Growing in Holiness: God Alone Suffices

[ 1 ] March 28, AD 2015 |
Growing in Holiness: God Alone Suffices

Today is the 500th birthday of Saint Teresa of Avila, one of the greatest mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. When I think about it, St. Teresa was my first teacher about growth in the spiritual life. It seems strange; we know that we grow physically and intellectually, but we don’t realize that can […]

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Lent, Suffering, and Offering It Up

[ 0 ] March 27, AD 2015 |
Lent, Suffering, and Offering It Up

Lent causes suffering. The small (perhaps large to us) sacrifices that we make are meant to bring us closer to the cross. They are meant to bring us to greater reliance on Jesus instead of whatever it is we’ve chosen to give up. We can also “offer up” our myriad annoyances and sufferings, or the […]

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The Works of Mercy Part VII–Ransom Captives and Admonish Sinners

[ 1 ] March 27, AD 2015 |
The Works of Mercy Part VII–Ransom Captives and Admonish Sinners

This is part VII of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V, and part VI first. Ransom Captives and Admonish Sinners Ransoming captives may seem the strangest, the least necessary of the works of mercy today. Oh, it was […]

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Sheep Among Wolves

[ 4 ] March 25, AD 2015 |
Sheep Among Wolves

“‘Thomas! Thomas!’ two snickering friars called, rousing their brother who was bent over his books. ‘Look out the window—there are pigs flying about in the sky!’ Thomas rose at once and bounced to the window incredulously. The friars laughed. Putting the finishing touch on the jest, the saint responded, ‘I would rather believe that pigs can fly […]

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The Works of Mercy Part VI–Visit the Sick and Comfort the Afflicted

[ 1 ] March 24, AD 2015 |
The Works of Mercy Part VI–Visit the Sick and Comfort the Afflicted

This is part VI of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, part IV, and part V first. Visit the Sick and Comfort the Afflicted When we hear of “the sick,” we probably think immediately of those who are in the care of […]

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On Family

[ 1 ] March 23, AD 2015 |
On Family

Family, it seems, is an ever-changing concept in my world as of late. While it is always changing, it is also growing. In an obvious way, it grew when I got married. Before I had no one I could call “sister” in that sense, and now I have two sisters. I’ve got cousins and family […]

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What my Confessor Taught Me about Parenting my “Bad Sleeper”

[ 4 ] March 21, AD 2015 |
What my Confessor Taught Me about Parenting my “Bad Sleeper”

I went to Confession one recent Saturday morning, planning on receiving the sacrament before Mass. As I drove to the church, I was doing my examination of conscience, and growing increasingly nervous. When I arrived at the church, it was dark and empty – except for the priest praying his Liturgy of the Hours in […]

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Truth in Fiction

[ 3 ] March 19, AD 2015 |
Truth in Fiction

Teaching always involves a curve ball. This past fall I taught “Introduction to Moral Theology and Ethics” at The Catholic University of America. For the first class session, I had my students read a casual but thoughtful blogpost titled “The Ethics of Superheroes.” The blogpost draws on the idea of vocation as calling to argue […]

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A Church for Sinners

[ 3 ] March 18, AD 2015 |
A Church for Sinners

We walked into the large sanctuary of a southeast beach parish and slipped into the back pew. The room was full of retired couples, perhaps a few local families, and some vacationers. A few rows in front, a middle-aged couple sat down. He was wearing black athletic pants with three white stripes running down the […]

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1st Louisiana Chesterton Conference

[ 0 ] March 17, AD 2015 |
1st Louisiana Chesterton Conference

About a year ago I was driving through the the small neighboring town of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and on a side road along the railroad track was a building with a sign that read, “Chesterton Square.” It didn’t strike me as unusual – that is a common enough name in an English speaking part of the world, […]

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The World Doesn’t Need Christian Movies

[ 11 ] March 17, AD 2015 |
The World Doesn’t Need Christian Movies

I remember when I first fell in love with movies. It was 1989, I was four years old and saw The Little Mermaid. While watching those beautiful ocean scenes wash over the big screen in that now-closed Pittsburgh, PA movie theater, something came alive inside of me. I was suddenly attuned to the vastness of […]

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Mercy Part V–Harbor the Harborless and Forgive Offenses Willingly

[ 1 ] March 17, AD 2015 |
Mercy Part V–Harbor the Harborless and Forgive Offenses Willingly

This is part V of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, and part IV first. Harbor the Harborless, Forgive Offenses Willingly “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke […]

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Pull Your Weight

[ 3 ] March 16, AD 2015 |
Pull Your Weight

Life has brought a lot of changes for me over the last year. This time last year I was a Green Beret, deployed with my team to the Philippines, doing stuff and things. I was working out two hours a day, training in shooting, explosives, hand-to-hand combat, combat medicine, and other fun pastimes that go […]

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Works of Mercy Part IV–Clothe the Naked and Bear Wrongs Willingly

