How you are called to be a merciful soldier

Pope Francis is a controversial figure even, or perhaps especially, among Catholics. I have read about how the Holy Father is the right pope for the times because of his focus on mercy and love. That may be true, but I think many of us are missing something else God is trying to tell us ...

Why superhero movies touch our soul

This past weekend the Marvel Avengers: Endgame movie came out in theaters. It shattered all previous opening weekend records making over $1.2 billion worldwide. Endgame is the final film closing out an epic consisting of more than 20 movies that have been made over the last 10 years covering the stories of various characters, beginning ...

Why is the Chrism Mass so important?

This week, and during Holy Week every year, the Chrism Mass will be celebrated in cathedrals in dioceses all over the world. The Chrism Mass is a public celebration and display of the unity of the bishop to the priests of his diocese and the entire Church community as Members of the Body of Christ ...

The Spirit of the Saint’s Journey

I want to be a warrior, a priest, an apostle, a doctor of the Church, a martyr—there is no heroic deed I do not wish to perform. I feel as daring as a crusader, ready to die for the Church upon the battlefield.I long to bring light to souls, like the prophets and doctors; to ...

The Desert Experiences of a Jedi Knight and an Apostle of God

You may have never heard of the “Hero’s Journey” or “Monomyth” before, but if you have ever read a book or watched a movie, then you have encountered it! The “Hero’s Journey” or “Monomyth” is a story pattern discovered by Joseph Campbell. His most famous book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, has influenced many ...

Gotham, Metropolis and the City set on a Hill

Is the Church like Gotham City, diseased and dysfunctional and in need of purification from within, or is the Church like Metropolis, virtuous and whole and in need of protection from outside threats? Does Christ raise different saints within the Church at different times and if so what can we learn about the talents and ...

Gandalf’s Baptism in the Bowels of Moria

One of the greatest scenes in The Lord of the Rings is Gandalf’s battle with the Balrog. Whenever I watch it or read it, I cannot help but think of the Fellowship’s “plunge” into the darkness of Moria and return to daylight as a sort of baptism for the entire group, especially Gandalf the Grey. ...

evangeline

Evangeline’s Story: Expect the Unexpected

Nothing about our third child, Evangeline, has been ordinary. In 2015 Julie and I thought we were done having children. We had a boy in 2003 and a girl in 2006 and our three-bedroom home was just the right size to fit the four of us, our crazy Goldendoodle and all of our stuff. But ...

Are you a sheep or a goat?

The first Sunday of Advent's Gospel reading (December 2, 2018) tells us that the end of time will be so dramatic that some people will die of fright in anticipation of Christ’s return (Luke 21:26). “For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth” (Luke 21:35). Assault, which is associated ...

Three Ways Thanksgiving is like the Catholic Mass

Give Thanks The central purpose of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for our blessings received throughout the year. The central purpose of the Mass is the Eucharist which comes from the Greek word meaning thanksgiving. Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek words eucharistein and eulogein recall the Jewish blessings ...

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