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Tag: sin

Sex, Desecration, and Shame in Terrence Malick’s Song to Song

July 21, AD2017 0 Comments
Sex, Desecration, and Shame in Terrence Malick’s Song to Song

As Roger Scruton says, “Sex is either consecration or desecration, with no neutral territory in between.” That’s essentially the thesis of Terrence Malick’s recent trilogy of films: To the Wonder, Knight of Cups, and now Song to Song. To the Wonder opens the trilogy by, in accordance with Pope Benedict XVI, emphasizing that the loves […]

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Seeing Others with the Light of Christ

July 19, AD2017 0 Comments
Seeing Others with the Light of Christ

While staying in a remote rural hermitage in western Ireland, there happened to be one day and night that was totally clear — a rare event in Ireland. There had not been a cloud in the sky for 24 hours. Looking out of my window, after the sun had set, I was startled to see […]

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The Sin Problem

July 12, AD2017 5 Comments
The Sin Problem

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” Five Man Electric Band- Signs, 1970 For many, many Catholics (and non-Catholic Christians) the lyrics above sum up their experience in the Church.  For many, Christianity looks like one big, fat rule book. […]

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The Despair of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

June 19, AD2017 2 Comments
The Despair of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has a host of artistic problems, but its most profound failures are of moral understanding. Whereas the original novels by J.K. Rowling embraced the Christian sanctity of life, understanding that death was an evil, and expressed hope for repentance and forgiveness of sins, this late coming play, written by […]

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Freedom Is Not Born from Evil

June 15, AD2017 1 Comment
Freedom Is Not Born from Evil

The subtle, evil coercion of lies I was told, and expected to believe as true, from the women’s movement over our reproductive rights came to encompass my ensuing years in solitary confinement. This affliction was never spoken of, nor allowed, as it was the forbidden subject — a slow drip of acid as the lifelong sentence for […]

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Mortal Sin: It’s Not That Bad?

May 19, AD2017 1 Comment
Mortal Sin: It’s Not That Bad?

Have you ever encountered someone who feels the Catholic Church is all about guilt? They ask: “Why do I have to go to Mass every Sunday? Why can’t I the receive the Eucharist if I missed Mass? Why do I have to go to confession?” Blaming the Church is an excuse people use to diminish […]

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Getting Real with Reconciliation: The Essence of Making a Good Confession

May 11, AD2017 1 Comment
Getting Real with Reconciliation: The Essence of Making a Good Confession

When I was a boy, going to Confession was a regular part of my Catholic school experience. I remember standing in line with the other students as I waited my turn, dreading that dark little box, thinking over my list of sins, and hoping I would remember my Act of Contrition. Once I entered, however, […]

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A Lesson From a Two Year Old on Holiness

May 8, AD2017 3 Comments
A Lesson From a Two Year Old on Holiness

Objectively speaking, there is little chance of success if someone attempts bench press 300 lbs and has never lifted weights. There is also little chance of success in attempting a marathon without having trained.  Even though I know these things, I also know I have a tendency to just grit my teeth and attempt to […]

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Lessons On the Garden of Your Soul from the Master Vinedresser

April 18, AD2017 0 Comments
Lessons On the Garden of Your Soul from the Master Vinedresser

Ever since my wife and I moved into our current home I have had an ongoing battle with the shrubbery. There are times when honestly I don’t know who’s winning the battle — the vegetation or me. But it’s all part of having a nice home, and I try to take pride in the way […]

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When the Needle on the Spiritual Tank is On “E”

April 8, AD2017 2 Comments
When the Needle on the Spiritual Tank is On “E”

So I went to Confession last Saturday (March 25). I don’t go to Confession nearly often enough. I go so infrequently that I have an app to remind me how to say the Act of Contrition (Laudate). I won’t tell you when the penultimate time was, but I will say Obama was President. That was […]

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Let Me Kill It: The Violence of Being More Ethical Than Your Society

March 19, AD2017 1 Comment
Let Me Kill It: The Violence of Being More Ethical Than Your Society

Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon… So don’t listen to him. Remember that – do not listen. -William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist There a is quotation attributed to Eliezer Yudkowski, a researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, that periodically makes the social media rounds in memetic form (generally without […]

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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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Will He Find Faith on This Earth?

March 7, AD2017 10 Comments
Will He Find Faith on This Earth?

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on this earth?” – Luke 18:8 Jesus concludes the parable of the persistent widow with this rather peculiar rhetorical question. It is odd for our faith tells us the Church will endure until the end of time, even in the face of persecution. At the […]

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Remember that You are Dust

March 1, AD2017 1 Comment
Remember that You are Dust

“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” These are the traditional words with which the priest traces the ashes on the foreheads of the faithful on Ash Wednesday. But the Roman Missal gives the priest an option: he can say instead, “Repent and believe in the gospel.” There are also two […]

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Pope Francis: A Corrupt Creation, Christian Hope, and Rebirth

February 23, AD2017 10 Comments
Pope Francis:  A Corrupt Creation, Christian Hope, and Rebirth

On February 22, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the importance of  Christian hope in the face sin during his weekly General Audience. Although his reflections focused on the corruption of creation, they are not the opinions of a left-leaning environmentalist but the profound insights of a man of God. The Environment Unfortunately, many Catholics will most […]

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The Horror of Sin

February 22, AD2017 3 Comments
The Horror of Sin

Sin.  Why is that one three-letter word so dangerous to mankind? Because it is the one thing that will keep us from ever being happy and fulfilled. Sin has the power to turn us away from God, instead of toward the light of Christ. Sin leads us away from Jesus and heaven, and towards the […]

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Why Christ Fell

February 20, AD2017 2 Comments
Why Christ Fell

I do not like icy streets.  They turn walking into an adventure where falling is a real possibility. I guess what I really do not like is falling.  Finding yourself on the ground is rarely a good result. The vantage point from the ground is usually not a good one.  The world tells us that […]

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The Spark in The Thin Red Line: Why I Remain Catholic

February 9, AD2017 2 Comments
The Spark in The Thin Red Line: Why I Remain Catholic

One of my favorite movies, if not my favorite of all time, is Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line. I watched this movie in my senior year of college, with my beautiful wife (we had been married for about three months at that point) and my fellow classmates, for a class on Terrence Malick’s films. […]

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Weak Love and Moral Culpability in Shusaku Endo’s Silence

January 28, AD2017 3 Comments
Weak Love and Moral Culpability in Shusaku Endo’s Silence

Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence, of which a film adaptation by Martin Scorsese shall soon be released, is concerned with the deeply unsettling portrayal of a situation in which one’s faith seems to make irreconcilable demands. Set in 1643, after the Japanese persecution of the Catholic Church forced Catholics underground, Silence recounts the story of Fr. […]

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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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