Wrestling With the Darkness of Man (On Auschwitz & Dietrich von Hildebrand)

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Lieutenant Ivan Martynushkin peered at what lay in front of him. On a bitter January morning in 1945, Martynushkin and the members of the Soviet Army's 322nd Rifle Division found themselves warily dismounting from their horses and cautiously approaching the barbed wire surrounding a Polish camp perimeter. Just behind the sharp-pointed fences milled dazed human corpses."We saw emaciated, tortured, impoverished people...Those were the people I first encountered...We could tell from their eyes t … [Read more...]

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Why My Kids Go To Catholic School

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Author's Note: For Catholic Schools Week, I've been asked to speak to my parish congregation about why, as parents, we chose to send our kids to Catholic school. While my testimony spoke about our Catholic school specifically, I have changed the name to reflect what I think is common to most Catholic schools. Here was my answer.  It was years ago, but it seems as clear as if it were yesterday. I was talking with my dad when he stopped me short. He looked me square in the eyes and … [Read more...]

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What I Learned from Romano Guardini & Jesus Christ Superstar

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And rising very early, going out, he went into a desert place: and he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” - Mark 1: 35-37Years ago a local church put on Andrew Lloyd Webber's (and lyricist Tim Rice's) rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar. If you have never seen it, it is quite the ride with full-throated 1970s-era rock anthems centering on the fallen disciple, Judas Iscariot, as he witnesses the events surrounding the la … [Read more...]

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I Have a Confession to Make

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The Confession by Guiseppe Molteni I have a confession to make. Years ago, before I converted to Catholicism, I harbored suspicion about the Catholic Sacrament of Confession (also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation). Now, let me be clear. As a Lutheran, I always believed in the importance of praying to God and asking for the forgiveness of my sins. That was simply "part of the Christian deal". God created us, loves us and passionately wants a relationship with us. Unfortunately, we … [Read more...]

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Christ Child (A Poem for Christmas)

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Nativity with Saints Francis & Lawrence by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio --------- Christ Child Did you know, little Child, The world that would receive you? Ill with Sin, Delirious with Pride, Desperate for Healing, But recoiling from Your touch. Of course, You did. Of course, You did. But for now, dear Child, Sleep. Be soothed by the cool winter wind And nurse from Mother Immaculate And rest under Father's watch. Tomorrow, You begin. But tonight - tonight - … [Read more...]

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Why Stories Trump Statements

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Suffer Little Children to Come Unto Me by Fritz von Uhde "A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is. You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate.” – Flannery O’ConnorEighteen years ago I fell madly in love. Her name was Cari. She had long, auburn hair, high cheekbones, dancing blue eyes and a smile that could light up the room. Her laugh was infectious, her demeanor poised, and her confide … [Read more...]

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