St. John Paul II: The 20th Century’s Greatest Dissident

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 “I plead with you - never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid." - Pope John Paul IISolzhenitsyn. Havel. Bonhoeffer. Kolakowski. These names are forever lionized in the pantheon of noble dissidents. And rightfully so. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn catalogued the heinous abuses of the Soviet labor camp experience in his greatest work, The Gulag Archipelago. Vaclav Havel endured isolation and harassment as an outspoken playwright who penned the … [Read more...]

The Sin & Silence of Good Friday

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  Years ago, I had a vision. No, it wasn't a vision like St. Teresa's ecstasy or St. Joan of Arc's calling. I don't presume to be a saint. But it was an unmistakably compelling image of Christ on Good Friday. And I just couldn't shake it.It begins in the cool, sharp silence of space overlooking Earth. Noiseless. Peaceful. But deeply cold. In short order would begin the descent. As Earth's outer atmosphere approaches, there is the faintest sound - the most indistinct whisper … [Read more...]

Holy Week: On Suffering, Friendship & the Indispensable Body of Christ

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 "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body." - 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing." - John 15:5Last Sunday morning, like so many others, my family found ourselves in the narthex of our church. Arriving early to grab a pew, we had … [Read more...]

Obama & His HHS Mandate: A Play in Three Acts

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 I have a story to tell you in the form of a play.But before we begin a play, you must meet its main character. It is the tale of an unlikely leader: a scrawny African-American boy raised by his single mother and grandparents in worlds as disparate as Hawaii and Indonesia. This boy would find himself on a voyage of self-discovery where he would find himself at Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. After serving as community organizer, teaching at the … [Read more...]

My (Big) Little Inferiority Complex

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Waisenhauskirche in Vienna, Austria Okay, so I've compared myself to a few people in my life. I admit it. But it's hard not to. As a young boy and again as a teenager, my family changed school systems due to my dad's career advancements. Whenever that happened, I found myself (as did my sisters) thrust uncomfortably into a classroom full of strangers who didn't really care who I was or where I came from. Now, I made friends and (if I may be so bold) had a relatively successful academic, … [Read more...]

Of Merton, Monks & the Fortresses of God

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 "I looked at the rolling country, and at the pale ribbon of road in front of us, stretching out as grey as lead in the light of the moon. Then suddenly I saw a steeple that shone like silver in the moonlight, growing into sight from behind a rounded knoll. The tires sang on the empty road, and, breathless, I looked at the monastery that was revealed before me as we came over the rise. At the end of an avenue of trees was a big rectangular block of buildings, all dark, with a church … [Read more...]


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