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Tag: sin

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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Shusaku Endo’s Silence and the Divine Command to Sin

January 7, AD2017 4 Comments
Shusaku Endo’s Silence and the Divine Command to Sin

Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence is one of the most unsettling novels a Catholic could read. Recounting the story of Portuguese Jesuits facing martyrdom and persecution in seventeenth-century Japan, Endo does not hesitate to pose to his characters – and readers – the most difficult moral dilemmas imaginable regarding persecution and apostasy, and even whether God might […]

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The Sacred in the Broken

October 13, AD2016 0 Comments
The Sacred in the Broken

“Sanctuary, (from the late Lat. sanctuarium, a sacred place), a sacred or consecrated place, particularly one affording refuge, protection or right of asylum; also applied to the privilege itself, the right of safe refuge” (Encyclopedia Britannica). This sacred custom and tradition, fully incorporated by the Catholic Church, found her greatest proponent from the beginning of […]

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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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Good Characters in a Culture That Can Only Read Hell

October 7, AD2016 0 Comments
Good Characters in a Culture That Can Only Read Hell

Fr. James Lavelle: I think there’s too much talk about sins and not enough about virtues. Fiona Lavelle: What would be your number one? Fr. James Lavelle: I think forgiveness has been highly underrated. -John Michael McDonagh, Calvary A friend of mine once asked if The Divine Comedy is the greatest achievement in human letters. […]

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The Devil Wants You Isolated

September 3, AD2016 13 Comments
The Devil Wants You Isolated

  I write this article thinking about a friend. This friend is Catholic and recently got into a situation which is obviously not very good for her, involving renting a room and a single, older man. Instinctively, I am sure she knows deep down this was a bad decision, although she tried to play it […]

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Good Atheists and Bad Catholics

August 22, AD2016 14 Comments
Good Atheists and Bad Catholics

Being Good Without God For Catholics at least, the news that atheists can live a morally praiseworthy life, or people belonging to any other religion, for that matter, is neither all that surprising nor particularly distressing. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said during his 2011 visit to the Bundestag, Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never […]

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Transforming Competition into Love

July 31, AD2016 0 Comments
Transforming Competition into Love

Pope Francis made the following statement in a homily a few years ago on the topic of the Holy Spirit in our lives: “This is the work of the Holy Spirit: he brings us the new things of God. He comes to us and makes all things new; he changes us…God is even now making […]

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The Eagle and the Rattlesnake

July 2, AD2016 0 Comments
The Eagle and the Rattlesnake

We often judge people don’t we? We put up invisible walls against those we don’t trust. Somehow we sense when someone is “up to no good” and means to do us harm. However, do we stop and think about our own intentions? I think we often forget that due to original sin we are in […]

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