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Movie Review: Do You Believe?

March 26, AD2015 3 Comments
Movie Review: Do You Believe?

If a poor old man approached you, dragging a seven-foot cross, and asked, “Do you believe?”  – what would you say? What would you think? Recently, I saw the movie Do You Believe? that poses the same question to the viewer. We all say we have faith, but how many of us actually live that […]

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The Real Tango Lesson: Responding to God’s Movement

March 6, AD2015 3 Comments
The Real Tango Lesson: Responding to God’s Movement

Lent brings into sharp focus God’s direct involvement with humanity through the life and particularly, the Passion of His Son. As Catholics, we are blessed with the beauty of various spiritualities, including Ignatian and Carmelite spirituality, that foster intimate encounters with Christ through the reading and incorporation of Scripture into our daily lives. On my last […]

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St. Valentine and 50 Shades of Grey

February 11, AD2015 3 Comments
St. Valentine and <em>50 Shades of Grey</em>

What do St. Valentine, love and 50 Shades of Grey have in common? The fact that the movie is premiering on Valentine’s Day (or Sts. Cyril and Methodius day) and that many people will see it while on a date shows there is a little confusion about these concepts. For those in the Church, it […]

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Balancing Culture and Christianity

January 9, AD2015 10 Comments
Balancing Culture and Christianity

Culture is a word with a depth of meaning – a mixture of pain, joy, pride, love, restriction, and tradition. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definitions include “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time” and “a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.” […]

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Pro-Life Messages in Ten Popular Movies

August 24, AD2014 7 Comments
Pro-Life Messages in Ten Popular Movies

Often Christians lament the darkness in the world around us. War, abortion, euthanasia, and murder are regular occurrences even in our own communities. No wondering Saint Pope John Paul II labeled now as “the culture of death” in Evangelium Viate. Yet, hope remains. Sometimes when we focus so much on the evil, we fail to […]

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Are Catholic Bishops Living Too Lavishly? CNN Says So

August 14, AD2014 15 Comments
Are Catholic Bishops Living Too Lavishly? CNN Says So

Over the weekend, I came across an article that stopped me in my tracks. The CNN Belief blog lists the residences of many of America’s prominent Catholic bishops, noting their size and value, which they define as “lavish.” It made me think about the morality of how a bishop should live. Recently, Pope Francis, who is known […]

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Christianity and Disney: It’s About Locus of Control and Life Task

June 18, AD2014 3 Comments
Christianity and Disney: It’s About Locus of Control and Life Task

Like many families, we have visited Disney World to satisfy our children’s fascination and enjoyment with all things Disney.  Whether it is Buzz Lightyear  for boys or the slew of princesses for girls, every child has a favorite character, story, or film associated with that fantasy world surrounding a castle. The recent and continuing phenomenal […]

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The Importance of Play

June 11, AD2014 5 Comments
The Importance of Play

“It’s okay. You made a mistake. You’re still learning,” said a little boy no more than 3 feet tall. In what must have been his “old age” of four, he uttered these words of wisdom to his barely 2-year-old sister. She ran after him around the playground, trying to keep up, her wispy blonde hair […]

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Why Everyone Should Just “Let it Go”

May 29, AD2014 7 Comments
Why Everyone Should Just “Let it Go”

After watching Disney’s extremely popular and highly controversial Frozen for the third time last night, I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone- bloggers, movie reviewers, and Facebook moms included- needs to just “cool” down, take a step back, and examine why this movie has had so much opinionated hype swirling around it in the first […]

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The New York Times and the Big Fish That Got Away

May 23, AD2014 8 Comments
The New York Times and the Big Fish That Got Away

In a few days it will be time for the 2014 Tony Awards. These awards define the standard of excellence in theater. I am a fan of Broadway and also of New York City so I will be watching. But I will be watching in protest because of a noteworthy absence in this year’s nominations […]

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Conspiracies and Catholicism: Demons

March 12, AD2014 6 Comments
Conspiracies and Catholicism: Demons

Conspiracies and Catholicism (formerly Conspiracy Theories and Catholicism) is a series of posts about things like albino assassin monks, hidden Bible books, pagan Santas and secret councils— popular culture related to Catholicism, sometimes in unexpected ways. If you have a suggestion for a future article, please leave a message in the comments or email me. Prior […]

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Gift of Self

March 11, AD2014 2 Comments
Gift of Self

Every person’s most fundamental vocation, moral responsibility, and source of fulfillment is authentic self-giving. I think this claim can be discovered by reason and experience. I also believe it permeates Sacred Scriptures and the life of the Church. It has been beautifully articulated in Vatican II’s Gaudium et spes §24. Here is the passage: God, […]

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The Grammys, Sex, and Satan – For God\’s Sake, Just Buy a CD!

January 31, AD2014 12 Comments
The Grammys, Sex, and Satan – For God\’s Sake, Just Buy a CD!

Watching an Amish documentary last Sunday, I heard the following exchange: Among a busload of visitors to Amish Country, someone asked an Amish gentleman, \”What\’s the difference between you Amish and us \’English\’?\” The Amish gentleman replied, \”How many of you own televisions?\” The hands of all tourists went up. \”How many of you are […]

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How to Find Faith at the Movies: The Road Back

January 15, AD2014 2 Comments
How to Find Faith at the Movies:  The Road Back

In this series of posts HOW TO FIND FAITH AT THE MOVIES, John invites readers to take a hero’s journey in search of faith through watching movies. As seen in our ordinary world, John has us first encounter The Fool’s Quest to Understand and asks “Where are you coming from?” Next we consider how each […]

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Conspiracy Theories and Catholicism: Vampires

January 14, AD2014 13 Comments
Conspiracy Theories and Catholicism: Vampires

Albino assassin monks, secret Bible books, pagan Santas and secret councils—this is a series about popular culture claims related to Catholicism. If you have a suggestion for a future article, please leave a message in the comments or email me. Prior posts available by clicking my name. Through mere glimpses of him, however, demonic accuracy […]

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I Hope You Dance

December 25, AD2013 5 Comments
I Hope You Dance

It was a homily I almost missed as the words swirled and my mind wandered this past Sunday, but something caught my ears and pulled me back in. Father reminded us that Christmas comes at the darkest time of year as a light to us in the darkness. It got me to thinking about how […]

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Bethlehem Redux

November 30, AD2013 1 Comment
Bethlehem Redux

  Three years ago, Jeff Miller (aka the Curt Jester) posted a somewhat-lengthy discussion of the Christmas movies he’d been watching. Along the way, he noted just how many of them hit the same themes over and over: 1) Family is important; 2) Materialism is bad; and 3) Santa Claus is real. On the other […]

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