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heavenisforreal

What Should We Make of the Movie, “Heaven is for Real”?

When a four-year-old boy almost dies and later reports having visited heaven, it’s easy to brush it off as a child’s feverish imaginings. But when he knows things that no one ever told him and reports that he learned about it in heaven, it is hard to brush off.  In the movie, Heaven is for Real, from the 2010, #1 [...]

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Ellen Gable on Integrating Faith and Fiction

When it comes down to it, I’m a fiction reader. Oh yes, I read plenty of nonfiction in any given year, but, for me, fiction is the payoff, the reward, the icing on the cake of my favorite hobby. Over the last few years, since I’ve been an “official” writer of sorts, I’ve gotten to know some writers, and some of [...]

Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly star as Noah and his wife "Naamah"Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly star as Noah and his wife "Naamah"

Noah: A Post-Modern Midrash

Darren Aronofsky’s cinematic re-telling of the story of Noah has certainly stirred people up.  While quite a few reviewers, both religious and non-religious, have given the film high marks, many Christians, both Evangelical and Catholic, have registered a far less than enthusiastic reaction.  One prominent Catholic blogger and movie reviewer opined that “Noah” is “embarrassingly awful” and “the stupidest film [...]

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

Pope Francis and the “Joy of the Gospel” — Fr. Barron Comments

“Well an emergency has a way of focusing the mind and establishing priorities. So if a fire breaks out in a home, the inhabitants of that home will set aside their squabbling and they will get together to address this emergency. Or if a foreign nation invades well the lawmakers the nation invaded are going to set aside their internecine [...]

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Dr. Pitre’s “Jesus The Bridegroom” — An Interview and Excerpt

The premise behind scripture professor and popular speaker Dr. Brant Pitre’s new book is one that turned my head. It delves into something that’s confusing when you stop to think about it. Jesus, a bridegroom. OK, yeah, but isn’t that a metaphor? Turns out, not so much. From the Publisher: “In ‘Jesus the Bridegroom’, Brant Pitre once again taps into [...]

Fr. Robert BarronFr. Robert Barron

The Season of Lent — Father Barron Comments

The three classical practices the Church associates with Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving; three things that we do. It’s important to emphasize about Lent… we can internalize it too much; interiorize it, you know, what goes on inside me. It is more a set of practices. We pray during Lent. What’s prayer? John of Damascus said “prayer is the [...]

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Faith and the Writing Life with 10 Minute Writer Katharine Grubb

One of the best parts of being an avid reader and a writer is the people I get to connect with. Katharine Grubb and I first “met” via Twitter, where she’s @10MinuteWriter. Her blog, appropriately named “10 Minute Writer,” is full of longer-form insights and wisdom. I’ve actually hugged Katharine in person: she’s stayed at my house and shared food [...]

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“Learning the Virtues that Lead You to God” by Romano Guardini

“Unless you strive after virtues and practice them, you’ll never grow to be more than dwarfs.” (St. Teresa of Avila) Father Guardini’s  book, Learning the Virtues that Lead You to God, is a re-printing of his book first published in 1963. He was an Italian-born German priest and a successful Catholic educator who won wide acclaim for his teaching and writing. [...]

MeditationsforLent

Journey with Jesus through “Meditations for Lent”

I do not want to meet Jesus on my deathbed.  I want him to already be close so that death is something we do together, just as in life. Jesus told us to strive to enter eternity by the narrow door (Luke 13:24). That directive can leave us fearful.  Is our life leading us to the narrow door?  How do [...]

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A Chat with the Author of Atchison Blue

Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith was a complete surprise to me. A whap-to-the-side-of-the-head walloping shocker. Why? I’m not completely sure, but the surprise was delightful and refreshing. It’s good writing, for one thing, and it’s also honest in a way that I appreciated. So much of Valente’s story and struggles resonated with me. [...]