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The Catholic Church’s Coaching Tree

March 18, AD2017 0 Comments
The Catholic Church’s Coaching Tree

In the years of teaching RCIA, one of the more lively sessions concerns the issues of authority between Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition and how we Catholics accept both. A major sticking point for many Protestant catechumens is acknowledging the historical authority of apostolic succession. In turn, there is often a false perception that there […]

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Gratitude is a Prayer

March 18, AD2017 1 Comment
Gratitude is a Prayer

While recently considering the many types of prayer we can use when talking to God, I recalled a conversation I had last fall with a priest. The topic was envy, and my desire to avoid it. In response, this priest recommended I pray a decade of the rosary and, before each bead, think of something […]

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Call Me Interruptible: Finding Grace in the Unexpected

March 17, AD2017 0 Comments
Call Me Interruptible: Finding Grace in the Unexpected

There is a wonderful song written by Sammy Cahn and made famous by Frank Sinatra titled “Call Me Irresponsible.”  The singer plaintively begins with “Call me irresponsible. Call me unreliable. Throw in undependable, too.” But the ending melodically makes clear that “it’s undeniably true, that I’m irresponsibly mad for you.” A Visit from the Savior […]

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St. Paul and the Divinity of Jesus

March 16, AD2017 1 Comment
St. Paul and the Divinity of Jesus

For Christians, the divinity of Jesus is almost axiomatic. It’s arguably the belief that defines Christianity and most clearly sets it apart from every other religion in the world. However, things have not always been quite so simple. In the fourth century, a priest named Arius taught that Jesus was not God, and he started […]

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Jane Austen’s Morality Of Marriage

March 16, AD2017 0 Comments
Jane Austen’s Morality Of Marriage

In our time, according to one of several divergent moralities, an act is a heinous hell-damning sin, while another morality will validate that same act as a heaven-winning act of virtue. This was not so in Jane Austen’s world. There was a generally accepted familial, communal and societal code of conduct – a morality – […]

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Fasting: Opening the Door for Christ

March 15, AD2017 2 Comments
Fasting: Opening the Door for Christ

Lent is here! For many, panic ensues on what one should be giving up for Lent. Chocolates? Facebook? Alcohol? Frequently, I have come up with my fast the day of Ash Wednesday as I am walking up to receive ashes on my forehead. For many years I only associated Lent with fasting. Fasting, to me, […]

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Seeking a Holy Silence in Lent

March 15, AD2017 2 Comments
Seeking a Holy Silence in Lent

silence “The very best and highest attainment in this life is to remain still and let God act and speak in you.” (Meister Eckhart, 13th-century German Dominican priest and mystic) I’m involved in some personal discernment about my life’s mission. Frankly, it is proving much more challenging than I initially expected. The world is so […]

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A Devotional: Seeking God During Suffering

March 14, AD2017 0 Comments
A Devotional: Seeking God During Suffering

“And their heart was brought low with hardships. They were weakened, and there was no one to help them.”        Psalm 106:12 In my own life, I have had experienced hurdles which have tested my faith in people. Our hearts can be “brought low,” as the Psalm reads, during trials with others.  Sometimes we may feel there […]

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Pro-Life Motherhood: A Feminist Career Choice

March 13, AD2017 6 Comments
Pro-Life Motherhood: A Feminist Career Choice

Raising children is not a default chore for women who were not successful in the world of business, power, and wealth.  However, the trend in the last few decades has been to delegate childcare to women who are often treated like second-class citizens. Society seems to dismiss and even ridicule women’s most sacred, natural role […]

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“It is Finished” — The Witness to the Culmination of a Promise

March 13, AD2017 0 Comments
“It is Finished” — The Witness to the Culmination of a Promise

“It is finished!” (John 19:30): three of the most wonderful words in all of Scripture. Though we read them and rejoice, I sometimes wonder if we truly grasp the awesome significance they have for us. There is high theology in those words, and yet their message is as simple as the faith of a child. […]

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5 Conversations You Can Have with God

March 12, AD2017 2 Comments
5 Conversations You Can Have with God

Every Lent, I spend some time contemplating how I might devote more time to prayer, fasting, or almsgiving. These habits I work on throughout these forty days of Lent have had remarkable sticking power in the past.  Even though I pray every day and often, I wondered if learning more about prayer would help me […]

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Turning to God, the Creator, or Acting Out a Parable

March 12, AD2017 0 Comments
Turning to God, the Creator, or Acting Out a Parable

In the encyclical, FIDES ET RATIO (Faith and Reason) Pope St. John Paul II explains how faith and reason are the foundation for human wisdom. He begins by referencing the Greek philosophical dictum, ‘Know thyself’ and then goes on to explain how revelation builds upon and completes human wisdom. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ […]

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My Dear France: The Tender Daughter of the Sacred Heart

March 11, AD2017 4 Comments
My Dear France: The Tender Daughter of the Sacred Heart

Chapter One- France qui m’a accueilli tendrement I came to France thirty-five years ago, profoundly shocked and not really conscious about it, by my Russian and Israeli experiences. Almost immediately, without any understanding or desire, I was absorbed by a tender, silent for me – I didn’t know a word in French ambience of the […]

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My Three Me’s

March 11, AD2017 1 Comment
My Three Me’s

Heading south from Orlando to Yeehaw Junction, the Florida Turnpike traverses a vast stretch of real estate inhabited almost exclusively by alligators, herons, snakes, and fish.  It’s a lengthy forty-seven miles across the swamp without a single exit.  Last Thursday, traveling to south Florida to speak at a men’s conference, I found myself stuck in […]

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Call No Man Father

March 10, AD2017 3 Comments
Call No Man Father

Over the passage of time, it had become clear that depending on which of the non-Catholic co-workers invited me to coffee, that established what the conversations may contain.  For example, if Josh stuck his head around the cube wall and asked me to go to coffee, the conversations would at least start on a more […]

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Suicide, Divine Mercy and Gregorian Masses

March 10, AD2017 6 Comments
Suicide, Divine Mercy and Gregorian Masses

According to the New York Times, suicide rates are at their highest level in 30 years.  I have rarely come across a person these days who has not been touched by a friend or a family member who has committed suicide.  While there are many reasons for suicide, that is a topic for another article.  […]

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Omission: Sinning by Not Acting–We Need to Avoid Avoiding

March 9, AD2017 2 Comments
Omission: Sinning by Not Acting–We Need to Avoid Avoiding

The Rich Man and Lazarus Pope Francis, in his 2017 Lenten Message, speaks of the Parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus. The rich man had it made in this life, while Lazarus struggled terribly, lying at the door of the rich man’s house, starving and deathly ill. Yet the rich man didn’t even notice […]

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Words: Rough-Hewn Symbols or the Stuff of Thoughts?

March 9, AD2017 1 Comment
Words:  Rough-Hewn Symbols or the Stuff of Thoughts?

“I write so that I can find out what I think.” – Flannery O’Connor. A really great quote is both polyvalent; containing multiple layers of meaning, and paradoxical; containing meanings which appear to be at odds with each other. This Flannery O’Connor quote for example, sounds like it could come out of the mouth of […]

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The Prodigal Son : A Lenten Story

March 8, AD2017 0 Comments
The Prodigal Son : A Lenten Story

We were told recently at a retreat that if only one piece of Scripture survived in a post-apocalyptic world, the parable of the Prodigal Son would suffice for the propagation of the Gospel. The three main characters, father, son and elder brother portray God’s love and forgiveness in a unique and compelling way. The two […]

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