[ 2 ] March 13, AD 2015 |
Works of Mercy Part IV–Clothe the Naked and Bear Wrongs Willingly

This is part IV of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, and part III first. Clothe the Naked and Bear Wrongs Willingly A couple of years ago, there was a kerfuffle over the popular clothing maker Abercrombie and Fitch when some remarks made by […]

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Small Things With Great Love: An Interview with James Rosenbloom

[ 3 ] March 12, AD 2015 |
Small Things With Great Love: An Interview with James Rosenbloom

Recently I had the great pleasure of meeting up with and interviewing an up-and-coming Catholic artist and good friend of mine, James Rosenbloom, to talk about his newly released album Small Things With Great Love. Disclaimer: we had more fun than should be allowed on a Sunday afternoon. Nonetheless, James, who has played music for upwards of 19 […]

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Catholicism Vs. The Cult of Choice

[ 15 ] March 12, AD 2015 |
Catholicism Vs. The Cult of Choice

This week, I was called upon to exercise my civic duty and present myself at the federal court for jury selection. While I was there, a woman said what many seemed to feel: “Democracy is about choice. I should get to choose if I want to be called for jury duty or not.” Now, I grumbled with […]

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Interview with Allison: Tiny house dweller

[ 2 ] March 11, AD 2015 |
Interview with Allison: Tiny house dweller

“The moral causes of prosperity… reside in a constellation of virtues: industriousness, competence, order, honesty, initiative, frugality, thrift, spirit of service, keeping one’s word, daring – in short, love for work well done. No system or social structure can resolve, as if by magic, the problem of poverty outside of these virtues.” St. John Paul […]

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Culture War Considerations

[ 4 ] March 11, AD 2015 |
Culture War Considerations

Love is our story, we don’t need to rebrand it or market it. We just need to live it.

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Created for Good Works

[ 1 ] March 10, AD 2015 |
Created for Good Works

This coming Sunday, March 15th, 2015, is the Fourth Sunday in Lent (it is a bit crazy that we’re already there, but we are). You can see the readings on the USCCB website here. The readings for this Sunday are: First Reading: 2 Chronicles 36: 14-16, 19-23 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 137: 1-2, 3, 4-5, 6 […]

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Works of Mercy Part III–Giving Drink to the Thirsty and Instructing the Ignorant

[ 8 ] March 10, AD 2015 |
Works of Mercy Part III–Giving Drink to the Thirsty and Instructing the Ignorant

This is part III of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I and part II first.   Give Drink to the Thirsty and Instruct the Ignorant Hunger may be among the worst forms of physical suffering by sheer magnitude, for many people go hungry. On the […]

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The Other Side of Pilgrimage

[ 1 ] March 10, AD 2015 |
The Other Side of Pilgrimage

Many of us have been pilgrims, walking the paths saints have trod before us. How many of us have been saints, treading paths worthy of pilgrims yet to come? We can fly over land and sea, at great discomfort, and greater expense, to see the places sanctified by Brother Francis’ simple life of poor service. We can […]

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Maria Lactans: Sacred or Scandalous?

[ 15 ] March 8, AD 2015 |
Maria Lactans: Sacred or Scandalous?

Images carry great power with them, and the images we surround ourselves with reflect something of who we are. The family photos we choose to display, the art we prefer, the placement of decor in our homes and offices speak something of our hearts. In the context of our faith, the images we meditate upon […]

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My Facebook Holiday

[ 2 ] March 7, AD 2015 |
My Facebook Holiday

Over the Christmas break I decided to take my real first Facebook holiday since joining the social network site back in 2007. I was sensing the need for an electronic rest and so completely switched off Facebook for one month. I am back on Facebook now but the short absence was invaluable and my approach to […]

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Works of Mercy Part II: Feeding the Hungry and Counselling the Doubtful

[ 15 ] March 6, AD 2015 |
Works of Mercy Part II: Feeding the Hungry and Counselling the Doubtful

This is part II of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I first.   Feed the hungry/Counsel the Doubtful Hunger is one of the greatest causes of sorrow in this world, though not the greatest. And the hungry are everywhere, and in all times: there […]

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Of Astronomy and a Jesuit Brother

[ 2 ] March 5, AD 2015 |
Of Astronomy and a Jesuit Brother

Blowing out the Catholic Cool-O-Meter is a Jesuit brother by the name of Br. Guy Consolmagno. If you haven’t heard of him yet, do yourself a favor and pick up one of his books.  Br. Guy is an American born research astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory. Yes, a Catholic religious brother was awarded […]

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Patience in the Desert

[ 1 ] March 5, AD 2015 |
Patience in the Desert

For forty days Christ suffered in the desert, fasting and depriving Himself of comfort, choosing to undergo hardship and temptation for the sake of teaching us the importance of fortitude, penance, and trust in God alone.  Christ made Himself uncomfortable to show us the importance of doing the same, of not being afraid to do […]

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