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Suffering

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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The Healing of the Lord

February 21, AD2018 0 Comments
The Healing of the Lord

A Vision of Healing One morning a few weeks ago, I was laying in bed in a state of semiconsciousness when I saw a picture in my mind. In it, I was laying facedown with three horizontal gashes running across my back, and the Lord stood over me holding a roll of gauze. Knowing myself […]

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The Insidiousness of the Culture of Death

February 16, AD2018 0 Comments
The Insidiousness of the Culture of Death

My mother died on February 26, 2006. She spent most of February in the hospital. When it became clear she was never going home, medical staff suggested we utilize their new inpatient palliative care unit. Mom would be their first patient. We thought she would die more comfortably there, so we agreed. Staff was compassionate. […]

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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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Three Witnesses:The Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist

February 7, AD2018 0 Comments
Three Witnesses:The Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist

“This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord.” 1 John […]

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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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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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Fat Bombs and God

January 28, AD2018 4 Comments
Fat Bombs and God

In the spiritual life, we are pitted against the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Its warfare and our opponents manifest in many ways, some more obvious than others. One doesn’t have to scan television, or music on the radio, very far to encounter anti-Christian or anti-Christ messages there. It screams, “Hey, don’t follow Christ […]

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Seeking the Truth with Jennifer Fulwiler and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

January 17, AD2018 3 Comments
Seeking the Truth with Jennifer Fulwiler and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

You may have seen the Saint’s Name Generator posted on the internet. It randomly chooses a saint for whatever occasion you wish. Many Catholics use it to pick a patron for the new year. The generator was created by Jennifer Fulwiler. She came to Catholicism from atheism and wrote about her conversion in a book called […]

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On Selling Jesus

January 15, AD2018 0 Comments
On Selling Jesus

A Tale of Two Christmases One of the defining moments for me on my journey to the Catholic Church was over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day two years ago. We attended the Christmas Eve service at our Protestant, Baptist church. It was a beautiful service, filled with amazing music and a festive feel. The following […]

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The Lonely Way of the Writer: A New Year’s Message for My Fellow Writers

January 12, AD2018 4 Comments
The Lonely Way of the Writer: A New Year’s Message for My Fellow Writers

Every January 1st, many of us decide to come clean with our personal struggles and make resolutions to better ourselves in the days ahead. In the spirit of this new year, I have my own confession to make: I often suffer from periods of sorrow and loneliness so profound that I sometimes wonder how I […]

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Is There Hope in God’s Providence During Desolation?

January 12, AD2018 1 Comment
Is There Hope in God’s Providence During Desolation?

December 13th—the Feast Day of St. Lucy, I stood aside a grave of another unborn child. It is unnatural for a father to bury his child. Standing in a cemetery after the funeral Mass for your miscarried child is truly a surreal and somber experience. When humans encounter death—especially the loss of a family member […]

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Can You Hear My Prayers, God?

January 10, AD2018 0 Comments
Can You Hear My Prayers, God?

Can You Hear Me, God? Can you hear me, God? I have a strong faith. I know He always hears me, yet my prayers do not always get answered the way I want them answered. And when they consistently don’t, I get bouts of being fed up and annoyed with the Big Guy. Then remorse for […]

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Via Dolorosa, or “The Way of Suffering”

December 15, AD2017 0 Comments
Via Dolorosa, or “The Way of Suffering”

Dolores. In Spanish, it means “suffering.” Catholics use the phrase “Our Lady of Dolours” when talking about the sorrowful mother. Dolores, then, would be a fitting name for a woman who suffered much and loved Mary much. Dolores was my mother. She was an incredibly loving woman. I credit the great relationship I have with […]

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A Sabbatical for Suffering with the Immaculate Conception

December 8, AD2017 1 Comment
A Sabbatical for Suffering with the Immaculate Conception

A year ago when I was 65 and working in Hawaii, I traveled 4,860 miles to Delaware to visit my Dad who had just been hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital. Dad was 90 and was suffering, we later found, from dementia. While I was home, I realized that the house was no longer spick and […]

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Christian Genocide – A Forgotten Crisis

November 21, AD2017 2 Comments
Christian Genocide – A Forgotten Crisis

The current plight of the Rohingya refugees in Myanmar is getting a lot of press notice which is appropriate, yet the ongoing plight of Christians in the Middle East gets little attention. Like many of my fellow Knights of Columbus, I support the Knights fundraising efforts to aid the displaced Christians in that area and […]

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Seeing Faces:  A Call to Have the Eyes of a Shepherd

November 13, AD2017 1 Comment
Seeing Faces:  A Call to Have the Eyes of a Shepherd

No Faceless Crowd Before Jesus When we read, study, and pray with the Gospels it is important for us to remember who is the audience that Jesus is speaking to.  I mention this scriptural tool in many of my homilies and talks I give, and recently a question came to me and this tool “How […]

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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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The Poetry of Molly McCully Brown: A Theology of Broken Bodies

October 30, AD2017 1 Comment
The Poetry of Molly McCully Brown: A Theology of Broken Bodies

Molly McCully Brown‘s The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded is a magnificent collection of poems, depicting the experiences of profoundly disabled persons who, shunned by mainstream society, are institutionalized and hidden from view. These are people whose bodies fail them so thoroughly they seem less than human. For Brown, these profound disabilities reveal how […]

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Our Lady’s Messages Carry a Grave Warning Against War With Korea

October 17, AD2017 13 Comments
Our Lady’s Messages Carry a Grave Warning Against War With Korea

“A full-blown war on the Korean Peninsula will be horrific by any stretch of the imagination, no one has any doubts about that.”- US Army chief, General Mark Milley, October 9 “There is no time to waste by hesitating. A safe tomorrow cannot be promised.”- Our Lady of Naju February 2, 1995 The Military Exhortation […]

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Persecution: The Eighth Beatitude

October 5, AD2017 4 Comments
Persecution: The Eighth Beatitude

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. These verses seem to be written as two beatitudes. But they really say the same thing in different […]

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Love Gives Suffering Reason and Purpose

September 27, AD2017 0 Comments
Love Gives Suffering Reason and Purpose

In the book Get Us Out of Here! the late Austrian mystic Maria Simma is quoted as saying that “Love without a Cross is empty; the Cross without Love is too heavy!” This phrase certainly illustrates the intimate and inherent link between Love and suffering that all of us should accept and embrace. Imperfect Humanity […]

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The Benedict Option Is Not For Me

September 9, AD2017 12 Comments
The Benedict Option Is Not For Me

Full disclosure: I did not actually read the book “The Benedict Option”. Spiritdaily and a NY Times article is where I gleaned information about this movement in the Church. I did, however, have limited exposure to the idea of Covenant Communities in my parish. About years ago, a very holy, sincere parish priest and several parish families were trying to form a […]

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Autumn and Transformation in Life’s Struggles

September 5, AD2017 1 Comment
Autumn and Transformation in Life’s Struggles

When I was young I always looked forward to autumn. For me, autumn was a time when the cycle of life began all over again. I know many people like to think of spring as the season of beginnings, but in my mind, it was always autumn. Maybe it was because in the autumn the […]

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