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God Is Not Tearing the Nation or World Apart: We Do That

Open up the gates to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith. A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you. (Isa. 26:2-3) Where is this nation on earth, today—just, faithful, trusting, firm in purpose and thus living in peace? At this moment, the […]

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How Do We Accept the Holiness of the Church Amidst the Sins of Her Members?

Many Catholics are asking this question: “How can the Church be holy when she sometimes seems packed floor to ceiling with sinners, even among our leadership?” This question needs to be answered, especially in the twenty-first century, when Catholics have increasingly grown justifiably distrustful of all authority figures, including Church hierarchs. The faithful who have […]

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Clear a Path

In our magnificent first reading from the prophet Isaiah, which is echoed in the words of John the Baptist in today's Gospel, a voice cries out: “Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low.” Advent is a great time for us to clear the ground, to make level the path, so as to facilitate what God, with all his heart, wants to do.

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Doing Some Real Advent Spiritual Work

We will never be adequately prepared for the coming of the Savior unless and until we feel in our bones that there is something we need to be saved from. If we don’t require salvation, then Jesus devolves, very quickly, into one wise man among many, one more spiritual teacher in a long line of […]

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What Peter and Christ Teach Us about Dealing with Past Sins

We all know that Peter was the first pope. What we often forget is that Peter was also a terrible sinner. I can think of at least five times in the Gospels where Peter messed up; but the time that he denied Jesus was the absolute worst. St. Matthew tells us that it was a […]

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Hacer un Verdadero Trabajo Espiritual de Adviento

Nunca estaremos adecuadamente preparados para la venida del Salvador, a menos —y hasta que— sintamos en nuestros huesos que hay algo de lo que necesitamos ser salvados. Si no requerimos salvación, entonces Jesús se convierte, muy rápidamente, en un hombre sabio entre muchos, un maestro espiritual más en una larga línea de figuras similares a […]

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Buzz Aldrin and the Laws of Spiritual Physics

Last year, on the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing, I bought a box set of archival footage from that historic time. Included in the coverage was an interview with Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin from 1979, on the tenth anniversary of the moon landing. In the interview, Buzz talked about his struggles with alcoholism and […]

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Embracing the Great Wide Empty of Advent

As we approach the season of Advent, you may be looking forward to liturgical traditions. Perhaps you’ll be lighting the Advent candles cradled in an evergreen wreath on dark winter evenings or decorating a Jesse Tree with ornaments that tell the story of God’s love and care for humanity. Maybe you’ll play the season’s haunting […]

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Wonder and Beauty: 5 Christmas Gift Suggestions for 2020

Books and music are (in my very decided opinion) among the very best gifts that one can give. They invite the recipient into an experience that can be enjoyed again and again, and this experience is one that can be shared and talked about—thus deepening bonds of friendship and family connections. And the purchase of […]

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Longing for the Savior

Advent, like Lent, is properly a penitential season. To enter into Advent, to prepare for the coming of the Savior, is to enter into our need for a Savior. How wonderful that on the First Sunday of Advent, the Church gives us a beautiful reading from the sixty-third chapter of the prophet Isaiah offering a […]

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