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Moral Life

On the Balance of Kindness and Correction

September 10, 2017 4 Comments
On the Balance of Kindness and Correction

As a follow-up from Sunday’s Gospel (on correcting the sinner) it is important to reflect on balancing salutary discipline with necessary consolation and encouragement—never an easy task. For example, it is possible for parents to be so severe with their children that they become disheartened and lack necessary self-esteem; but it is also possible for […]

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Distinguishing Between Healthy and Unhealthy Guilt

September 7, 2017 0 Comments
Distinguishing Between Healthy and Unhealthy Guilt

One of the trickier terrains to navigate in the moral world is the experience of guilt, in its sense of sorrow for sin. On the one hand, we should experience an appropriate for sorrow, but on the other there are types of guilt that are self-destructive and inauthentic; these come either from our flesh or […]

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Two Tragic Sins Seen in One Gospel Passage

August 30, 2017 1 Comment
Two Tragic Sins Seen in One Gospel Passage

The tragic Gospel passage about the death of St. John Baptist (which we read in daily Mass on Tuesday) is a study in two common sins that afflict most of us. While the results of these sinful tendencies may not always be this dire, the damage wrought is often significant. Let’s take a look at […]

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Is Anger Always a Sin?

August 29, 2017 4 Comments
Is Anger Always a Sin?

In the Gospel for Wednesday of the 21st week of the year, we see Jesus make some pretty angry denunciations of the religious leaders of His day. In fact, throughout the Gospels Jesus manifests quite a lot of anger and issues many denunciations, often accompanied by the phrase, “Woe to you!” In this way, He […]

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Insightful Images of Sin in a Short Cartoon

August 25, 2017 0 Comments
Insightful Images of Sin in a Short Cartoon

The animated short below is a dramatization (sort of) of the story of Samson and Delilah as well as a commentary on lust and power. (If you would like to review the story of Samson and Delilah, click here.) As the video opens, two superheroes are summoned to an emergency. They rush to the scene, […]

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Who is Really on Trial in Our Life?

August 1, 2017 12 Comments
Who is Really on Trial in Our Life?

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI possesses a keen ability to summarize the ideas and problems of our times both cogently and succinctly. Consider the following assessment of our age that he made during a 2015 interview: For the man of today…. things are, in a certain sense, inverted, or rather, man no longer believes he needs justification […]

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The Power of Repentance to Rewrite the Record

July 28, 2017 1 Comment
The Power of Repentance to Rewrite the Record

This animated short contrasts the consuming quality of envy, anger, and hate with the overwhelming power of love and forgiveness. It also depicts the possibility of repentance upon recognizing the damage caused. In the video, a little girl’s written resentments of her older sister spring forth from her diary to wreak their havoc. Witnessing the […]

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Greed: A Meditation on an Underreported Sin

July 20, 2017 11 Comments
Greed: A Meditation on an Underreported Sin

One of the more underreported sins is greed. It is easy to conclude that greed is something manifested by “that other person,” who has more than I do. Yes, that rich guy over there, the one who earns a dollar more per hour than I do; he’s greedy, but I’m not. But honestly, does any one […]

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