Suicide and the Christian

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In light of Robin Williams' tragic death there are a lot of people saying a lot of different things about Christianity and suicide. I thought it would be useful to take a moment to consider the wisdom the Catechism has to offer."Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide. We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him … [Read more...]

Does God Want YOU to Be Happy? Read Pope Francis’ 10 Point Happiness Plan

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When I ask people, "What do you want?"  The #1 answer I get is, "I just want to be happy."  Happiness is a hard enough goal to achieve but Christians have an extra hurdle.  Upon expressing a desire for happiness, many of my Catholic clients immediately say, "But I feel guilty because God doesn't really care about my happiness. He wants me to be holy."Are Happiness and Holiness Mutually Exclusive?I have often heard the phrase, "God desires our holiness more than our happiness."  I und … [Read more...]

Religion is Bad for Marriage (when there’s not enough of it)

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Great post over at David French's blog on the Evangelical Channel on Patheos.  The Blue States often sneer at the South because the South claims higher rates of religiousness but ALSO higher divorce rates.  Many liberals take this to assume that religious people in general are just a bunch of hypocrites.  I'll let David take it from here.It’s pretty simple: When it comes to marriage, church attendance matters more than church affiliation.I’ve often heard the South described as “God-h … [Read more...]

Annulment Q & A: 6 Common Questions About Annulments.–UPDATED

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The Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a Symposium on the Family in light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family in October and the recent release of the working document for the Synod.As a pastoral counselor, I often work with people who are either going through divorce or who have been recently divorced.  Often these individuals have very important questions about the annulment process: What is it?  Should they seek one? What difference does it make?  The following are some of t … [Read more...]

Holy Sex! What Catholics Can Teach the World About Infallible Loving.

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The Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a Symposium on the Family in light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family in October and the recent release of the working document for the Synod.  Most people believe that Catholics take a rather dim and ignorant view of sex.  I used to be one of them.  Growing up, it seemed to me that there were two prevailing schools of thought among Catholics.  The first I call the "Keep God Out of My Bedroom" School.   This is the more Medite … [Read more...]

Is the Catholic Family Different? 5 Marks of the Catholic Family–A Proposal.

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The Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a Symposium on the Family in light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family in October and the recent release of the working document for the Synod. In the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on The Family, the Church will consider the mission of the Catholic family.  One of the big questions we need to look at in wrestling with this larger issue is, “Should Catholic families be different in some way from other families (other than in the ways we pra … [Read more...]

Mission Possible: Rediscovering Catholic Family Identity

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The Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a Symposium on the Family in light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family in October and the recent release of the working document for the Synod. The following is part of that ongoing series.In November 2013, I was asked by my bishop to provide a response to the survey in preparation for the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family.  Many of the questions in that document have to do with the faithful’s awareness of the practical signif … [Read more...]

Sesame Street Tells Lies that Hurt Kids (OR, Why “Any Group of People / Living Together And Loving Each Other” ISN’T “Doing the Family Thing”)

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The Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a Symposium on the Family in light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family in October and the recent release of the working document for the Synod. In the last decade, especially, in a well-intentioned effort to be inclusive, educators and broadcasters have been redefining what it means to be a family.  The simplest and most concise example might be this music video from the popular children's television program, Sesame Street, which states, " … [Read more...]


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