Why Peyton Matters

 Peyton Manning"You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (attrib.)Two years ago, I found myself writing a piece about Peyton Manning...and my wife (Regarding My Wife & Peyton Manning). No, no. It wasn't some salacious scandal piece (perhaps to the chagrin of a frustrated Patriot fan), but rather a story of how I became a fan of the Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Even more, it is a s … [Read more...]

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Thomas Merton & “the Most Remarkable People He Ever Knew”

 The Village Church by Benjamin Williams Leader  He considered them "among the most remarkable people I ever knew."And he met them when he was just twelve.The Privats came into Thomas Merton's life by chance.  Merton's father was a widower and itinerant artist. His most recent wanderings landed him in Murat, the rustic, mountainous terrain of central France. And the Privat's small home was nestled where lush valleys kissed fir tree-lined foothills. As his father fo … [Read more...]

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What This Catholic Dad Saw at Star Wars

Note: This piece may contain spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.Let me start by saying this: Ostensibly, I was seeing this movie for my kids. Ostensibly, my wife and I were going to scope out the new Star Wars movie to decide if it would be appropriate for our daughters to see in the theater.Ostensibly.But let's be honest. When I sat in those cushy seats (what have become wide recliners in a stadium seating set-up unlike the cramped ratty flip-down seats of my childhood), s … [Read more...]

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Jacob Marley & Me

Marley's Ghost by John Leech I know, I know. The Christmas season is winding down (to be exact, Christmas officially ends January 10 on the Liturgical Calendar), but there is something that has continued to haunt me.Jacob Marley.Let me explain.Every year during Advent, I try to read Charles Dickens' classic tale, A Christmas Carol. I realize that, for some, the story may seem all too familiar, if not a little tired. After all, countless Scrooges ranging from Seymour Hic … [Read more...]

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The Mary of Christmas & the Mary of Good Friday – What I Learned From the Mother of Christ

Virgin Mary by El GrecoIt happened on Good Friday. I was sitting with my family at our parish's annual Living Stations of the Cross. As one punishing station succeeded another, Christ was soon collapsing under the burden of the cross and the stripes of his scourging. And then it happened. I finally understood Mary. Approaching her son - the Christ, for sure, the Prince of Peace, the King of the Universe, the Word Incarnate, but still her son - Mary saw the babe foretold by the angel, … [Read more...]

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“Let’s Start at the Very Beginning” – The Advent Message I Missed in “The Sound of Music”

 Their eyes were wide. But I wanted to make an impact.So I overwhelmed them with a ton of books. Let me explain.For several years, my Catholic parish asked my to convene a series of discussions with high school juniors and seniors (recently Confirmed in tenth grade) on how to cultivate their Catholic Faith. I focused on topics such as Dignity, Calling, Suffering and Grace. The discussions were open, honest, wide-ranging and rooted in Scripture, Church documents and the works … [Read more...]

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