General

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Find out what everyone needs you to do this year

  I had known for some time that I needed to make a retreat.  I had found plenty of excuses not to go—I don’t have time, I don’t have any major decisions to discern right now, there aren’t a lot of options for lay people, I don’t need it because I go to daily Mass… did I mention I don’t […]

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Is there a Homo optimus in your future?

Homo optimus and the God is Dead Morality The saying goes that “truth is stranger than fiction” and there are some days when I firmly believe it. Just prior to writing this article, I came across two headlines out of Britain that sounded like science fiction but were presented as much more real than that. The first article, published by […]

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Why Purgatory?

Some would call it cacophony. Others would be more blunt and describe it as tortuous noise. Be that as it may, it is my absolute favorite sound. I hear it and immediately everything inside me comes alive, attentive, expectant. You say, “Enough all ready. What is it and what does it have to do with the title of this post?” […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

A Mother Who Comforts the Afflicted

There was no evidence of misery or pain.  Her sleeping face was still, the fever invisible and her riotous bowels at rest. Earlier in the day, her small head had leaned against my shoulder, burning and sweaty.  It was my first experience of having a child sick enough to cause me to worry.  Her misery during her waking time made […]

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Why I’m proud to be a woman of the Church

As a woman who is active in the Church on both the local and national level, I’ve had plenty of time to think about women’s role in the Church. I probably find myself talking about it more frequently than the average person, too.  The other day a friend brought it up, and he began parroting the notion that throughout history the Church […]

"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra

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, […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Identity — We are more than meets the eye

This thing about identity—there’s more here than meets the eye, more here than most psychologists talk about, more here than we can understand, and what I’m going to present is more questions than answers. But I think it’s a profound point, so I’ll say it. This point that our very selfhood is by nature unstable and in question, this is […]

The Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in French AlpsThe Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in French Alps

Small Town Mary: Our Lady of La Salette

In the 1980s, when I was growing up in a small town in Ohio, there was a popular song that we all loved.  It glorified life in a small town and made us feel that we were something special because we didn’t have all the conveniences of urbanity.  We could forget that we had a forty-five-minute drive to “civilization” and […]

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Lessons from the Lottery

  Like millions of other Americans last week, I bought a lottery ticket. And like millions of other Americans, I didn’t win. As my friends and I were discussing our plans for when we won, I commented that it would be nice to at least put some aside for retirement. I commented, “It might not be biblical, but it would […]

"Christ before Caiaphas" (detail) by Mattias Stom"Christ before Caiaphas" (detail) by Mattias Stom

“Pig Philosophy”

The next idea that we will examine on our journey down the road of ideas that has led to our current “God is Dead” morality was once described as “Pig Philosophy” by the Scottish philosopher and satirical writer, Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881). First a story. Imagine that you are a small town sheriff in the Southern United States in the early […]