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Books and Art

The Problems with Christian Film

September 21, AD2016 11 Comments
The Problems with Christian Film

This past August, Maclean’s published an article called “What would Jesus watch? Behold a new era in Christian film,” by Jaime Weinman, in which he says that in 2014, there were more so-called “Christian” films than there were comic book superhero movies. Some of these films were even relatively profitable, such as War Room, which […]

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Sexuality, Reality, and the Sacramental in Knight of Cups

September 7, AD2016 1 Comment
Sexuality, Reality, and the Sacramental in Knight of Cups

  “The artist penetrates the concrete world in order to find at its depths the image of its source, the image of ultimate reality.” Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners A few months ago, I offered a commentary on Terrence Malick’s film To the Wonder, outlining the relationship it depicts between the love of eros and agape, […]

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Fr. Calloway Interview on “Champions of the Rosary”

August 12, AD2016 5 Comments
Fr. Calloway Interview on “Champions of the Rosary”

The rosary is not just for little old church ladies and pious nuns locked up in convents. It’s been prayed by brave soldiers, young martyrs, brilliant scientists, key political figures, and recently, a hopeless hippie drug addict. But the real question is: why should everyone, including and especially you pray the rosary? Fr. Donald Calloway, […]

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Strange Dignity: Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God

July 21, AD2016 7 Comments
Strange Dignity: Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God

Lester Ballard, main character of the novel Child of God, commits murder, necrophilia, sexually harasses women, and is generally considered to be crazy. This being a novel by Cormac McCarthy, the most shocking thing about him is none of these. Rather, it is the suggestion that he might still have dignity, like anybody else, and […]

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Book Review: “Invited” and Interview With Author Stephanie Calis

June 30, AD2016 2 Comments
Book Review: “Invited” and Interview With Author Stephanie Calis

I have one regret about my wedding day. “Invited: The Ultimate Catholic Wedding Planner” penned by Stephanie Calis had not been published then. “Invited” is the one book you need as soon as you become engaged. It is the book you will want to gift your children or best friends or sisters when they get […]

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Jane Austen’s Paradigm: Family As Gospel

June 8, AD2016 3 Comments
Jane Austen’s Paradigm:  Family As Gospel

It is remarkable that for over two centuries now, and in our present time, Jane Austen’s writings are still popular. Why is this so? This question’s answer is profound in its simplicity and truth. Question: Why Why do soldiers in deadly combat enjoy Jane’s writing? (Due to her impact on many who read her and […]

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Book Review: Everyday Sacrament and Interview with Laura Fanucci

June 2, AD2016 2 Comments
Book Review: Everyday Sacrament and Interview with Laura Fanucci

When I saw that the eloquent Laura Fanucci, who blogs at Mothering Spirit, had written a book “Everyday Sacrament” published by Liturgical Press, I had to read it and interview her. “Everyday” is a collection of essays on a mother’s life from infertility to expectancy to birth and beyond with theological reflections on the Sacraments. […]

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New Life/ New Song

May 29, AD2016 2 Comments
New Life/ New Song

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!” ~ Psalm 96:1 In 2012, if someone had said I’d one day be a musician, I probably would’ve politely turned the conversation around. It wasn’t that I was against the idea. (Who hasn’t dreamed of being a big rock star?) Or that […]

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Sexuality without Procreation in The Children of Men

May 25, AD2016 1 Comment
Sexuality without Procreation in The Children of Men

The English author P. D. James is likely best known for her murder mysteries, but especially worthy of discussion is her science fiction story The Children of Men. Set in the near future, there has not been a baby born for twenty-five years. In this story, partly told from the perspective of Theo Faron, a history […]

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Why C.S. Lewis Would Want You to Join a Writing Group

May 13, AD2016 4 Comments
Why C.S. Lewis Would Want You to Join a Writing Group

When J.R.R. Tolkien retired from his post at the University of Oxford in 1959, he intended to spend his new-found free time finishing The Silmarillion. Though this book is less well-known than his Lord of the Rings, Tolkien considered it his real work—the work he’d spent decades trying to get back to. One can easily […]

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“We’ll Never Tell Them” Review and Interview with Award Winning Author Fiorella De Maria

May 7, AD2016 0 Comments
“We’ll Never Tell Them” Review and Interview with Award Winning Author Fiorella De Maria

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Ignatius Press’ latest fiction: the award-winning Fiorella de Maria’s “We’ll Never Tell Them.” A novel about a twenty first century nurse from Britain (Kristjana) who runs away to Jerusalem and encounters the story of a Maltese-British woman (Liljana) sounded like an intriguing premise. And it was. With […]

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Encyclicals on Film: To the Wonder

