Pastoral Solutions Institute and CatholicMatch.com: 2 Great Things That Go Great Together

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 I'm excited to announce that that Pastoral Solutions Institute will be working with CatholicMatch.com as part of our shared mission to help Catholics celebrate the life and relationships that God wants them to have. My wife, Lisa, and I will be hosting a soon-to-be-released video series for the CatholicMatch Institute on different aspects of what it takes to live life to the fullest and cultivate healthy, joyful, passionate, faith-filled marriages.  We'll  providing o … [Read more...]

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Good Without God: Part 3 in My Head-To-Head Debate with John Mark Reynolds

This post is part of a feature from Patheos called Head to Head where our best minds debate the big questions of the day.This week, I'm debating the Evangelical Channel's John Mark N. Reynolds. The question: is a deity necessary for morality?This week's question was inspired by Patheos Atheist writer Peter Mosley's story on Theism's Morality Glitch.This is part three in my Patheos Head-to-Head debate with Philosopher John Mark Reynolds of Eidos Blog.  I am responding to his post, … [Read more...]

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Dr. Strangelove (OR) How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Natural Family Planning. (Part III in a Series)

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This is the third post in my series titled, The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Burden of Natural Family Planning which attempts to propose some practical and sensitive avenues for addressing the struggles many couples have with NFP.  Click the links for Part One and Part Two.It isn't unusual in NFP circles to run into faithful, devout, well-intentioned people who use NFP but live in a constant state of fear about it.  Sometimes they are concerned about the method for health reasons (e … [Read more...]

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The Mindless Catholic: Does “Mindfulness” Have a Place In Catholic Spirituality and Practice?

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My fellow Patheosi, Will Duquette, at Cry Woof was wondering about the psychological technique of mindfulness and how it fits into Catholic spirituality.  He writes... From what I’ve gathered, mindfulness involves quieting your thoughts and being aware and alert to your body and your environment.  As such, it’s a way of being present, of living in the moment; and apparently the goal is to start small and increase this mindfulness in all parts of life.  A caveat: I gather that mindfulness is a pa … [Read more...]

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The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Burden of Natural Family Planning (Part 2): Dealing with Frustration Continued

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Before you read this, I hope you'll take a moment to read Part 1 in this series. The challenge of sexual frustration in NFP is a serious problem that deserves serious answers. Take a moment to read my original post that lays the groundwork for what follows.  I'll wait.Read it?  Great.   Let's continue.Oh, in that last piece I said I'd deal with medical concerns and extended fertility etc in Part II.  I see now that's going to have to be Part III.  That's written already, but I'll post it … [Read more...]

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The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Burden of Natural Family Planning–PART 1.

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Apparently all the 4th of July fireworks got a lot of couples thinking about the fireworks that weren't happening in their bedrooms.  It's usually difficult to ever find anyone writing anything about Natural Family Planning.  This week brings two different posts on the challenges of using NFP.  America Magazine has an article about the struggles various couples have with the method due to everything from medical complications to failure of the method to struggles with periodic abstinence and the … [Read more...]

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How the Forgiveness We’ve Seen in Charleston Can Change the Culture (My interview with Aleteia)

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From my interview with Aleteia Zoe RomanowskyEveryone has heard the stories by now: How relatives of the nine victims gunned down by 21 year-old Dylann Roof at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, NC, appeared at Roof’s bond hearing and spoke words of forgiveness and mercy to him.It’s not the first time we’ve seen this kind of response by devastated family members in the face of unimaginable loss.When Charles Roberts, a 32 year-old milk truck driver, walk … [Read more...]

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New Study Quantifies Spiritual Health Crisis in Catholic Families

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My latest article for OSV's Daily Take If your child came home from school with a test grade of 22 percent would you be concerned? How about 17 percent or 13 percent? Sadly, new research by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown found that similar numbers reflect the spiritual health "grades" of Catholic families. The first-of-its-kind study was sponsored by Holy Cross Family Ministries, an organization promoting family prayer and family well-being around the … [Read more...]

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Can We Be Moral Without God P.2.

This post is part two in my Head to Head debate with John Mark Reynolds on whether one can be moral without God.  My position is that one can be moral without believing in God.  John is arguing the opposite.When we were first assigned the question, "Is a deity necessary for morality" I thought about asking the powers-that-be to revise it because my first reaction was, "Well, of course, God is necessary for morality!  God is necessary for everything!"  But I didn't get the sense that's really … [Read more...]

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BE NOT AFRAID! Raising Faithful, Moral Kids in a World Gone Mad.

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I've been hearing from a lot of parents who, especially in the wake of SCOTUS decision on gay marriage have serious concerns about raising faithful, moral kids in the present culture.  It's never been easy, but recent events take the challenge to parents to a whole new level.  How do we convey the Catholic vision of love and marriage to our kids in a world that defines these terms in completely different ways than we do?  How can we hope to compete?  In our weaker moments, I think it is possible … [Read more...]

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