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Faith & Spirituality

Should We Keep “the Spirit of Christmas” Alive?

January 22, AD2017 0 Comments
Should We Keep “the Spirit of Christmas” Alive?

Merry Christmas!  Though Epiphany is now over, there is an old tradition in the Church that the Christmas season actually lasts up until the feast of Candlemas in February.  Of course, most people outside the Church think Christmas is already over by December 26th. Even though our Protestant brethren only celebrate Christmas on one day, […]

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Lessons in Leadership from St. Thomas More

January 22, AD2017 0 Comments
Lessons in Leadership from St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More, patron saint of civil servants, statesmen, and politicians, lived a life of moral courage. A 15th-16th century saint, More was poet, author, lawyer, scholar, and Lord Chancellor in the British monarchy during Henry VIII’s scandal-ridden reign. For adhering to his Catholic faith, and silently refusing to acknowledge King Henry’s divorces and marriages, […]

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Knowing Your Enemy And Fighting Back

January 21, AD2017 2 Comments
Knowing Your Enemy And Fighting Back

  Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, the Father of Lies – many of us, we grew up hearing one or more of these names. But how much do we really know about this fallen angel? What image comes to mind when someone mentions the Devil or Beelzebub? Do you imagine a big red guy with horns, […]

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Surprised By Three Miracles

January 19, AD2017 10 Comments
Surprised By Three Miracles

Modern, educated folk tend to dismiss the miraculous, preferring to believe science will eventually provide a plausible explanation for the inexplicable. For the cynical, only the ignorant or gullible set out on desperate pilgrimages seeking cures or chase after Charismatic signs. Many Protestants think miracles were only for the age of dispensation of grace; for […]

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Vocations, Lifestyles, and Doing God’s Will

January 19, AD2017 0 Comments
Vocations, Lifestyles, and Doing God’s Will

Today’s society is more preoccupied with encouraging its members to pursue attitudes and careers that lead to personal, self-gratifying fulfillment, rather than the universal, selfless service found in vocations. The results are disturbing, as many lose sight of what truly matters in life (and it is not simply about one’s own individual happiness and pleasure). […]

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The Power of The Mass: Why I Remain Catholic

January 18, AD2017 4 Comments
The Power of The Mass: Why I Remain Catholic

Learning Empathy From the Cross When I was little, I remember sitting in the pew at church gazing up at the huge crucifix that hung on the wall behind the altar. I never heard a word the priest said, nor did I pay any attention to what he was doing. I was just drawn to […]

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DESIRE

January 18, AD2017 1 Comment
DESIRE

This very word – DESIRE – stirs something within our hearts: For some it brings up passion and hope, for others it brings up pain and despair, and within others it stirs feelings of fear and concern. The very word desire comes from the Latin root words De Sire, which literally means “Of the Father”. If […]

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In Accordance with the Scriptures: Salvation History

January 17, AD2017 6 Comments
In Accordance with the Scriptures: Salvation History

Every Sunday at Mass, after the priest gives his homily, we all stand up to recite the Nicene Creed and profess, among other things, that Jesus “suffered death and was buried and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” At first glance this line may seem simple enough, but what does […]

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My Child Is Going To Hell

January 17, AD2017 2 Comments
My Child Is Going To Hell

Perhaps; but, in living faith, there is hope. Full disclosure: Yes, that is intentionally a “Made Ya Look” headline. It is also precisely how many parents feel about their children in today’s world. Many a loving, caring parent does fear, with good reason, that a child will go to hell unless there is a miracle […]

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Christ’s Eucharistic Presence: His Love Endures Forever

January 16, AD2017 5 Comments
Christ’s Eucharistic Presence: His Love Endures Forever

This past Tuesday, I came to Chapel fairly early to allow time to change the altar cloth and ambo covering back to green.  It has been about six weeks since we last had Ordinary Time!  (I serve as sacristan here our care home, St. Anne’s, and it is my responsibility to attend to such things.) […]

