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Tag: sin

Just Who Are the Wicked Tenants of God’s Vineyard?

February 19, AD2018 0 Comments
Just Who Are the Wicked Tenants of God’s Vineyard?

Are we the “wicked tenants” Jesus speaks of in Mark 12? Who, me? How could that be? I’m a good person. I try to live the right way and follow where Jesus leads me. Maybe. Even so, it could be that we have been the wicked servants. The Parable of the Wicked Tenants In the parable […]

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PFLAG ‘T.H.AW.’- A Program to Make Homosexual Behavior ‘Okay’

January 11, AD2018 28 Comments
PFLAG ‘T.H.AW.’- A Program to Make Homosexual Behavior ‘Okay’

  The announcement in our parish bulletin last spring seemed innocuous enough. A program entitled Transgender Homosexual Awareness (T.H.AW.) was being held to give parishioners “an opportunity . . . to hear the voices and to understand the experiences of our transgender brothers and sisters and their family members.” But since our parish had already […]

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Finding Our True Identity

December 11, AD2017 2 Comments
Finding Our True Identity

It’s amazing how much Christian imagery can be found in society today if we look hard enough. Many modern movies and songs indirectly portray the Gospel message by illustrating themes like self-sacrificial love, forgiveness, and finding our identity in something other than societal norms. I want to focus on that last theme – identity – […]

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I’m Guilty And You May Be Too

December 5, AD2017 6 Comments
I’m Guilty And You May Be Too

I’m Guilty And You May Be Too  I’m guilty and I bet you are too. I put people in baskets. It seems to be innate human nature. We boil people down into groups and put them into baskets. We put ourselves into baskets. Sometimes baskets are necessary, sometimes they just serve to divide. Through prayer and […]

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Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor: Blessed are Those Who Mourn

December 4, AD2017 2 Comments
Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor: Blessed are Those Who Mourn

Actions produce consequences which produce new worlds, and they’re all different. Where the bodies are buried in the desert, that is a certain world, where the bodies are left to simply evolve, that is another. And all these worlds, heretofore unknown to us, they must have always been there, have they not? The Counselor, written […]

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The Love That Always Satisfies

November 29, AD2017 3 Comments
The Love That Always Satisfies

Ever since sin came into the world with the Fall of Adam and Eve, human beings have experienced an emptiness. Because of this emptiness, the human heart has been left with a void: we are left constantly searching for what we believe will satisfy our greatest longings. The lies of this world try to convince […]

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St. Michael the Archangel: Needed Now More Than Ever

October 25, AD2017 1 Comment
St. Michael the Archangel: Needed Now More Than Ever

In a previous essay, I recognized St. Thomas the Apostle and his feast day July 3rd. Last month had another saint’s feast day that has significance for me and that is St. Michael the Archangel’s on September 29th.   His feast day is also shared by two other archangels – St.Gabriel and St. Raphael. Prior […]

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A Baby’s Corpse: The Disingenuous Eucharist of “mother!”

October 2, AD2017 1 Comment
A Baby’s Corpse: The Disingenuous Eucharist of “mother!”

Darren Aronofsky’s film mother! starts out well enough, making masterful use of its setting and cinematography and centring on stellar performances from Jennifer Lawrence as Mother and Javier Bardem as her husband Him, a writer. And then it falls apart, climaxing with a woefully trite parody of the Mass, particularly as it is connected to […]

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Who Am I? A Sinner

Who Am I?  A Sinner

Early on in the pontificate of Pope Francis, during an interview, when asked who he was Pope Francis responded with the statement “I am a sinner.”  At the time, this statement was used in the U.S., to exclaim the humbleness and relatable-ness of Pope Francis to the everyday person.  In the light of recent events […]

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Our Battle with Sin – The Cancer of Our Souls

August 15, AD2017 4 Comments
Our Battle with Sin – The Cancer of Our Souls

Being diagnosed with cancer is always a dreaded event. There are many fears: will it be terminal? How much suffering will be endured? What painful treatments will be needed? The anxiety can become overwhelming because there are a lot of unknowns. There becomes an acute awareness of the brevity of this life. A sense of […]

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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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