Behold the Pierced One: Spending Holy Week with Benedict XVI

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 "Easter is concerned with something unimaginable." - Joseph Cardinal RatzingerI just returned from vacation. And it was terrific. The sunny climes of gulf coast Florida afforded an abundance of time to explore Busch Gardens (birds land on your head!), discover the Florida aquarium (I've never seen a bigger grouper), be dazzled by mind-bending art at the Dali Museum (pose with a gigantic Dali moustache!) and swim with my two daughters (both of whom I threw, splashed and chased to … [Read more...]

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On Catholicism & Atheism…My Dogma & Yours

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 Milan CathedralEarlier this evening I happened upon CNN's home web page where I encountered an engaging feature, Famous Atheists & Their Beliefs. Intrigued, I was drawn into the fashionable and attractive head shots and statements of actors and actresses, scientists and intellectuals, musicians and composers who had declared their creed (or refutation of a Creed) of Atheism. From many, they had become one. And CNN was happy to tell their stories.And so, the stories wo … [Read more...]

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My Quaint, Silly, Ridiculous, Little, Lovely, Lovely Faith

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The Calling of St. Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da CaravaggioWhen I was growing up, I was raised in a Lutheran home. My mother's father was a gifted, but somewhat stern Lutheran pastor who informed my mother's faith. We attended church regularly, prayed at meals, prayed before bedtime and read stories from "Hurlbut's Story of the Bible". I recall close friendships between my parents and our pastors. I remember walks with my dad down long train tracks, as our black lab manically sniffed for … [Read more...]

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Why That Woman Wept At Confession

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  I have to be honest. I was jarred when I first heard it. It was on a Tuesday night - a Lenten Reconciliation Service. The gorgeous sanctuary of our church was warmly lit and Richard, the music director, gingerly played beautiful, familiar, sweetened hymns on the piano. Lines were formed around the periphery of the sanctuary. Five priests were working overtime (as if there is a prescribed set of "working hours" in a priest's life anyway) leaning in, comforting, consoling, … [Read more...]

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Twisted Cross, True Cross

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  I was only nine when I saw it. And it is strange that I still remember it. It was in the basement of my childhood home – my father’s office, to be exact. Unlike the house we lived in before, this basement had no natural light. Though light fixtures and lamps fought against the encroaching darkness, an older sister could devilishly switch the light off while you were down there and leave you instantly consumed by the inky blackness. And it was frightening.So it was in t … [Read more...]

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God & the Darkness

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 Forgive me. I am in a dark mood.There is darkness these days. And sometimes, is seems, it approaches blackness. These days ISIS pours across the Middle East brazenly leaving the crucified, decapitated & raped in their wake. An unabashed Iranian regime with an undisputed record of deceit, oppression and genocidal aspirations moves ever closer to an internationally approved nuclear capability. A Russian despot without cover of ideology or provocation shamelessly violates every norm o … [Read more...]

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