• Lessons Learned from Hollywood about the Priesthood and Religious Life

    What could Hollywood teach us about the religious life?  It’s easy to get discouraged by how badly movies and television portray the Catholic Church.  It was not always the norm, however, and I decided to host a summer movie series to remind everyone that “secular” movies can teach us something about religious life and even… holiness! For the series I […]

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  • A Glimpse of God’s Glory on a Morning Run

    Every now and then I slow down enough to experience God. The picture attached to this post was recently taken by me on the last day of our family vacation, just before my morning run. The sight of the sun behind the clouds took my breath away as it spoke to me of God’s glory and might, but my frail […]

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  • Prudence and Knowing When to Quit

    “And if any one loves righteousness, her labors are virtues; for she teaches self-control and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable for men than these.” (Wisdom 8:7). “Don’t be a quitter!”  It’s a phrase frequently used to encourage—or belittle.  It goes along with that silly challenge to “Go outside your comfort zone.”  But I have been […]

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  • A Bride and Groom; The Bride and Groom

    Two weeks ago, I had the great good pleasure of presiding at the wedding of my niece, Bryna. She has been, all her life, a lovely girl, full of joy and good cheer—and eager to give herself in service to others. Her husband, Nelson, is also a fine person, and he took the courageous step of becoming a Catholic in […]

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  • Daily Reflection—There Is No Fear In Love

    So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. There is no fear in […]

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  • “Flower of Carmel” — A Truly Beautiful Prayer

    Every year on July 16, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray—before meals, morning and/or night prayers, […]

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  • Daily Reflection—The Lord Stands at the Door and Knocks

      Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20). The Lord wants to enter into your heart and be with you… yes, YOU! He stands at the door and knocks. Will you open up […]

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  • Nurturing the Gift of Faith

    Have you ever struggled with your faith? Maybe you love God, but wonder why you don’t love Him more deeply and why that love does not seem to have a greater impact on your life. Maybe you are inspired by the lives of others you know who seem to be so much more deeply in love with Jesus, and you […]

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  • Sowing and Growing

    The Parable of the Sower and the Seed needs to be viewed from two different perspectives in order to unlock its meaning – from that of the sower and that of the seed. Whether sowing or growing – the point is a plentiful harvest and much fruit.  Reflection on the Mass readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year […]

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Into the Deep

Why Do You Confess Your Sins to a Priest?

Have you ever been asked why you confess sins to a priest? In discussing the Catholic faith with non-Catholics, the doctrine concerning confessing one’s sins to a priest often arises. Indeed, in my experience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ranks right up there with Marian Dogmas among the Church’s teachings that prompt the most questions from those inquiring about the Catholic […]

Surrender & Strength

What Others Think Of Us

I have had numerous conversations with friends and professional acquaintances over the years on the subject of openly sharing our Catholic faith. I am always a little surprised at how often many of them express strong reluctance to being open about their beliefs. The reasons given have included, “I don’t want to offend anyone.” “We could never do that at […]

Regular Feature

Lessons Learned from Hollywood about the Priesthood and Religious Life

What could Hollywood teach us about the religious life?  It’s easy to get discouraged by how badly movies and television portray the Catholic Church.  It was not always the norm, however, and I decided to host a summer movie series to remind everyone that “secular” movies can teach us something about religious life and even… holiness! For the series I […]

Prudence and Knowing When to Quit

“And if any one loves righteousness, her labors are virtues; for she teaches self-control and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable for men than these.” (Wisdom 8:7). “Don’t be a quitter!”  It’s a phrase frequently used to encourage—or belittle.  It goes along with that silly challenge to “Go outside your comfort zone.”  But I have been […]

I am His Beloved

I paused before exiting the guest bedroom. It was still new to me, since we had moved only a little over a month prior. But the walk-in closet beckoned me to open it, reminding me that I had thrust every photo album, film negative, loose picture, and scrapbook on the shelves in desperation to get the room uncluttered and somewhat […]

In the Spotlight

A Pro-Life Philosophy

Introduction Thank you. Does this [microphone] work? Can everybody hear me? If not, raise your hands. Whoever’s absent, please raise your hand. A Review of Logic A couple of preliminary rules. I’m a philosopher, I like to argue, so I’d like to say something about the role of argument in addressing an issue like abortion, and then something about the […]

The Mormon Fallacy

It was a beautiful spring day in Dublin Ireland. I was finished with my work meeting and decided to walk through the park near my hotel.  The park was crowded with people, sitting on the grass, playing catch near a pond, reading books under a tree or just enjoying the rare sunshine in this area of the world where it […]

12 Promises from the Sacred Heart of Jesus

As a small child, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, 1647-1690, preferred prayer and contemplation over childish play, owing perhaps to the extraordinary virtue of her parents. However, she had heavy burdens from her earliest years. She lost her father to pneumonia when she was only eight years old. After her father died she was sent to the Urbanist sisters where the […]

Flourishing and Dying

About two months ago, our family moved to a new city and home. Life was on the cusp of a spring breakthrough, though we couldn’t yet perceive all of its wonder and glory. Our new backyard was riddled with sticks and brown, parched grass. Heavily pruned and unidentifiable bushes adorned the brick pathway through the side yard. Life was dormant, […]

Time

Recently I was late getting a manuscript to an editor. My excuse? By far the most popular one in America: I had “no time.” Let’s examine that excuse. Why do we all seem to have no time for anything, much less for prayer? I am constantly feeling guilty about this, and I suspect most of you are too. I think […]

Daily Extras

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Teresa of Avila

“So dearly does His Majesty love us that He will reward our love for our neighbor by increasing the love which we bear to Himself, and that in a thousand ways.” (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church) The Memorial of St. Teresa of Avila, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (1515-1582), is October 15. Please share on social media. Print […]

Scripture Reflections

Sowing and Growing

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed needs to be viewed from two different perspectives in order to unlock its meaning – from that of the sower and that of the seed. Whether sowing or growing – the point is a plentiful harvest and much fruit.  Reflection on the Mass readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year […]

Does Life Feel Like a Chore?

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus makes the statement “my yoke is easy, my burden light.”  For many of us who follow him, this does not seem to square with our experience.  This post discusses the reasons for this.  And also tells us why the key to rest involves discipleship—coming under the discipline of the Lord’s strong but gentle heart. Reflection on […]

Dying to Self for God

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Second Kings 4:8-11, 14-16; Psalms 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19; Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; Matthew 10:37-42. When Self Magazine made its debut a few decades ago, it certainly was a sign of the times.  Ours is an age when it is socially acceptable to admit that life is […]

God Revealed as Father

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalms 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33. The recent celebration of Father’s Day invites us to ask a very important question—what does it mean to call God “Father?” Most of the great religions of the world believe in one God and teach […]