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Man at PrayerMan at Prayer

The Hidden Lessons of Acceptance

Not long ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. Let [...]

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Reading St. John Paul II’s Fides et Ratio—Like a Mother

Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical Fides et Ratio was given in 1998 to address the relationship between faith and reason. The purpose of reading an encyclical is, in my opinion, to work it into your life, and at this point, everything goes through my mommy-lens. If you struggle with philosophical language, as I do, try first reading the work straight through and writing a short summary of what struck you most after [...]

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To Inspire Love: A Return to Modesty

In our post-sexual-revolution world, skimpy dresses, mini-skirts, tiny bikinis, low -rise pants, and low-cut shirts have become part of the mainstream attire for women today. And anyone who might raise questions about the appropriateness of such dress is viewed as “rigid,” “old fashioned,” or “out of touch” with modern style. Modesty is no longer a part of our culture’s vocabulary. [...]

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You Owe It to Yourself to Read The American Catholic Almanac

I was cruising through my new favorite book, The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States, when I came upon the April 7 entry, entitled “The Duke.” It began, “When asked about his religion, John Wayne usually gave one of two responses. Either he claimed to be a ‘presbygod____nterian’ or a [...]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

What are the Essential Qualities of Prayer?

In my parish ministry and work around the archdiocese, one of the questions I receive most frequently is like the question posed to Our Lord in Luke’s Gospel, “He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’” (Luke 11:1) People simply [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Render to Caesar

Despite their flattering words, they were trying to trap him, to force him into a no win situation. Consider the circumstances. They are living under the iron boot of a brutal empire which filled the earth with its idolatry. Patriotic Jews longed to throw off the tyrants’ yoke. They prayed for an anointed king who would free them from the [...]

St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)

I am struggling with resentment towards the Church, what should I do?

Dear Dan, I have been Catholic for three years now, and am very grateful for the gift of faith. However, I have recently been struggling with resentment towards the Church—feeling that there are too many demands, hardships, that too much is being asked of me. How does one combat resentment? Dear Friend, Welcome home! I am sorry to hear about [...]

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

Six Practical Steps to Catholic Joy

I recently had coffee with a fellow Catholic who gloomily shared his ongoing struggles with overtly living out his faith in the real world and reluctance to discuss his faith with others. He made it clear that going to Mass on Sunday was all he could or should be doing. Unfortunately, this is a very common tale. The conversation became [...]

St. Thérèse of Lisieux (left) and St. Teresa of Avila (right)St. Thérèse of Lisieux (left) and St. Teresa of Avila (right)

2 Doctors, 2 Ways, 1 Goal | St. Teresa and St. Thérèse

by Sister Mary Colombiere, OCD Many of you probably have seen the 1965 film entitled The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp and Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp. The first verse of the theme song goes like this: Climb every mountain, Search high and low, Follow every highway, Every path you know. Do you remember [...]

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How Do I Evangelize My Atheist Friends?

A university student recently asked me, “How do I evangelize my atheist friends?” Here’s my angle based on experience. When I was a non-religious scientist working in lab, I sensed that science pointed to a greater truth. The order, symmetry, and predictability in this Book of Nature was not lost on me. I worked on artificial photosynthesis and nanotechnology and often stared [...]