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Water on Water

Dear Chemistry Student

Dear Chemistry Student, Once upon a time, at the ripe old age of 21, I was a high school chemistry teacher. I know people often have a bad reaction to studying chemistry. It seems difficult, abstract, and useless. Indeed, you don’t need to know that water molecules have a distorted tetrahedral arrangement in which the H—O—H angle is 104.5° to be able to get on with [...]

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Confessions from a Reluctant Evangelist

I flirted with fundamentalism during my college years. I’d met a group of Christians who talked about their faith with the same zeal as a weight lifter, all beefed up on steroids and vanity, might talk about his health regimen. They called this “being on fire for Christ.” I still wince every time I hear the phrase. I mistook their [...]

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The Book of Tobit, Retold Delightfully

I love the book of Tobit and I read it many years ago, sitting in Adoration as a new Catholic. And I wondered why in the world you would cut such a brilliant adventure story from the Bible. I was therefore VERY excited when I heard about Ignatius Press’s release of Tobit’s Dog earlier this summer. It’s is a modern retelling of the [...]

"David and Goliath" (detail) by Guillaime Courtois"David and Goliath" (detail) by Guillaime Courtois

Reading David and Goliath in the Four Senses of Scripture

Reading the Holy Scriptures in the modern age is a more daunting task than might be supposed considering the cacophony of educators cheerleading for the false success of a wholly corrupted educational system. The modern school promotes a false sense of literacy more transparent than the Emperor’s new clothes when held up to time honored understandings of literacy and the [...]

Praying the RosaryPraying the Rosary

Are you really praying or just fast-talking to yourself?

Coming out of a chapel after praying the rosary with a few other Catholics, a friend of mine was surprised when several of those who were with him revealed that they were moved by his prayers. They were all praying the rosary together and he had simply led a decade as requested. He was a bit surprised by their response. [...]

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Let There Be Ice Cream In Cones: On Determinism and Miracles

Last week I wrote that determinism is not a new idea for physicists, and I wrote that Christian apologists do not accept the deterministic conclusion that everything has a fundamental microphysical underpinning. This bears explaining. The key word is “everything.” As far as physics goes, the material world does seem determined.* Scientists expect matter to follow laws of physics, otherwise, [...]

Holy Spirit Detail of Chair of St. PeterHoly Spirit Detail of Chair of St. Peter

My Letter to My Newly Confirmed Niece

So far, two of my nieces have been confirmed Catholic. I’ve written them both letters. I highly recommend the practice of writing a letter to those you love who are celebrating sacraments. It’s a great way to connect with them and share your thoughts. It’s also a gift that gives long after it’s written. This letter was written in 2011. [...]

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Life and Prayer Lessons Learned from an Obituary Writer

“What have you got for me today?” The woman on the telephone had a soft and gentle voice. Her tiny, floral-print, navy blue dress seemed to swallow her petite frame. Bony fingers with short, unpolished nails held a number two pencil, which hovered over a yellow legal pad. She held the phone in the crook of her neck. “Mmm Hmm…. [...]

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Grace Trumps Dysfunction in Marriage

Got dysfunction? Everyone has from one extent to the other: a harbored resentment, stubbornness, or jealousy, all the way to major issues such as addictions or mental illness. The dysfunctional parts of our personalities are the ones that interfere with happy marriages. Lack of forgiveness and lack of unconditional love makes us dysfunctional as marriage partners and as Catholics. I [...]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The Problem with “Praying to Saints”

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith their words, I was unable [...]