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To My Children: Eight Things I Want You to Remember this School Year

Dear Children, Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent hours ordering uniforms and supplies and schoolbooks. I’ve nagged you at least five hundred fifty-six times to finish your summer reading. I’ve carefully selected new book bags with colorful prints that reminded me of you and I’ve labeled your notebooks and binders and tab dividers.   I’ve scoured the house for belts […]

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The Cathedral of My Bathroom

I used to think that my days of praying in my bathroom were numbered, and that the numbers were going to get smaller as I (and my kids!) got older. I assumed that, with a routine that involved them being reasonable human beings and sleeping on a normal schedule, I would be able to return to praying at my kitchen […]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

What is mercy?

As we prepare for Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, we should also be preparing for the usual spin on his message.  One of the messages of Pope Francis that is often skewed is his call for mercy and compassion.  Mercy has definitely been a theme of Francis’ pontificate, as he repeatedly comes back to it in homilies and […]

Marriage: The Union of One Woman and One ManMarriage: The Union of One Woman and One Man

The Philosophy of Sex

Perhaps the only absolute statement you can make in our society which will not receive any disagreement is that human beings are sexual beings. No matter what a person’s political or philosophical point of view they are most likely to agree to the statement that human beings are sexual. In fact in some areas of society, especially among educators, academics, […]

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

The Difference Between Humans and Animals

“What made you establish man in so great a dignity?” A couple of weeks ago I was at a farmer’s market on a lovely spot right by the ocean. One of the booths that featured woodwork had a carved sign display saying: “Animals are People Too!” Certainly, I don’t think the author of that statement meant for us to take […]

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An Alternative to Being Busy

Am I busier… …than the third world woman who has no electricity and has to walk miles for a five-gallon bucket of water? …than the grandma who’s watching her grandkids, managing bills, and still getting dinner? …than any priest I’ve ever met or worked for? My list goes on. And on. And ON! The answer is…I don’t know. But I can’t […]

"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell

Trying to be Humble

  I’ve always found humility a tricky virtue.  Am I humble?  As soon as I think I am, it’s out the window, right?  “oh, and I’m really good at being humble, too…”  I’ve always struggled praying for it, because just like patience, the only way you’re going to get better is by practicing it!  So be careful when praying that […]

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Why are so many Christians confused today?

So far during this series of articles we have been laying out a simple framework that incorporates all the unchanging elements of this universe we live in; elements that are not physical or measurable, but rather principles upon which all of reality rests on. Metaphysics shows us that we intuitively realize certain truths. Stick with me on this and you’ll […]

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Christianity and the New Paganism

The most serious challenge for Christianity today isn’t one of the other great religions of the world, such as Islam or Buddhism. Nor is it simple atheism, which has no depth, no mass appeal, no staying power. Rather, it’s a religion most of us think is dead. That religion is paganism—and it is very much alive. Paganism is simply the natural […]

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Back to School and Back to Soul

This week, my older kids head back to school. That leaves me home with half as many kids, one of whom will be starting half-days in September. This time of year is always exciting for me: I have an inner love and longing for all things school supplies. Fresh notebooks and unsharpened pencils scream “HOPE!” and “FUN!” to me, and […]