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Contemplating Martyrdom: A Test of My Faith

January 15, AD2017 2 Comments
Contemplating Martyrdom: A Test of My Faith

Imagine living in a time when Roman soldiers could walk into your house without notice and demand you show your loyalty by burning incense as a sign of worship to the Emperor. Anyone failing to do this would be given a death sentence. As a Christian in America I have fortunately not faced anything similar […]

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Soldier or Saint – Leave No One Behind

January 13, AD2017 0 Comments
Soldier or Saint – Leave No One Behind

In his book, Church Militant Field Manual, Father Richard Heilman relates the Soldier’s Creed of the United States Army. “I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.” Military discipline, that which aids these warriors in protecting their country, demands a dogged dedication to developing their strength in […]

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Meditiation After Looking Through the Bottom of a Glass

January 13, AD2017 0 Comments
Meditiation After Looking Through the Bottom of a Glass

Stream of Consciousness Many thought processes tend to resemble a stream of consciousness. There logic and reason take a back seat to whatever happens to be making its way through that which represents itself as my mind at the moment.  In some cases these thought streams tend to be random, and do not appear to make any […]

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The Year of Our Lord 2017

January 12, AD2017 1 Comment
The Year of Our Lord 2017

The year of our Lord 2017 is upon is. I am guessing that such an expression is one that you likely do not hear frequently in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Quite frankly, for myself, it is a reference that I suppose I only have heard in books and movies set in the […]

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Simple Ignatius

January 12, AD2017 3 Comments
Simple Ignatius

Since my first encounter with Ignatian Spirituality years ago, I have spent a lot time both intrigued and mystified by it.  As is often the case with Catholic prayers, much of the material explaining these spiritual exercises retain the language originally used by Ignatius.  While this may be appreciated by those who already understand Ignatius […]

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If the Beer Truck Runs Over You Tomorrow, Is Your Soul Ready? Part Two

January 11, AD2017 3 Comments
If the Beer Truck Runs Over You Tomorrow, Is Your Soul Ready? Part Two

This is the second part of a two-part series addressing some practical matters we might want to consider in light of the question, “What if the beer truck runs over you tomorrow?” In part one of this series, we fleshed this question out in terms of preparing our souls. Throughout Sacred Scripture, we see our […]

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If the Beer Truck Runs Over You Tomorrow, Is Your Soul Ready? Part One

January 10, AD2017 0 Comments
If the Beer Truck Runs Over You Tomorrow, Is Your Soul Ready? Part One

A recent article I read about the new book, Benedict XVI—Last Testament: In His Own Words really caught my attention. In it, the pope is quoted as saying that as he prays and prepares for death, he fears death because the closer he draws to God, “the more intensely you feel how much you have […]

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A Simple New Year’s Resolutions Guide For Catholics

January 9, AD2017 1 Comment
A Simple New Year’s Resolutions Guide For Catholics

The year 2017 is upon us and for many this means it’s time to come up with a list of, or at least a couple, New Year’s Resolutions. Get fit, eat better, spend less, and save more seem to be pretty common resolutions these days. But resolving to focus more on God instead of on […]

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Catholic Dream Walks and the Seasons of the Church Year

January 9, AD2017 0 Comments
Catholic Dream Walks and the Seasons of the Church Year

There is something beautiful about the changes that come with the seasons of the year. I admit I’m a seasonal man. Growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the seasons were magical. Fall was ablaze with color and winter packed a lot of reverie into those snowy days. Springtime was full of fragrance and new life and […]

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Shusaku Endo’s Silence and the Divine Command to Sin

January 7, AD2017 4 Comments
Shusaku Endo’s Silence and the Divine Command to Sin

Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence is one of the most unsettling novels a Catholic could read. Recounting the story of Portuguese Jesuits facing martyrdom and persecution in seventeenth-century Japan, Endo does not hesitate to pose to his characters – and readers – the most difficult moral dilemmas imaginable regarding persecution and apostasy, and even whether God might […]

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