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Reading St. John Paul II’s Fides et Ratio—Like a Mother

Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical Fides et Ratio was given in 1998 to address the relationship between faith and reason. The purpose of reading an encyclical is, in my opinion, to work it into your life, and at this point, everything goes through my mommy-lens. If you struggle with philosophical language, as I do, try first reading the work straight through and writing a short summary of what struck you most after [...]

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To Inspire Love: A Return to Modesty

In our post-sexual-revolution world, skimpy dresses, mini-skirts, tiny bikinis, low -rise pants, and low-cut shirts have become part of the mainstream attire for women today. And anyone who might raise questions about the appropriateness of such dress is viewed as “rigid,” “old fashioned,” or “out of touch” with modern style. Modesty is no longer a part of our culture’s vocabulary. [...]

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You Owe It to Yourself to Read The American Catholic Almanac

I was cruising through my new favorite book, The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States, when I came upon the April 7 entry, entitled “The Duke.” It began, “When asked about his religion, John Wayne usually gave one of two responses. Either he claimed to be a ‘presbygod____nterian’ or a [...]

St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)

I am struggling with resentment towards the Church, what should I do?

Dear Dan, I have been Catholic for three years now, and am very grateful for the gift of faith. However, I have recently been struggling with resentment towards the Church—feeling that there are too many demands, hardships, that too much is being asked of me. How does one combat resentment? Dear Friend, Welcome home! I am sorry to hear about [...]

St. Thérèse of Lisieux (left) and St. Teresa of Avila (right)St. Thérèse of Lisieux (left) and St. Teresa of Avila (right)

2 Doctors, 2 Ways, 1 Goal | St. Teresa and St. Thérèse

by Sister Mary Colombiere, OCD Many of you probably have seen the 1965 film entitled The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp and Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp. The first verse of the theme song goes like this: Climb every mountain, Search high and low, Follow every highway, Every path you know. Do you remember [...]

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How Do I Evangelize My Atheist Friends?

A university student recently asked me, “How do I evangelize my atheist friends?” Here’s my angle based on experience. When I was a non-religious scientist working in lab, I sensed that science pointed to a greater truth. The order, symmetry, and predictability in this Book of Nature was not lost on me. I worked on artificial photosynthesis and nanotechnology and often stared [...]

Artwork © by Jef MurrayArtwork © by Jef Murray

On Dragons

[From a letter penned by Brother Azarias to his godson, Luke Lester. The letter is dated September 2, 2014, the Feast of the Guardian Angels]   My Dear Godson, You have asked me in the past how I came to be acquainted with your father and with his father before him. Now that you and your brother, Charles, are older [...]

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Two Vatican Scientists, One Great New Book

I’ve been enamored with Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? since the blue galley copy showed up in my mailbox. I haven’t read it all, but I’ve nibbled enough to know it’s full of wit and wisdom. My science-loving self can’t walk away from the proposition that’s in all the marketing copy: “Witty and thought provoking, two Vatican astronomers shed provocative light [...]

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A Novena to St. John Paul II for Brittany — Please Pray

We’re coming up on the very first feast day of St. John Paul II.  In 2011, just ahead of his beatification, I had the opportunity to interview his biographer, George Weigel, who called his priestly death the pope’s last encyclical. I would argue that, of all the great teachings we have from our former Holy Father – pages upon pages [...]

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Are all sexual thoughts sinful?

Dear Dan, I am struggling with sexual thoughts and am wondering about the teachings of the Church. Are all sexual sins mortal and does thinking of sex without arousal a mortal sin? When does the thought become mortal; is it when we don’t control it or is it always mortal? What exactly is lust and what are the church’s teaching on [...]