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Suffering

Lava and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

June 14, AD2018 0 Comments
Lava and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The haunting glow of fiery lava lights up the night sky near our house. The ever-moving lava has been visible like this for just six weeks, although it seems like six years. It’s like the surging, divine love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the furnace of charity, that burns away our imperfections and sins […]

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Christian Men, Take The Beating

June 3, AD2018 0 Comments
Christian Men, Take The Beating

A few months ago I started reading a book entitled, The Heavenly Man, about a certain Brother Yun, who became “a great fighter and a faithful worker” for Christ under a Communist government that suppressed Christianity. I was deeply moved and inspired by his witness to the Christian faith and the hardships he endured to […]

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Lord, If This How You Treat Your Friends . . .

May 14, AD2018 2 Comments
Lord, If This How You Treat Your Friends . . .

If you try to help a struggling butterfly emerge from the prison of his cocoon, his wings will be permanently deformed.  As a butterfly struggles, fluid is forced into its wings so they stretch and open, allowing them to fly but butterflies are not the only creatures who must struggle before they have the ability […]

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Sing a New Song to the Lord

May 13, AD2018 0 Comments
Sing a New Song to the Lord

When I was 13, I joined the Jr. High Chorus at my local public school. It was the mid-‘70’s and songs about teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony flourished. The odd thing is, though our choir sang songs about harmony,  there was no harmony in our relationships in that music classroom.  Sadly, being […]

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The Grace of the Catholic Church While Grieving Suicide

May 12, AD2018 2 Comments
The Grace of the Catholic Church While Grieving Suicide

Unimaginable Loss Tragedy struck our family in February of this year. My 47-year-old aunt Jeannine, with whom I was close, committed suicide during a night when she was lost in deep despair. A despair we hadn’t known she battled, until we read her journal entries after the fact. Our family has been and continues to […]

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The Experience of Pain and the Gift of Growth

May 11, AD2018 3 Comments
The Experience of Pain and the Gift of Growth

I sat down intending to write about joy.  It’s one of my favorite topics, and I’m rather fond of the emotion itself.  I’ll choose it any time, any day over so many other emotions, and make a practice of doing so regularly.  In thinking about the source of joy, though, I keep returning to the […]

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The Father’s Love in the Trinity and in the Family

May 8, AD2018 0 Comments
The Father’s Love in the Trinity and in the Family

A Superficial View of Dad and Me I recently talked by phone with my 91-year-old Dad. He is in a nursing home, thousands of miles away from where I live. I had spent six months last year caring for him and Mom in their house until my own wife became ill and I returned to […]

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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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Ryan Anderson Razes the Transgender Movement’s Arguments in New Book

April 23, AD2018 1 Comment
Ryan Anderson Razes the Transgender Movement’s Arguments in New Book

One of the greatest compliments of Thomas Aquinas was that he was often better and more persuasively able to explain his opponents’ arguments than the opponents themselves. In his new book, When Harry Became Sally, Ryan Anderson seems to have a similar Thomistic capacity for explaining the Transgender Movement. Anderson dedicates large sections of the book […]

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Suffering on the Road to Hope

April 10, AD2018 1 Comment
Suffering on the Road to Hope

From the first moment of birth we all experience suffering. A doctor rips a newborn child from a comfortable, warm, and familiar setting. Naked and thrown into an unknown world, he experiences hunger and cold. The mother also feels intense suffering through nine months of enduring uncomfortable, sleepless nights, worrying about the health of the baby […]

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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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My Prayer for Divine Mercy

April 6, AD2018 7 Comments
My Prayer for Divine Mercy

We must all pray for Divine Mercy. God’s mercy is infinite, as St. Faustina tells us. God hungers for us to turn to Him in our times of trial so that we can find relief in His mercy. When I reveal to others that my depression and anxiety have worsened over the last several months, […]

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Our Catholic Suffering Syndrome (CSS) Part II

April 6, AD2018 1 Comment
Our Catholic Suffering Syndrome (CSS) Part II

In Part I, we discussed a common misunderstanding of suffering among many Catholics.  We looked at a specific type of suffering involving persecution. Now let’s turn to two other types of “meritorious” sufferings that don’t necessarily involve persecution – or the actions of others. St. Paul’s rather difficult statement in Col 1:24 frames a context […]

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Our Catholic Suffering Syndrome (CSS) Part I

April 5, AD2018 4 Comments
Our Catholic Suffering Syndrome (CSS) Part I

“Just offer it up!” It’s an iconic reference that’s become a Catholic spiritual cliché.  Dollars to donuts, it was your Mom’s response when you complained that Sis just poured the last drop of milk you wanted for your breakfast cereal.  “MOM, Suzie just….!!”  Mom cut to the chase with a terse: “J.O.I.U.”   So, why […]

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The Importance of Forgiveness

April 4, AD2018 3 Comments
The Importance of Forgiveness

Like most people, throughout my life I have experienced very many offenses against me, ranging from the great to the small, whether it was the stewardess who cut in front of me in the airport security line or getting singled out for unkind treatment by someone I regarded as a friend. These offenses mean that […]

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Learning to Give by Caring for My Sister

April 3, AD2018 1 Comment
Learning to Give by Caring for My Sister

My sister Mary has dementia. I have been caring for her for about four years now. Dementia is an affliction that is difficult to deal with and it’s even more difficult to get used to. I live with Mary in the house we inherited from our father. Neither she nor I have ever been married […]

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Let Your Blood Pour Out

March 29, AD2018 1 Comment
Let Your Blood Pour Out

It was easier to act like something I wasn’t before having kids. It was easier to convince myself I was something I wasn’t before having kids. Now not only do I have my flaws mirrored back to me, but I have the whole world commenting on my children’s flaws and defects, which in turn reflect […]

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Depression in Lent, an Unsought Penance

March 8, AD2018 1 Comment
Depression in Lent, an Unsought Penance

  My Lent so far has consisted of an unrelenting depression that has been getting worse for months. My mounting anxieties and a sense of hopelessness have contributed to difficulty in Lenten prayer. I have tried different forms of prayer and nothing seems to rouse me from my sadness. The only answer I have found […]

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Dreaming Can Leave You Feeling Unfulfilled in Life

March 5, AD2018 0 Comments
Dreaming Can Leave You Feeling Unfulfilled in Life

In my younger days, I was always a dreamer. I was, and to a certain extent still am someone who enjoys dreaming about all kinds of things. On one level there is nothing wrong with having big dreams. It’s natural for anyone.  But if it becomes a habit, like it did with me, it can […]

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My Irish Uncle Was a Simple, Just Man Like St. Joseph

March 3, AD2018 1 Comment
My Irish Uncle Was a Simple, Just Man Like St. Joseph

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph I’ve heard the Irish use the names of the Holy Family as profanity, not unlike the way many Americans say, “Oh, God.” But on my Uncle Michael’s lips, these words sounded like a prayer of often-experienced wonder at life. Actually, the words were not so much on his lips as in […]

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The Other Side of a Vocation Story

March 2, AD2018 1 Comment
The Other Side of a Vocation Story

I have prayed the Prayer for Vocations a couple thousand times and yet it wasn’t until fourteen years ago that it struck a chord. There is something they don’t tell you when you pray this prayer. Over the years, I have heard about the vocation crisis and how the Church needs more priests and religious. […]

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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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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 lying in bed in a state of semi-consciousness when I saw a picture in my mind. In it, I was lying 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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