How Evelyn Waugh Taught Me To Cope With Modern Times

"Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless." - G.K. Chesterton"I have been here before." It is time to remember. For now, we live in uncertain times with unreal figures. We are witnesses to incomprehensible decisions championing inexcusable values. Now, more than ever, it is time to remember. "I have been here before." These are the jarring words whispered by Charles Ryder in the opening lines of Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece, Brideshead R … [Read more...]

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What Happens When Catholic Kids Help Catholic Kids

"To convert somebody go and take them by the hand and guide them." - St. Thomas Aquinas (attrib.)What happens when Catholic kids help Catholic kids?Let me tell you.The other night I was invited by a colleague and friend to attend the annual NET Ministries Annual Catholic Youth Benefit Banquet. NET Ministries, which I was only loosely familiar with, is a thirty-five year old endeavor that originated with a visionary young man named Mark Berchem. In 1980, Mark and eleven other young a … [Read more...]

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What This Nine-Year-Old Boy Saw In Prince

I was only nine years old at the time.There I was, standing in the music section of Target (which in 1983 consisted of a wall rack filled with 45 rpm Top 40 records), looking for it...looking for it. And there it was.Delirious by Prince.Do you remember that one? Quick paced. Squeaky, yet euphoric. But made cool by the baritone voice of a true artist: Prince. Well, that nine year-old hastily bought that record - the first I ever bought - brought it home and played it over and over a … [Read more...]

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The Pope, Amoris Laetitia & the Doggedness of Truth

It has been nearly two weeks since Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) was released. The work has been described as "a rich reflection on the mission of the family and on how the Church can equip couples to embrace God's vision for marriage and can offer healing for families who are struggling." But anyone paying attention to the two year process that yielded Amoris Laetitia recognizes the truth behind Otto von Bismarck's immortalized words, "Laws are like s … [Read more...]

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Mother Teresa: The Saint of the Darkness

“If I ever become a saint, I will surely be one of ‘darkness.’ ” - Blessed Teresa of CalcuttaThey say she is a saint.And on September 4th, 2016, Pope Francis and the Catholic Church will canonize her. On that day, Mother Teresa - Blessed Teresa of Calcutta - will become St. Teresa of Calcutta.They say she is a saint.But some doubt it.Oh, it's not simply that some question the Catholic Church's overall process of investigating Mother Teresa's (or any other candidate's) cause f … [Read more...]

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When College Shakes Your Faith, Listen to Flannery O’Connor (Lights in the Darkness series)

My second piece in the Lights in the Darkness seriesIn a modern culture that is adrift, it is good to be reminded of the true, the good and the beautiful. Each week it is my humble privilege to offer one selection from an indispensable canon of essays, speeches and books that will light a candle in the darkness. It is a canon I have assembled over many years that I hope will challenge and inspire each reader. But most importantly I hope it will remind us of what is true in an age of untruth. … [Read more...]

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