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Catechetics

Knowing the Holy Spirit: Insight from the Gospel of John

Knowing the Holy Spirit: Insight from the Gospel of John

Who is the Holy Spirit?  We must never forget how important it is to formulate a question in order for our minds to understand what it is we are looking for, particularly when our subject is God.  For the Holy Spirit is a “Who” not a “What.” The Holy Spirit is not a thing sent […]

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“Infinite Jest” Reaffirms The Power of Confession

May 18, AD2018 0 Comments
“Infinite Jest” Reaffirms The Power of Confession

David Foster Wallace’s book, Infinite Jest, is unique: hilarious and bleak, enlightening and depressing. Wallace tried on two separate occasions to become Catholic but sadly was never baptised. You can feel his striving and yearning, looking for the Truth. Tragically, he killed himself when he was only 46 and we will never know whether he […]

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Our Lady as Spiritual Vessel

May 10, AD2018 2 Comments
Our Lady as Spiritual Vessel

For many years I struggled to understand the “vessel” images applied to the Virgin Mary in the Litany of Loreto. In the Litany she is described variously as a “spiritual vessel,” a “vessel of honor,” and a “singular vessel of devotion.” These are gracious but mysterious descriptions, to be sure. Pope St. John Paul II […]

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Maybe We Need Some Kung Fu in Catholic Catechesis

May 9, AD2018 0 Comments
Maybe We Need Some Kung Fu in Catholic Catechesis

When people hear the term Kung Fu they probably think of the martial arts and guys like Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan, or even the 1970s TV show Kung Fu.  But expertise in the martial arts is apparently only one kind of Kung Fu. The term Kung Fu translates as an acquired skill, work performed, […]

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What is Man?

May 8, AD2018 1 Comment
What is Man?

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus tells His disciples that He did not come to bring peace but, rather, the sword (Mt. 10:34). He tells the apostles that His message will set family members against themselves and that they will become each other’s enemies. Immediately after this Jesus continues by saying that those who love father or […]

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Be like Christ

May 2, AD2018 0 Comments
Be like Christ

Be like Mike? If you were around then, do you remember the “Be like Mike” Gatorade TV commercial of the 1990s? The implication of the ad was that if you drank Gatorade you might be able to play on your own court with the same excellence as Michael Jordan, the then perhaps greatest professional basketball […]

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Bullied for Adhering to the Faith in a Catholic High School

April 24, AD2018 23 Comments
Bullied for Adhering to the Faith in a Catholic High School

Over the past few months, ‘bullying’ has become a recurring topic of discussion among the members of Fusion, our youth ministry at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.  For professing his faith one of our members is being bullied – at the Catholic High School he is attending. Sam (a pseudonym) was ecstatic when he learned last […]

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A Year in a New Land: Reflections from a Recent Convert

April 23, AD2018 0 Comments
A Year in a New Land: Reflections from a Recent Convert

On April 15, 2017, I was received into the Catholic Church at my parish’s annual Easter Vigil. As I stood and received the sacrament of Confirmation, I felt a stirring in my soul that I had sought for years, but never could seem to grasp. Since that night, I’ve found a world of new experiences—new […]

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God’s Teaching is Clear But Society is Still Confused

April 17, AD2018 0 Comments
God’s Teaching is Clear But Society is Still Confused

It’s hard to understand why so many people today are unable to see that humans are not, and never will be, smarter than God. And we seem to be drifting further and further away from His teaching. About a year ago I opined that society’s fixation on the fun stuff – sporting events and entertainment […]

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Our Ultimate Hope Is Resurrection

April 9, AD2018 0 Comments
Our Ultimate Hope Is Resurrection

If you conduct a poll of practicing Christians and ask them what their ultimate hope is, the vast, vast majority of them would say getting to heaven. They would explain that our souls live on after our bodies die, so they hope that their souls will spend a blissful eternity with God in heaven. However, […]

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Lord, Have Divine Mercy on Us

April 8, AD2018 0 Comments
Lord, Have Divine Mercy on Us

  The true meaning of the word mercy is often misunderstood and misused. Far from indicating that all bets are off and you are free to do whatever you please – without repercussions – true mercy has ramifications that benefit the immortal soul. The definition of Mercy is: The disposition to be kind and forgiving. Founded on […]

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Young Catholics Seem to Want an ‘Authentic’ Church heavily Influenced by Modernism

April 7, AD2018 2 Comments
Young Catholics Seem to Want an ‘Authentic’ Church heavily Influenced by Modernism

The end of March saw the conclusion of a week-long meeting held at the Vatican that engaged young people from all over the world. The meeting was established as a precursor to the upcoming synod on “Young People, the Faith, and the Discernment of Vocation.” The point was to encourage young people to come forward […]

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Practicing Kindness in a Harsh World

April 4, AD2018 0 Comments
Practicing Kindness in a Harsh World

In recent months, the Holy Spirit has shown me some things about kindness through two mostly isolated elderly people. One, a friend from my family’s parish, has been confined to a nursing home of late. My father, in his capacity as a deacon, has been bringing her Communion on weekends, and my mother and I […]

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Give Me A Hand: Let’s Return to the Reverence Our Lord Deserves

April 2, AD2018 20 Comments
Give Me A Hand: Let’s Return to the Reverence Our Lord Deserves

If you enjoy controversial topics, you’ve come to the right place.  In this article, I will take on one of the most contentious, emotional and persistent topics in the Catholic blogosphere:  Communion in the Hand.  Most people engaging in the debate are expressing emotion and opinion.  Do we really know the Church’s position on receiving […]

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Pilate: The King’s Friend?

