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Daily Catholic Question

What does Jesus' Second Coming mean?

As the year 2000 approached, one of the promises Jesus made to his disciples received increasing attention: "I will come again." Due to a variety of sources (Scripture, fundamentalist sects and persons, and various prophecies) this teaching has undergone a long and varied history of interpretation.

What does it mean when one speaks of Jesus coming in glory? Is there a specific time involved? Can the Book of Revelation be a guide? Will "the end" be a time of destruction or new birth? These are some of the questions that are asked when language of the "second coming" is spoken.

All this talk may lead you to think that all that is important is in the next life. This is not the case. The Church and sacraments are resources that Christians have been given to live out the message of Christ in the here and now. Your sights, therefore, need to be set on this world while recognizing fulfillment is the next.

The first three things that usually come to mind when thinking of "judgment of the living and the dead" are heaven, hell and purgatory. These words have their limitations as well as their truth. How might judgment ' be expressed today? What are Christians judged upon? Where do fairness and mercy come together?

Finally, Jesus' ministry was about the Kingdom—a place where God's peace and presence reign. Jesus used a banquet, a wedding feast and other parables to describe this ''place.'' Is the kingdom a place or more a state of being? Ultimately, it must be admitted that it is hard for the Church—you and me—to talk about things that can't be seen, only imagined.


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 7/8/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 7/10/2013


Monica: The circumstances of St. Monica’s life could have made her a nagging wife, a bitter daughter-in-law and a despairing parent, yet she did not give way to any of these temptations. Although she was a Christian, her parents gave her in marriage to a pagan, Patricius, who lived in her hometown of Tagaste in North Africa. Patricius had some redeeming features, but he had a violent temper and was licentious. Monica also had to bear with a cantankerous mother-in-law who lived in her home. Patricius criticized his wife because of her charity and piety, but always respected her. Monica’s prayers and example finally won her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Her husband died in 371, one year after his baptism. 
<p>Monica had at least three children who survived infancy. The oldest, Augustine (August 28) , is the most famous. At the time of his father’s death, Augustine was 17 and a rhetoric student in Carthage. Monica was distressed to learn that her son had accepted the Manichean heresy (all flesh is evil)  and was living an immoral life. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house. Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on, she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. In fact, she often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted. </p><p>When he was 29, Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monica was determined to go along. One night he told his mother that he was going to the dock to say goodbye to a friend. Instead, he set sail for Rome. Monica was heartbroken when she learned of Augustine’s trick, but she still followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan. Although travel was difficult, Monica pursued him to Milan. </p><p>In Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, St. Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. She accepted his advice in everything and had the humility to give up some practices that had become second nature to her (see Quote, below). Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan as she had been in Tagaste. </p><p>She continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction. At Easter, 387, St. Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends. Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.” She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death. </p><p>Almost all we know about St. Monica is in the writings of St. Augustine, especially his <i>Confessions</i>.</p> American Catholic Blog The Church really is my mother, too. She isn’t a vague maternal force for a generic collection of anonymous people. This Mother truly nurtures us—each one of us. And for those of us who are baptized Christians, the Church has actually given birth to us on a spiritual level.

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