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Tag: self examination

Accepting God’s Blessings in Your Life

September 18, AD2017 0 Comments
Accepting God’s Blessings in Your Life

I’ve had an extraordinarily good year. By any rational standard, every year of my life has been good, but this year in particular I have experienced a measure of personal and professional success that has been, to say the least, deeply gratifying. I took this matter to God in prayer because I realized I was […]

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“It’s Hard to be Humble”

September 17, AD2017 1 Comment
“It’s Hard to be Humble”

In 1975, singer Mac Davis released a song entitled “It’s Hard to be Humble”.  The lyrics of this tongue-in-cheek song brought crowds to laughter, yet, they certainly struck uncomfortably close to home.  The crowds would merrily sing along as Davis crooned: “Oh, Lord it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way/ I can’t […]

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A Day of Peace Would Be a Wondrous Thing

August 28, AD2017 0 Comments
A Day of Peace Would Be a Wondrous Thing

It’s been said that on December 25, 1914, during the First World War, an “unofficial ceasefire” occurred. On that day, German and British soldiers put aside their differences, and for one day, one of the most reverent of days, peace ensued. Perhaps you’ve heard the account of the “Christmas Truce.” The story is a remarkable […]

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Recognizing Neighbor in Today’s World

July 14, AD2017 0 Comments
Recognizing Neighbor in Today’s World

In the book of Luke, an expert in the law asks, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds with the parable of the Good Samaritan. His examples guide us through several encounters with an injured man – all with diverse responses.  Jesus then turns to the lawyer  and asks: Which of these three, in thy opin […]

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Wanting Purgatory Now – A Journey Towards Holiness

July 10, AD2017 5 Comments
Wanting Purgatory Now – A Journey Towards Holiness

There are a number of things that distinguish Catholics from Protestant Christians.  One of these things is a belief in purgatory. Protestants think that simply accepting Jesus Christ as their savior (Solus Christus, Sola fide) guarantees that they will go to straight to heaven. Catholic Doctrine, however, says there are no guarantees. Purgatory might best be described […]

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The Fifth Beatitude: Mercy

July 1, AD2017 0 Comments
The Fifth Beatitude: Mercy

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. For the past five months I’ve been writing about the Beatitudes in order to understand them better. We can hear something hundreds of times without its meaning ever sinking in or becoming knowledge. For a long time the Beatitudes seemed like white noise to me. But […]

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The Deadly Cancer of Anger

June 14, AD2017 5 Comments
The Deadly Cancer of Anger

“This deadly cancer of anger… makes us unlike ourselves, makes us like timber wolves or furies from Hell, drives us forth headlong upon the points of swords, makes us blindly run forth after other men’s destruction as we hasten toward our own ruin.” This quote by St. Thomas More goes a long way to explain […]

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Your True North

June 6, AD2017 1 Comment
Your True North

  Many today are getting lost amongst the busy consumer culture, bogged down with appearing successful and fitting in with those around them. This culture tells us that the newest and fanciest cars will make us happy. It tells us that having a multimillion-dollar home will finally bring us that satisfaction that we have been […]

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Making God Your Goal

May 2, AD2017 2 Comments
Making God Your Goal

In an effort to maintain their lifestyles, some people repeatedly push themselves to the point of exhaustion. But a life that does not have God as the goal is a life that is not well spent. Take, for example, the college student who works relentlessly in pursuit of a career with a handsome salary, respect, […]

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Grabbing the Lion of Judah’s Tail

April 16, AD2017 1 Comment
Grabbing the Lion of Judah’s Tail

As we approach Holy Week, Lent has steadily moved us to the edges of ourselves.  Yet, we can miss one of the most important elements of the Christian life if we overlook an element of Jesus’ identity that comes into particular focus as we enter Holy Week.   We focus a great deal on the […]

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A Faith Adventure: Evangelizing a Family Member

April 9, AD2017 8 Comments
A Faith Adventure: Evangelizing a Family Member

I recently had a conversation about our faith with a fallen-away Catholic family member. This situation is exactly what the New Evangelization is all about. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “In a special way, the New Evangelization is focused on ‘re-proposing’ the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of […]

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Man Puts a Question Mark Where God Put a Period

March 26, AD2017 3 Comments
Man Puts a Question Mark Where God Put a Period

There are many folk idioms or simply popular observations which would appear to be wrong at any number of levels.  One that comes to mind is “Half of the people you meet each day are below average.”  Clearly, that depends on the number of people you meet per day and where you meet them.  For […]

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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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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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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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I’m a Mystic (And So Are You)

February 19, AD2017 0 Comments
I’m a Mystic (And So Are You)

Earlier this month I participated in my first ever retreat, called “The Retreat in Daily Life.” It was a week-long retreat which took place in tandem with my work day; 30 minutes of prayer on my own in the morning, complemented by 30 minutes of scheduled discussion with a spiritual guide in the afternoon at […]

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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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The Amazing Advent(ure)

December 13, AD2016 0 Comments
The Amazing Advent(ure)

We all have our own thoughts about the season preceding Christmas.  Some of these thoughts might be grounded in solid theological understanding, after all, it is the beginning of the Church year.  Others might be more pedestrian than that, since Advent inhabits the same calendar space as the Christmas shopping season.  Our own sentimental reflections […]

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How About Those Apples?

October 13, AD2016 1 Comment
How About Those Apples?

When I lived in the Midwest, Fall was the time when my wife and I headed to the local orchard to pick apples.  We would arrive at the orchard and head immediately to the apple trees.  We would never, ever, head for the peach or cherry trees.  Obviously, since apples come from apple trees, going to the […]

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Here I Am, Lord; About 68% Of Me

September 13, AD2016 3 Comments
Here I Am, Lord; About 68% Of Me

Here Is a Good Part of Me For decades, I stood up in Church, often, and said “I have greatly sinned,” and then went out and sinned again, thinking that I cannot be perfect; I am going to sin; if I just get into purgatory at some point I will be happy with God for […]

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Exercise Tips — For Your Soul

September 5, AD2016 0 Comments
Exercise Tips — For Your Soul

  Americans today have become health conscious.  We are been conditioned by society – and perhaps for good reason – to start ‘working out,’ or at the very least to ‘stay active.’  Daily exercise should be at the very top of our list of priorities! It seems that no matter what website we visit these days […]

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Bearing One’s Cross

June 14, AD2016 2 Comments
Bearing One’s Cross

The question of human suffering casts a long shadow on the human experience. If you talk to people long enough, they’ll get around to telling you that the issue of suffering has profoundly affected their spiritual journey. Either they’ll tell you it has brought them deep into the heart of God, or it has been […]

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Sam’s Justice

June 6, AD2016 4 Comments
Sam’s Justice

Justice is simply defined as giving one his or her “due.” It means rendering to people what you owe them. What do we owe others? We owe other persons respect for their persons and responsibility in doing what we have promised. Here is a kind of parable of justice. Sam and “Old Man” Ricketts Sam […]

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Wrestling with the Restless Heart

March 22, AD2016 3 Comments
Wrestling with the Restless Heart

One of St. Augustine’s most oft-quoted writings,  “…our hearts are restless until they can find rest in you.”, was penned after more than a decade of  the great saints personal wrestlings, as he looked for meaning in his life.  Those words are profoundly important, echoing the long teaching of the Church.  The human ‘heart’, which […]

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