March 29, AD2018 1 Comment
Pilate: The King’s Friend?

Do You Think You Know Why Pilate Condemned Christ? Lacking the authority to execute Christ themselves, the Jewish leaders dragged Christ before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator of Judah. Pilate judged Christ innocent of any civil crime, so he intended to release him. Why, then, did he condemn Jesus to an ignominious death? John the […]

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The Canaanite Woman: Was Jesus Prejudiced?

March 22, AD2018 1 Comment
The Canaanite Woman: Was Jesus Prejudiced?

If you were fortunate enough to attend daily Mass during Ordinary Time in February, then you were able to get a pretty nice look at St. Mark’s Gospel. One particular reading, the meeting between Jesus and the Canaanite woman, and its parallel account in St. Matthew’s Gospel have been the subject of a little bit […]

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Life Hidden in Mystery

March 7, AD2018 1 Comment
Life Hidden in Mystery

The Catholic religion is full of mystery — the mystery of God. This mystery is not a human puzzle that a Sherlock Holmes can “solve” by the force of brilliant deductions. Nor is it the type of enigma that can be understood only by an intellectual elite. The ancient world was full of “mystery religions” of […]

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Remaining Obedient to God: Understanding the Tools of Our Enemies

Remaining Obedient to God: Understanding the Tools of Our Enemies

The Season of Lent can be seen through many different lenses, all correct and important. This diversity makes lent a truly rich season for any Christian willing to open themselves up to the experience it offers. Recently, my mind is on the idea of obedience as an important lens that lent offers us. The life of a Carmelite […]

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A Book Launch, Hidden Mystical Power, and the Art of the Impossible: Part 2

February 23, AD2018 0 Comments
A Book Launch, Hidden Mystical Power, and the Art of the Impossible: Part 2

Book Launch I said in the first part of the lecture to launch my book, that the famous moral philosopher Professor Joad insisted that the teaching of the Gospels was absolutely impossible. In saying this he wrongly believed that he was damning Christianity for good, when in fact he was describing it perfectly. If you […]

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Just Who Are the Wicked Tenants of God’s Vineyard?

February 19, AD2018 0 Comments
Just Who Are the Wicked Tenants of God’s Vineyard?

Are we the “wicked tenants” Jesus speaks of in Mark 12? Who, me? How could that be? I’m a good person. I try to live the right way and follow where Jesus leads me. Maybe. Even so, it could be that we have been the wicked servants. The Parable of the Wicked Tenants In the parable […]

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Confession: Please Stay With Me and Hold My Hand

February 11, AD2018 2 Comments
Confession: Please Stay With Me and Hold My Hand

Lately, with short days and schedule changes, making it over to the local parish for confession has been a challenge. Earlier this week, I thought I would do well to receive this sacrament again but didn’t know when the opportunity would arise.  Our directives say that we receive it frequently and regularly (Constitutions 3:11).  This difficulty […]

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5 Infallible Ways to Keep the Devil at Bay

February 5, AD2018 1 Comment
5 Infallible Ways to Keep the Devil at Bay

A pronounced feature of the countryside surrounding the beautiful city of Cali, Columbia is a set of three crosses perched atop the mountains to the east. But no one can recall who put them up there, or when. The locals call them simply “Las Tres Cruces” (the Three Crosses). They believe, somewhat superstitiously, that the […]

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Fortitude: The Virtue of Courage and Toughness

February 3, AD2018 0 Comments
Fortitude: The Virtue of Courage and Toughness

Fortitude. Do you see yourself as courageous or cowardly? Are you strong in facing pain or soft and shrink from it? On the other hand, are you reckless or foolhardy, putting yourself in situations you should not be in, doing things that you rightly ought to be afraid of? The virtue of fortitude means a […]

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“To Bring People to Jesus”: Interview with Fr. Larry Richards

February 1, AD2018 0 Comments
“To Bring People to Jesus”: Interview with Fr. Larry Richards

At the very beginning of the new year, over 8,000 attendees, most of them young people from across the country, gathered together in downtown Chicago for the FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) SLS18 evangelization training conference. One of the featured speakers at the event was Fr. Larry Richards, the founder of the Reason For […]

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