April 27, AD2016 0 Comments
Encyclicals on Film: To the Wonder

One of the more important contemporary filmmakers exploring Catholic themes is the director Terrence Malick. His film The Tree of Life, though not exactly possessing mass cultural influence, has still earned some recognition as being one of the great films to ponder Catholic themes. His most recent film, Knight of Cups, has also been subject […]

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Let Peter Kreeft and Mother Angelica Tell You How to be Holy

April 15, AD2016 3 Comments
Let Peter Kreeft and Mother Angelica Tell You How to be Holy

I’ll admit to being star struck at Mother Angelica’s funeral. Not just at Jim Caviezel, the famous EWTN personalities, or the sturdy pillars of the Church, but at all the future saints who were in attendance; both VIPS and those of us in the nosebleed section. Fr. Joseph Wolfe’s homily emphasized that most of us […]

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Jane Austen Prays

April 11, AD2016 1 Comment
Jane Austen Prays

The primary reason for this article is to make those who do not know of the prayers written by Jane Austen. Below are some links to the full text of her prayers. The comments that follow are mere pedestrian commentary and do not hold a candle to the beauty and sublimity of her prayerful words. […]

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Book Review and Interview with Nancy Carabio Belanger

March 31, AD2016 0 Comments
Book Review and Interview with Nancy Carabio Belanger

  “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good book in the slightest” C.S. Lewis Nancy Carabio Belanger’s latest novel “The Gate” passes the Lewis test. It is a Catholic novel about Joshua Lasko, a smart-alecky middle school boy, whose faith disappears at his father’s death. He meets Pie, a […]

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Three Catholic Men, Their Music and Mercy.

February 3, AD2016 0 Comments
Three Catholic Men, Their Music and Mercy.

The Power of Music Music has such a power to invoke many different kinds of feelings in all of us. It has the power to bring pleasure, happiness, sadness, reflection and a wide range of other emotions and thoughts. Even those who cannot communicate or who are suffering to the point of not being able […]

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Book Review: Is ‘The Kiss of Jesus’ Right for You?

January 9, AD2016 0 Comments
Book Review: Is ‘The Kiss of Jesus’ Right for You?

Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s memoir “The Kiss of Jesus” is best categorized as an appropriate Lenten read. It is an honest story of a woman’s difficult, harrowing journey through unfortunate relationships and troubled marriages in an unjust world. Through it all, Ms. Cooper O’Boyle rediscovers and heroically clings to her Catholic faith, and challenges us to […]

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I Hope You Dance

December 22, AD2015 5 Comments
I Hope You Dance

[Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Catholic Stand, December 25, 2013. We are republishing here for your holiday enjoyment. Its beautiful message is timeless.] 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 […]

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Interview With Ruth Logan Herne: “Refuge of the Heart”

October 28, AD2015 3 Comments
Interview With Ruth Logan Herne: “Refuge of the Heart”

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Catholic novelist Ruth Logan Herne about her latest novel “Refuge of the Heart”.  Ruth is a gifted storyteller; I was captivated by the characters, plot and message of this novel before I finished reading the first chapter. Her prose is well-written, and the dialogue sounds true to […]

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Interview With Myra Johnson: “The Sweetest Rain”

October 28, AD2015 0 Comments
Interview With Myra Johnson: “The Sweetest Rain”

Many authors take on the enormous task of transporting us back to a simpler time in life.  Johnson does an impeccable job of establishing her characters in a time period that many of us today would be far from understanding. “The Sweetest Rain” takes the reader back in time to 1930 Arkansas. In the town […]

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Coloring4God

September 20, AD2015 0 Comments
Coloring4God

My mom had six kids; the neighbor had six kids. Between the two houses we had enough players for any game! So when our parents traded babysitting, we played sports at the neighbor’s house; but at our house, all twelve kids sat at a table and learned about drawing. Thus began my journey… and I […]

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The Catholic Side of Disney

August 20, AD2015 42 Comments
The Catholic Side of Disney

  Growing up, I loved Disney movies as many children do. One of my dreams was to go to Disney World, but my family never had the money or time. Still, we enjoyed snuggling together with some popcorn to watch Beauty and the Beast or the newest Pixar show. However, my parents also expressed concern about […]

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Mirroring God’s Creativity

July 25, AD2015 5 Comments
Mirroring God’s Creativity

  At Mass last Sunday, the urge to write a poem came to me. My fingers itched to write down the words describing the choir, the church, Christ’s face on the crucifix, etc. Yet, guilt about bringing out a notebook and paper filled me. No one else writes down anything in church. We sit and […]

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The Edgy Poetry of our Newest Church Doctor

May 6, AD2015 6 Comments
The Edgy Poetry of our Newest Church Doctor

Last February, Pope Francis announced he would name Armenian monk St. Gregory of Narek (951-1003) to be the newest Doctor of the Catholic Church. This is important because the title of Doctor has been granted to just thirty-six figures in Church history. St. Gregory of Narek joins a small number of saints who are deemed […]

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