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Church History

Place Your Bets:The Arnobius-Pascal You-Bet-Your-Life Wager

April 20, AD2018 1 Comment
Place Your Bets:The Arnobius-Pascal You-Bet-Your-Life Wager

Pascal & His Wager Blaise Pascal, 1623 A.D to 1662 A.D.,  noted author, thinker, mathematician, and philosopher, is famous for positing a thought argument about death, judgment, heaven, and hell that has come to be known as “Pascal’s Wager.”  Pascal said any rational person would live as if God exists so that one, perhaps, could live […]

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There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

April 12, AD2018 0 Comments
There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

The intellectual mood of our time could be best described as self-congratulatory. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was taken as fact that liberal democracies would sweep the globe. There was even a legitimate school of thought which believed we were witnessing “the end of history as such”. No more history, just one long […]

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Irish Catholic Weights & Measure

March 17, AD2018 0 Comments
Irish Catholic Weights & Measure

“He will fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting” (Job 8:21). Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  A day of joy and celebration filled with corned beef and cabbage, green beer and Irish whiskey.  The Irish are known for their humor. This story is offered in their honor. Four Irish Catholics It is […]

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The Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

March 13, AD2018 0 Comments
The Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

“Mine is the immense happiness of working, suffering, loving . . . my part is too beautiful. ” Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart When my mother died a little over a year ago, I found a hidden gem pressed between the pages of an old, precious Spanish missal.  It was a very thin folded […]

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Rebellion or Reverence: A Consideration for the Church

February 25, AD2018 2 Comments
Rebellion or Reverence:  A Consideration for the Church

Even in this time of Lent in the Church, the world rolls on without any serious attention to God. Even within the Church, we often see more attention given to Fish Fry’s than we do Stations of the Cross. It’s a sad statement of our times that many appear to have chosen the wide path […]

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The Eroticism of Harrison Lemke’s “Song for St. Valentine”

February 14, AD2018 0 Comments
The Eroticism of Harrison Lemke’s “Song for St. Valentine”

Some counter-cultural attitudes are actually pretty widespread. An obvious example is an attitude towards Hallmark holidays like Valentine’s Day. Shirking the yoke of corporatized romance, chocolates in pink wrappers, and garish cards isn’t exactly an underground movement, whispered about at the margins of society. And Catholics have unique ways of being counter-cultural on this day; […]

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Valentine’s Ash Wednesday: Death-to-Self for Love

February 13, AD2018 3 Comments
Valentine’s Ash Wednesday: Death-to-Self for Love

What are your plans for Valentine’s Ash Wednesday? Sex and Death The combination was bound to happen eventually; it will happen again in 2024 and 2029, then not again until the 22nd century. Most people I know personally or through social media have taken it fairly well. One person did wonder if, since some bishops […]

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Finding Grace and Happiness – The Powerful Story of Venerable Hermann Cohen

February 12, AD2018 3 Comments
Finding Grace and Happiness – The Powerful Story of Venerable Hermann Cohen

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the conversion story of Venerable Hermann Cohen (also known as Father Augustine Marie of the Blessed Sacrament) and was deeply moved. Never having heard of this man before, I have not been able to stop thinking about him since. If you are struggling with sin, his remarkable story will […]

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Liturgies of the Church: To Everything There is a Time

February 6, AD2018 0 Comments
Liturgies of the Church: To Everything There is a Time

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Particular moments and in life are too grand to be captured completely by anything new or original. While we may feel that nobody has ever experienced our depth of joy or sadness or love, we find our personal attempts fail […]

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An Encounter with the Forearm of St. Francis Xavier

January 31, AD2018 3 Comments
An Encounter with the Forearm of St. Francis Xavier

This past January, thanks to the collaboration of Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) and the Jesuits, the forearm of St. Francis Xavier came to my city, as part of a tour across Canada. As Angèle Regnier, the co-founder of CCO, said, “it’s the arm that he would have used to baptize and heal and, you know, done […]

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Extraordinary Man, Extraordinary Soul: The Life of St. Damien Of Molokai

January 29, AD2018 1 Comment
Extraordinary Man, Extraordinary Soul: The Life of St. Damien Of Molokai

Our Lord said that He was “meek and humble of heart.” Matthew 11:29. Mary sings in her Magnificat that “my soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” Luke 1:46. St. John the Baptist told his followers that “He must increase; I must decrease.” John 3:30.  This is where the greatness of the saints lies. They […]

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The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia: Celebrating 150 Years

January 5, AD2018 0 Comments
The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia: Celebrating 150 Years

  On May 1, 2018, the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia will celebrate their jubilee: that’s 150 years since the first Benedictine sisters, originally from Bavaria, Germany, established a presence in Richmond, VA. What followed is remarkable. Today the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia is a flourishing community that developed right along with the young and growing […]

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The Catholic Church Survives For 2,000 Years: Possible or Probable?

