• Your “Most Solemn Obligation”

    Without question, parents are the primary influence on the faith lives of their children. Study after study shows that when parents are strong spiritual leaders, and when fathers—yes, dads in particular—teach and witness the faith to their children, the kids are far more likely to grow up and live faithful lives themselves. What kind of role do you want the […]

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  • A Prophet’s Legacy

    Have you ever been the excited recipient of an inheritance? If so, you may have received money, property or a treasured family heirloom. As a high school student I became one of the beneficiaries of my paternal grandfather’s inheritance. Knowing that I had intended to go on to a Teacher’s College, he had investigated the tuition for the four years, […]

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  • Daily Reflection—Teach Me Your Ways

    Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24). The busy nature of our lives may sometimes make God seem far away, but He is always present to us. He loves us into being by His […]

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  • We are Made for Truth

    “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23). Few things are more heartbreaking for a faithful Catholic than to hear someone say, “I really love the Catholic Church, but I just disagree with a few of Her teachings.” We might politely refer to such a one as a “cafeteria Catholic” in […]

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  • A World War Being Waged, not with Weapons, but Ideas

    One of Pope Francis’ most persistent prophetic protests — perhaps the one most consistently ignored by secular media outlets — has been against what he has vividly and aptly called “ideological colonization.” This refers to the attempt by western liberal democracies and institutions to compel, through economic and political pressure, countries and regions that were formerly colonized militarily to accept […]

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  • Daily Reflection—Desire Prayer, Not Signs

    Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” (Matthew 12:38). I suspect that each of us, from time to time, desire a sign—some indication from God that everything is alright and that we are on the right path. But, Jesus tells us that we have enough signs, if we […]

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  • What is the Answer to Suffering, Pain and Loss?

    Many years ago, I taught a fourth grade CCD class for my parish religious education department. It was the first evening of classes and I was starting the process of getting everyone introduced to one another when one boy blurted out, “I am going to be your worst nightmare.” He was speaking to me. You could say that I was […]

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  • Parable of the Wheat and Tares

    The parable of the wheat and the tares or weeds is Jesus’ response to those who want to cleanse the Christian community of the impure and imperfect. The Church, in this world, is more a hospital for sinners than a club for saints. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; […]

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  • 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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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

A Prophet’s Legacy

Have you ever been the excited recipient of an inheritance? If so, you may have received money, property or a treasured family heirloom. As a high school student I became one of the beneficiaries of my paternal grandfather’s inheritance. Knowing that I had intended to go on to a Teacher’s College, he had investigated the tuition for the four years, […]

A World War Being Waged, not with Weapons, but Ideas

One of Pope Francis’ most persistent prophetic protests — perhaps the one most consistently ignored by secular media outlets — has been against what he has vividly and aptly called “ideological colonization.” This refers to the attempt by western liberal democracies and institutions to compel, through economic and political pressure, countries and regions that were formerly colonized militarily to accept […]

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 […]

In the Spotlight

Your “Most Solemn Obligation”

Without question, parents are the primary influence on the faith lives of their children. Study after study shows that when parents are strong spiritual leaders, and when fathers—yes, dads in particular—teach and witness the faith to their children, the kids are far more likely to grow up and live faithful lives themselves. What kind of role do you want the […]

We are Made for Truth

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23). Few things are more heartbreaking for a faithful Catholic than to hear someone say, “I really love the Catholic Church, but I just disagree with a few of Her teachings.” We might politely refer to such a one as a “cafeteria Catholic” in […]

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 […]

Daily Extras

Daily Catholic Quote — from Fr. Romano Guardini

“More important than petition is adoration, for in it truth will come to us—the truth of life. Everyday cares will find their proper place and our standards will become rightly adjusted. This truth will comfort us; it will put in order what the entanglements and illusions of life have thrown into confusion. It will heal us spiritually so that we […]

Scripture Reflections

Parable of the Wheat and Tares

The parable of the wheat and the tares or weeds is Jesus’ response to those who want to cleanse the Christian community of the impure and imperfect. The Church, in this world, is more a hospital for sinners than a club for saints. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; […]

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 […]