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Prayer or votive candles remind us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World who can dispel the darkness and heal our souls.36 Then Judas Maccabee and his brothers said, "See, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it."  37 So all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion. 38 There they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins. 39 Then they tore their clothes and mourned with great lamentation; they sprinkled themselves with ashes 40 and fell face down on the ground.

The Holy Spirit is a gift of God's grace, a participation in the life of God, and the Holy Spirit is often depicted as a Dove.12 I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who 14 years ago was caught up to the third heaven — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows — and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.

Three young women, who are ready to make vows as religious sisters, stand in wedding gowns next to a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.The Parable of the Ten Virgins: 1 The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, 4 but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 At midnight, there was a cry, "Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!"

We live what we believe to be true. This little girl holds a sparkler at night, an image of Jesus Christ the Light of the World, whom the darkness can never overcome.In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never overcome it.

This is a classic image of John Wayne, in full Western uniform, standing in front of a giant flag of the United States of America.My "granddaddy" John Wayne, actor and Catholic convert -- John Wayne, for many, was a Hollywood legend who symbolized true masculinity and American values. To Father Matthew Muñoz, though, he was simply “granddaddy.” “When we were little, we’d go to his house and we’d simply hang out with granddaddy and we’d play and have fun -- a very different image from what most people have of him,”  Father Muñoz told the Catholic News Agency (CNA) on a visit to Rome.

Fortnight for Freedom is a two week period of prayer and fasting for Religious Freedom in the United States and around the world.A relic tour currently taking place in the United States highlights the virtues of two English saints who stood up for conscience and paid the ultimate price. The "Witness to Freedom" relic tour is being held in conjunction with the U.S. bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom, which takes place across the nation June 21 - July 4. The fortnight aims to stress the importance of defending religious freedom in the United States and to raise awareness of religious persecution around the world.

Young Dominican nuns in full habit, from the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, New Jersey, enjoy a game of soccer.In case you missed it, young nuns are a trend! There is a young and vital presence of religious sisters, novices, and postulants in U.S. Catholic life, a new survey has found. The postulants’ average age is 27, while novices have an average age of 29. Temporary professed sisters have an average age of 32. The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious has released its latest survey of its 120 member communities in 137 U.S. dioceses.

This famous painting by Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein, 1788 - 1868, celebrates the gift of children, the gift of life.In some Church circles today, we are seeing a return to the vision of a “seamless garment” or “consistent ethic of life.” Advocates have noble intentions — they want to bring the Church’s moral wisdom and passion for justice to bear on a broad range of urgent issues. They recognize that the Church’s social witness must be founded on our common responsibility to defend the gift of human life at every stage and in every condition. In practice, however, this line of thinking can lead to a kind of moral relativism that renders serious social issues as more or less equivalent.

Mary of the Holy Rosary of San Nicolás appeared in 1983 dressed in blue, holding the baby Jesus and with a Rosary in her hand."The apparitions of Mary of the Holy Rosary of San Nicolás have a supernatural character and are worthy of belief," declared Bishop Héctor Sabatino Cardelli of San Nicolás de los Arroyos in Argentina. “I worked in consultation with experts and witnesses,” Bishop Cardelli said in a homily on 22 May 2016. "I discerned on three specific criteria, namely: Is the event naturally occurring? Could it be the work of the enemy? Is it of supernatural origin? The answers to these questions left me sure that it is real and positive fruit exceeding mere human action.”

Women weeping in the cemetery is a poignant work of art by Bouguereau.God of power and mercy, you destroy war and put down earthly pride. Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears, that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters. Keep in your mercy those men and women who have died in the cause of freedom and bring them safely into your kingdom of justice and peace. We ask this though Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. 

— from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers