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Redemption

Hell: Some Thoughts for the Scrupulous

May 23, AD2018 0 Comments
Hell: Some Thoughts for the Scrupulous

If I had to pick one thing I don’t love about being Catholic, the proof for the existence of Hell would be one of the top contenders. I can only speak for me, but it might seem pretty scary to think that every soul who doesn’t go to Heaven will be in absolute unimaginable agony […]

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The Hypocrite and the Sinner: Not Twins

May 21, AD2018 0 Comments
The Hypocrite and the Sinner: Not Twins

The Struggle Is Real William Gurnall once stated, “While the Christian commits a sin he hates it; whereas the hypocrite loves it while he forbears it.” We have all felt the frustration of falling into sin the same day as attending Mass or praying.  The truth is that we all play many positive and not […]

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Pentecost and Eternal Perspective

May 11, AD2018 3 Comments
Pentecost and Eternal Perspective

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. […]

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Animals Do Go to Heaven

May 6, AD2018 88 Comments
Animals Do Go to Heaven

This past January, we made the heart-breaking decision to put our beloved dog Ralphie to sleep. Animal lovers understand the grief and the terrible sense of loss that pet people experience at the death of their friend. Whether the pet is a hamster or an iguana, the loss stings. As with all death, people wonder […]

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Discovering Mercy

April 26, AD2018 2 Comments
Discovering Mercy

” Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. ” Matt. 5:7 Over the years I have experienced God’s Divine Mercy and protection in my life and in the lives of my loved ones. Having grown up Baptist, I knew we served a merciful God, but I never realized the depths of His […]

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Find Comfort in Christ: Take Off Your Shoes of Sin

April 24, AD2018 2 Comments
Find Comfort in Christ: Take Off Your Shoes of Sin

St. Teresa of Avila once stated, “We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials.”  Shoes, Comfort, Sin, and Appearances I recently saw a woman wobbling down the street and having great difficulty walking. The other woman she was with kept pointing to this woman’s […]

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Nihilism, Bodies, and Personhood in Black Mirror

April 19, AD2018 1 Comment
Nihilism, Bodies, and Personhood in Black Mirror

Charlie Brooker’s television series, Black Mirror, now residing at Netflix, has earned notoriety for its examination of how people use and rely on spectacular technological advances – and then suffer for it. There has been some discussion among critics as to whether the series has experienced a decline in quality and whether or not this […]

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#MeToo and the Messiah

April 14, AD2018 5 Comments
#MeToo and the Messiah

The #MeToo movement has shaken the foundations of some of the culture’s most entrenched havens of sexual harassment, abuse and predation. The list of politicians, actors and other notable personalities seems to grow with each passing week. The movement also raises the deeper issue of human dignity, particularly as it relates to the objectification of […]

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The Sacraments In Light of the Easter Season

April 11, AD2018 0 Comments
The Sacraments In Light of the Easter Season

We now find ourselves in the Easter season. Now is a time for rejoicing and for thanking the Lord for His love and salvation. Now is also a time for reflection and for action. This grace-filled season beckons us to recall the reason why the Resurrection was necessary. It is impossible to correctly understand the […]

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Jesus Was Troubled

April 9, AD2018 0 Comments
Jesus Was Troubled

Several places in Scripture tell us that Jesus was troubled or worried, or experienced grief. John 11:33: When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. . . . John 11:35: Jesus wept. John 13:21: After he had said this, Jesus […]

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Memory and Redemption

March 26, AD2018 0 Comments
Memory and Redemption

As we proceed through Lent, the recurring themes of redemption and forgiveness bubble to the surface of our thoughts. We understand redemption as literally being saved from our own sinfulness through the blood of Christ.  Left to ourselves, we would surely fall under the repeated weight of our imperfection and weakness.  Through God Almighty’s love […]

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Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited and the Chitchat Apostolate

March 21, AD2018 1 Comment
Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited and the Chitchat Apostolate

  Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited, a novel in dramatic form, revolves around a conversation between two men, Black and White, about the existence of God. White is a man in despair whom Black has just prevented from killing himself by jumping in front of an oncoming train. Black takes White home so that he […]

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The Real Meaning of Lenten Penance

March 18, AD2018 1 Comment
The Real Meaning of Lenten Penance

We Catholics are familiar with Lent as a time of fasting and penance. We are told every year that during this time we ought to abstain from a habit that is not beneficial for us and to take up a more fruitful spiritual practice. We are also obliged to abstain from meat and to fast. […]

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The True Path of Reparation

February 26, AD2018 0 Comments
The True Path of Reparation

The endurance of darkness is preparation for great light. -Saint John of the Cross Why We Need to Practice Reparation A few weeks back I went to the mall for the first time in a long while, as the mall has never really been my thing. I was struck by the starkness of sin that […]

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Lent as a Moving Experience

February 24, AD2018 0 Comments
Lent as a Moving Experience

I find it powerful and transcendent that Lent is a moving journey toward the Cross and beyond.  This “moving” however, comes in three distinct contexts.  Each context has its place in the Lenten message. Powerful Emotion The first context of moving evoked by Lent may certainly be the strong, somber emotion of following a friend […]

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Discernment: It May Not Turn Out The Way You Expect

February 13, AD2018 1 Comment
Discernment: It May Not Turn Out The Way You Expect

There are many beautiful things in and around the Catholic church.  One of the things that most people may not get to see is the discernment process of men and women who are trying to decide on the next phase of their lives. Over the passage of time, I have had the distinct honor of […]

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Good Works or Once Saved, Always Saved?

February 9, AD2018 2 Comments
Good Works or Once Saved, Always Saved?

As any Bible reading Christian knows, a frequent theme throughout scripture is doing good – not evil. From the Ten Commandments to the Beatitudes, there are rules and actions given for us to emulate. Yes, Jesus died for our salvation. He defeated death and sin, once and for all. This we must believe. Yet Jesus […]

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Life’s Vignettes and God

February 7, AD2018 1 Comment
Life’s Vignettes and God

Life’s Vignettes and God Independent Films (IF) tell stories through vignettes. An IF vignette depicts poignant events in a person’s life in a short film. Each vignette usually ties the theme of all the shorts together. In many ways, our lives are like IF vignettes too. This essay is about my life vignettes this past week. I will tell […]

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Falling for God: When Crosses Become Ladders

January 28, AD2018 1 Comment
Falling for God: When Crosses Become Ladders

       If we truly fancy ourselves followers of Christ, we must start seeing our crosses as ladders rather than burdens. Since Christ came to earth to teach us the way to Heaven, then we may rightly accept that his words and actions are sanctified lessons in that path.  His examples of love, service, […]

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The Path of Perfection – Purgatory

January 20, AD2018 3 Comments
The Path of Perfection – Purgatory

“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” Catechism of the Catholic Church 1030 I had a discussion online the other day with a Protestant Minister.  […]

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Two Sons, One Father

December 29, AD2017 0 Comments
Two Sons, One Father

There are two things the father does in the Gospel story of the Prodigal Son which can give all of us sinners hope and comfort. (Saints need read no further; but please forward this article to any sinners you know). Two Different Sons Everyone can repeat this story. It has been told again and again. […]

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Christmas Movies: It’s a Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown

December 21, AD2017 0 Comments
Christmas Movies: It’s a Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown

I recently bumped into an old friend from grammar school and we began reminiscing about our favorite Christmas movies. Apart from realizing that all of the candidates were over 50 years old(not surprising given what spews out today), we ended up agreeing on two winners, one originally a theatrical release and the other a now […]

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Finding Our True Identity

December 11, AD2017 2 Comments
Finding Our True Identity

It’s amazing how much Christian imagery can be found in society today if we look hard enough. Many modern movies and songs indirectly portray the Gospel message by illustrating themes like self-sacrificial love, forgiveness, and finding our identity in something other than societal norms. I want to focus on that last theme – identity – […]

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Fifteen Years of Yearning for Hope

November 11, AD2017 2 Comments
Fifteen Years of Yearning for Hope

November 11, 2017 marks the fifteenth (15th) anniversary of the shooting death of my son, Aaron Dougherty. More essentially, this date also marks the 15th anniversary of my yearning for hope for Aaron in the Resurrection of the Paschal Mystery. Aaron had been severely depressed for most of his 26-year-old life. He died in a […]

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