious Life

Every year several young men from all over the country visit St. Albert’s Priory for a Come and See weekend. I will never forget my first visit…

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St. Cyril and the Eucharist

St. Cyril of Alexandria lived between c. 378-444 AD and was the Patriarch (Archbishop) of Alexandria during a very turbulent time in the Church.…

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An Instrument of God’s Healing

What are comforting words you would give to a couple burying their only child? How would you explain why—after trying to have children for many…

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Fear of the Lord

In contemporary public discourse we hear much about “fear,” often with a negative connotation. We hear about “fear based politics,” “fear-mongering,”…

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Praising God

We Catholics praise God. We, as His creatures praise God for many reasons. We praise God to thank Him, to adore Him, and to glorify Him. Praise…

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Did Jesus Have Siblings?

One day, during my childhood, my mother and I were attending daily Mass. During the Gospel reading the priest proclaimed a passage from Matthew…

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Leaving Home

Introduction: In July 2019, the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) held a General Chapter in Vietnam. A very democratic process, a General Chapter…

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Doctrine for the Thirsty Soul

Theology can seem far removed from our spiritual life—a cold, dry, clinical exercise—like studying botany textbooks compared to gardening. Theologians…

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Ad Ministerium

The diaconate is one of the most ancient offices of the Church, dating all the way back to the time of the Apostles. The Church has always recognized…

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By the Grace of God

One of the biggest difficulties about wearing a white habit is that it is absolutely impossible to keep spotless. In a way, being a sinful, concupiscent…

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Another Year Begins in the ‘School of Perfection’

Here at the house of studies, St. Albert’s Priory, we have started another academic year! Late summer and early fall are always times of transition…

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Take the Novice Prayer Pledge

On Thursday August 29th at 7:30pm, in a beautiful ceremony called Vestition, the four young men below will join the Dominicans; receiving the…

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Wise and Compassionate

Matthew 25:1-12 tells the parable of the ten bridesmaids who went to meet the bridegroom’s wedding feast. Five wise virgins brought extra oil…

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Residency Year

At this point in the academic year, I am finishing my year of ‘residency.’ This year – typically a student brother’s fourth year of formation…

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Be Still

When it comes to leisure, many of us tend to associate it with time spent not working or studying, doing what we enjoy. In other words, leisure…

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The Coronation of Mary

“Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.” As Dominicans, we pray these words quite frequently, after every Rosary…

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The Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption

When we meditate upon the fourth glorious mystery, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we should be meditating upon love; namely, the…

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The Third Glorious Mystery: The Holy Spirit Comes Upon the Apostles at Pentecost

In the Third Glorious Mystery of the Rosary we contemplate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles at Pentecost. Our meditation on this…

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The Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension

As we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us meditate on the Second Glorious mystery, Christ’s Ascension into…

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The Day of the Lord

Exult, let them exult! Having been baptized during an Easter Vigil, these opening words from the Exsultet have a special place in my memory of…