Before the Miracle, I Believed—Now I Know.

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The following story is true. It happened to me. I will never, ever forget it. I had been a Carmelite Sister for many years when this story occurred. It changed my life forever, and I came away from the experience with an explosion of faith bursting within my soul. To cut to the quick and bring forth the significance of […]

The Principle of Finality and Teenagers… or “Is That Your Final Answer?”

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

The tough question Every year, around November, I have an involuntary front row seat to the latest round of teenage angst dealing with University applications. One year was particularly intense because two of my philosophy students were debating between attending a nearby secular University and one much farther away run by the Dominicans. In one case their new found love of […]

Science, Beauty, Teenagers and the God Question

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Young Atheists One of the most difficult issues, with which I have to personally deal as a teacher, is the student who enters my Grade 9 Religion class at the age of fourteen already an avowed atheist. While I have come to expect this from some entering Grade 12 Philosophy, such an attitude in one so young is disconcerting. Usually these students […]

Teenagers and Truth

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

What is truth? This is not an idle question, especially for teenagers. They may not ask it this way but there is a hunger, a need, an intense yearning to grab onto something that makes sense of their existence. The young man’s question to Jesus “Master, what must I do?” (Mk 10:17ff) is not merely a pragmatic question. It is […]

The Metaphysics of Man and Broccoli

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

“I have taken more out of philosophy than any other class this year not only because it helps prep for university, but also gave me a lot to think about in the way I live my life. One of my favorite aspects of this course was metaphysics, as it opened my eyes to many possible answers to life’s burning questions, […]

The Need for Universals

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

“Wonder and the passion for philosophy, let us explore all aspects of life and understand all that it has to offer. “I had claimed to have learned little to nothing in regards to valuable life lessons in the past four years. For that much, I was correct. But in the past five months, philosophy has taught me not to ‘know’ […]

The Eclipse of Reason

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Pope Benedict’s 2010 Christmas Greeting to the Roman Curia, a Catholic version of the American “State of the Union Address,” was notable for the emphasis placed upon human reason. His Holiness did not so much focus on the loss of Faith occurring in Western Democracies as he did the loss of Reason. At one point in his address he stated: […]

Why I Chose to be Chaste

Marriage: The Union of One Woman and One Man

I decided very early on in my life that I was going to wait until marriage to have sex. I can’t take all the credit for being some amazingly religious and reverent young man who was destined for greatness in following every verse and commandment I had ever known. Surely being in a private, Catholic school since the third grade […]

Introducing Teens to Good Friends

Sometimes it seems as though teenagers are not from this planet. No offense.  I was once a teen myself. And at one point, five of our ten children were teens all at once. Fun times. As any parent knows, teens’ friends influence them.  That is why it’s good to acquaint them with friends who really aren’t on this planet. Author […]

Because it is True

Photography © by Andy Coan

The only reason to believe something is because it is true. I am Catholic, not because it feels good to go to Mass on Sunday, or because it helps me cope with suffering in my life, or even because I was raised that way. I am Catholic because Catholicism is true. Unfortunately, my generation has taken truth and flipped it […]