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Culture

Stairway to Heaven: A Whimsical Look at a 1970s Song

December 27, 2018 19 Comments
Stairway to Heaven: A Whimsical Look at a 1970s Song

In the Office of Readings for December 26th (Feast of St. Stephen, Martyr) there is a meditation by Saint Fulgentius of Respe describing love and forgiveness as the way by which the heavens were opened for St. Stephen. Saint Fulgentius commends the forgiving love of St. Stephen for his enemies and calls love a stairway […]

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True Thanksgiving Isn’t Just Something We Do; It’s Something That Happens to Us

November 21, 2018 3 Comments
True Thanksgiving Isn’t Just Something We Do; It’s Something That Happens to Us

One of the dangers in presenting New Testament moral teaching is reducing the Gospel to a moralism, a rule to follow using the power of one’s own flesh. This is an incorrect notion because for a Christian, the moral life is not merely achieved; it is received. The moral life is not an imposition; it […]

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The Origin of Thanksgiving as a National Holiday

November 20, 2018 0 Comments
The Origin of Thanksgiving as a National Holiday

The Thanksgiving holiday that is upon us, while religious in theme, has a secular origin. Two presidents, Washington and Lincoln, are most responsible for its existence on our national calendar in late November. Here is President Washington’s proclamation: Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey […]

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A Prophetic Tour in the Land of Ruin

August 7, 2018 1 Comment
A Prophetic Tour in the Land of Ruin

At Mass for Tuesday of the 18th Week of the Year, we read from one of the later chapters of Jeremiah the Prophet, who wrote during the time of the Babylonian exile. He serves as a kind of “tour guide” through a land of ruin, one that seems all too familiar to us today. The […]

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Of Hunger and Hallucinations – How the Stages of Starvation Describe the Decaying West

July 8, 2018 5 Comments
Of Hunger and Hallucinations – How the Stages of Starvation Describe the Decaying West

Physical hunger is a serious problem; We are obliged to assist the starving and malnourished. But even more prevalent these days is spiritual hunger, if not outright starvation. As is the case with physical hunger, the source of spiritual hunger is not God, who has given us abundant grace and truth; it is we who are […]

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Unmoored Freedom is No Freedom – A Reflection on the 4th of July

July 3, 2018 4 Comments
Unmoored Freedom is No Freedom – A Reflection on the 4th of July

To most modern minds, freedom is a very detached concept; it is an abstraction of sorts, a free-floating power unmoored from any limits or defining standards. Freedom today is often viewed as personal and self-referential, with little consideration as to how one’s “freedom” might affect that of someone else. A healthy sense of the common […]

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Two Stories About Detachment

July 2, 2018 2 Comments
Two Stories About Detachment

It is common to think of detachment as something the poor easily have and the rich seldom have. Whatever the statistics on detachment as related to wealth, it is certainly true that there are some poor folks who are greedy attached to this world’s riches, while there are some rich people who are quite generous […]

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Two Teachings on Discipleship from Jesus

July 1, 2018 2 Comments
Two Teachings on Discipleship from Jesus

In the Gospel for today (Monday of the 13thWeek of the Year) Jesus gives two teachings on discipleship. They are not easy, and they challenge us—especially those of us who live in the affluent West. Poverty– The text says, As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you […]

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