General

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

Tightening my grip

There are few things in life that make you desire to be a child again more than being sick. (Other than Disney World, but that’s a completely different and much nicer feeling.)  When I had the misfortunate of being waylaid by a bug earlier this week, all I could think was that I wanted my mommy. There was no one […]

The Way of the CrossThe Way of the Cross

The Challenge of Being Counter-Cultural

It is often said that it is counter-cultural to be a follower of Christ.  No believer who hears that statement disagrees with it, but few of us take it completely to heart.  And that is a deceptively dangerous thing. Before I explain, let’s first clarify what it means to say that to be a Christian is to be counter-cultural.  I […]

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Perspective — Going Back

  “A humble soul does not trust itself, but places all its confidence in God” (St. Sister Faustina). I registered my eighth child at the high school of my youth today. A familiar smell which brought me back to being a 15-year-old faintly and suddenly filled my nostrils as I opened the same heavy doors that were opened in the […]

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Peeling Paint and Our Lady of Good Counsel

Before we moved to our current home, when people would find out I lived in an old farmhouse, they generally had one of two reactions.  They either thought I was lucky or they commiserated.  For some reason, the people who thought I was lucky—living in a house that could have been in Anne of Green Gables or Black Beauty, electricity added of course—seem to outnumber […]

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Post-Lenten Snooze

  Every other year or so, I give up my snooze button for Lent. Some years it goes well and some years I fail repeatedly.  But every year, I abandon the good habit after Lent. That’s not how it’s supposed to be—whenever we cultivate good habits during Lent, it doesn’t make much sense to discard them once Easter comes.  I don’t […]

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When Science is not…

Merchants of Death Series — Margaret Mead In the course of teaching philosophy to my students I try to lay out the development of the world they live in by showing them the ideas that shaped it, much as I have done in this series. Juxtaposed with true philosophy (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas), they see that the world they live […]

Acropolis (closed for repairs)Acropolis (closed for repairs)

First Thoughts from Athens

Editor’s Note: ICL Contributing Writer, Deacon Steve Swope, is a Catholic Relief Services Global Fellow Educator and a member of a Catholic Relief Services delegation that traveled to Greece and Serbia to observe and minister to the needs of Syrian refugees fleeing civil war, terrorism and ISIS. His ongoing blog posts record his experiences, thoughts and the personal stories of men, women […]

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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 […]

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We Need More Tentmakers

I love C. S. Lewis. So it’s perhaps not a surprise that my favorite part of my book club’s pick this month was the letters from Lewis to the author.  In his memoir, A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken detailed the conversion of he and his wife to Christianity, a journey in which the writings of Lewis played a part. After […]

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The Four Keys to Everlasting Love

Most of us didn’t receive an instruction manual when we became engaged.  We likely participated in the required pre-Cana classes at our parish and completed the FOCUS test.  But that may have been the end of our premarital instruction.  Once the wedding was over and the honeymoon phase fizzled down, we were left with a marriage—a lifetime.  Suddenly the pomp […]