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Going Out the Door

Do I get an indulgence for walking out a holy door? Our diocese has a few holy doors for this Year of Mercy, and one is in my parish. I think of the great graces I have the chance to receive on a weekly basis as I go to Sunday Mass, and I always try to enter through the doors […]

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

Six Ways to Avoid Being a “Stealth” Catholic

I have had numerous conversations with friends and professional acquaintances over the years on the subject of openly sharing our Catholic faith. I am always a little surprised at how often many of them express strong reluctance to being open about their beliefs. The reasons given have included many you may have heard before. “I don’t want to offend anyone.” […]

"The Holy Trinity" (detail) by Antonio de Pereda"The Holy Trinity" (detail) by Antonio de Pereda

Judge Not by Appearances

Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God is His revealed word. He is the single best source of Truth known to man and it is only through Him that we may catch a glimpse of who God is and who we truly are. The world today has turned away from Christ as the ultimate source of truth and turned […]

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

Are Human Free Will and Divine Predestination Both True?

If God is not love but only knowledge, then it is difficult or impossible to see how human free will and divine predestination can both be true. But if God is love, there is a way. Freedom and predestination is one of the most frequently asked questions among my students—partly because of modern man’s great concern for freedom, but also, […]

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Celebrating Our Father

During the month of June, the United States and fifty-five other countries around the world honor the roles fathers play in the family and the community.  This modern secular holiday invites us to ask a very important question—what does it mean to call God “Father?” Most of the great religions of the world believe in one God and teach the essence of the […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons for Dads

Who Introduced You to the Lord? The first question I would like to pose, is simply this: “How did you come by your faith, whether it be weak or strong, new or old? Where and when did you first come to encounter Jesus and his glorious Gospel?” For many of us, the answer would be, “I first came to know […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Secret Messiah

Jesus asks a simple question, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” (Luke 9:18). All volunteer an answer, because describing other people’s opinions requires no personal commitment whatsoever.   But then Jesus asks them a tougher question: “Who do YOU say that I am?”  Answering this one entails sticking your neck out a bit. The impetuous Peter blurts out […]

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What We Can Learn from Clergy Assignments

Last Sunday, the choir at my parish took me by surprise by singing “Totus Tuus” by Marco Frisina for the meditation after communion. Though I’ve only heard the song a few times, it never fails to take me back to the emotional weeks surrounding Pope John Paul II’s death and funeral. I was given the grace of being in Rome […]

Father and SonFather and Son

A Letter to My Children

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7–8). Have […]

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

Are Modern Laws Making Us Less Free?

Before we understand the purpose of our law, we should ask, “What does it mean to be free?” Is it simply the ability to choose whatever we want to do even if what we want is not morally sound? St. John Paul II would say that such permissiveness would actually destroy our freedom because sin actually enslaves us. It is […]