January 2, AD2018 1 Comment
The Catholic Church Survives For 2,000 Years: Possible or Probable?

“And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). At this point in time, it can easily be said that all things are, or very shortly may be, possible. Within a year, a decade, or by some relatively short time from now, the world will be completely changed again. For example, until the early twentieth […]

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A Christmas Carol, Luigi Taparelli, Economics, and Almsgiving

January 1, AD2018 2 Comments
A Christmas Carol, Luigi Taparelli, Economics, and Almsgiving

For maybe a few weeks or so during the Advent and Christmas seasons and into the New Year, many people take Charles Dickens’ message in A Christmas Carol to heart. It’s a good message. Dickens’ neatly sums up his message to the world when Ebenezer Scrooge says to Marley’s ghost, “you were a good businessman,” […]

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Fr. O’Connor: Absolution for Absolute Evil

December 12, AD2017 4 Comments
Fr. O’Connor: Absolution for Absolute Evil

At 36, Father Richard “Sixtus” O’Connor found himself assigned to the Nuremberg Trials to minister to twenty-one prisoners who had been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.  The Franciscan missionary had been recommended by General George Patton because of his fluency in German and his calming influence on German prisoners captured during the […]

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4th Century Wisdom for Today’s Problems

December 5, AD2017 2 Comments
4th Century Wisdom for Today’s Problems

A typical well to do middle-class family lives in a prosperous country. They are an intact family with a mother, father and three children. The father holds a prestigious position in the local town. The mother is a devout Christian. They have access to every material need they desire.  All seems well. However, the husband […]

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Mortification: An Ancient Part of the Christian Spiritual Life

November 24, AD2017 21 Comments
Mortification: An Ancient Part of the Christian Spiritual Life

 “Shaun, please come see me. Thanks.” An email from my boss popped up, so I went over immediately. Walking into her office she noticed my shoelace, “Oh! Your shoe is untied.”  Without thinking, I blurted out, “Oh, that’s a mortification.”  Pause. In the nanoseconds after I said this I realized, 1) she is going to be totally […]

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One Last Look at the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, From a Different Angle

November 22, AD2017 4 Comments
One Last Look at the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, From a Different Angle

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, on October 31, 2017, is finally over.  For many Catholics, the ‘celebration’ may have been a bit drawn out.  The plethora of articles both praising and criticizing Luther and the Reformation that lead up to the anniversary, although not entirely unexpected, was a tad much. Crux Editor John Allen […]

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Father Brady -The Fifth Marine’s Fighting Chaplain

November 19, AD2017 0 Comments
Father Brady -The Fifth Marine’s Fighting Chaplain

By all accounts, Father John J. Brady was a modest man.  The nation’s press had dubbed the Catholic priest “the fighting chaplain of the Fifth Marines.”[1]  When he returned to New York from France in 1919 he came home with a Distinguished Service Cross, a Navy Cross, and a Silver Star—all awarded him for his […]

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The Allure of the Catholic Church

November 17, AD2017 7 Comments
The Allure of the Catholic Church

As I was making my way into the Catholic Church about 5 years ago, my priest at the time said something that still echoes in my mind today- “The Catholic Church is a treasure chest of spiritual resources. You can skim the top and experience only the basics of Christianity, but there is so much […]

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A Dozen Simons, One Peter

November 5, AD2017 0 Comments
A Dozen Simons, One Peter

Some years ago I walked into a Christian bookstore and a fascinating poster caught my eye. From a distance, it looked like an image of the holy face of Jesus, but as I drew closer I could see that the face was actually a composite of tiny faces that made up the contours and complexion […]

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Supporting our Catholic Priests

November 2, AD2017 0 Comments
Supporting our Catholic Priests

When a country is at war, citizens stand behind their troops fighting the enemy. Communities organize to collect food, clothes and other essentials to make the soldier feel comfortable in the war zone. Schools direct their students to write cards with well wishes to the warriors. Parents and friends send care packages. The government that […]

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St. Michael the Archangel: Needed Now More Than Ever

October 25, AD2017 1 Comment
St. Michael the Archangel: Needed Now More Than Ever

In a previous essay, I recognized St. Thomas the Apostle and his feast day July 3rd. Last month had another saint’s feast day that has significance for me and that is St. Michael the Archangel’s on September 29th.   His feast day is also shared by two other archangels – St.Gabriel and St. Raphael. Prior […]

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Leaving Behind A Legacy

October 21, AD2017 0 Comments
Leaving Behind A Legacy

Dying is not a popular topic for discussion. But considering that everyone who dies leaves some kind of legacy behind, maybe we should at least all think about death a little bit more. Have you ever stopped to consider that one day you will die? That you’ll no longer be in the land of the […]

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