Category: Arts, Leisure & Culture

Book Review: I Thirst for Your Love
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Book Review: I Thirst for Your Love

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All of us need reminders of how much God loves us and how much He desires that we give Him our hearts. Our weak and distracted human nature all too often is pulled in many different directions at once and we forget that the invisible, immortal God took on flesh, suffered in all the ways […]

Movie Review: Selma
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Movie Review: Selma

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Selma, the story of a pivotal point in the civil rights work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a well-cast, well-acted re-telling. At times it lacks a bit of a spark, especially as David Oyelowo delivers MLK’s rousing, eloquent and inspired speeches in an almost too polished fashion. But this is one of the […]

A Preachable Message: The Dynamics of Preaching NFP
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A Preachable Message: The Dynamics of Preaching NFP

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When was the last time you heard a priest give a homily that mentioned Natural Family Planning? If you are like me, the answer is never. Admittedly, it isn’t necessarily a topic that I would want discussed at a Mass where younger children are present, but there are many times when it would be appropriate, […]

A New Year's Resolution for You
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A New Year’s Resolution for You

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New Year’s Resolutions tend towards the personal: lose weight, take up a hobby, spend more time with the family, get up earlier, read great books, etc. But this new year I beg people to take some time to learn more about bioethics. The stakes are high. Our definitions of life, death, and human dignity are […]

The Journey of the Magi: Baby, You're Gonna Be a Big Star Someday
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The Journey of the Magi: Baby, You’re Gonna Be a Big Star Someday

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Now the shepherds were not the only ones who visited the Holy Family after Jesus was born. Stargazers from Arabia soon arrived. They stopped off at the fortress-palace of Herod the Great because they needed directions. Men are often too proud to admit when we’re lost but the stargazers swallowed their pride and entered the […]

TV Review: The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns
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TV Review: The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns

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Reality TV about five young women discerning their vocation at three different convents? How could this be the proper vehicle? Won’t the cameras interfere with or even hamstring this very personal and intimate process? Will it “work”? When I heard that such an animal was coming down the pike, I had great apprehension, even when […]

Wedding Rings and Christmas Tree Ornament
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When Hollywood Celebrated Christmas and Marriage

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I don’t see a happy ending to this story.

Fr. Don Calloway on the Power of Mary
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Fr. Don Calloway on the Power of Mary

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Twelve years ago, a brief article in the Marian Helper magazine caught my attention. “My mother never gave up on me,” I read. “Even though I dropped out of high school, she never gave up on me, and now I’m becoming a priest.” That simple little story spoke volumes. I was on the lookout for inspirational […]

Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings

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Exodus–the story of Moses–proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that atheists make the best Bible movies (see my review of Noah). I don’t know that atheists necessarily make the best contemporary movies about faith or people of faith, but they certainly do the oldies well. Perhaps this is in part because they mine an […]

The Gift of the Atheists
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The Gift of the Atheists

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I remember the deep frustration at one point years ago when a surly teen, despite having been conceived with joy and raised with devoted love—decided he wouldn’t accompany us to Sunday Mass. Confronted with his obstinacy, my larger disquiet was how his behavior would affect the younger children. While wringing my hands, I confided my […]

Loved as I Am - A Powerful Conversion Story
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Loved as I Am – A Powerful Conversion Story

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Loved as I Am: An Invitation to Conversion, Healing, and Freedom through Jesus (Ave Maria Press, 2014) is written by a religious sister who has experienced conversion in a very dramatic fashion, but this book is for anyone who is wounded, suffers from addiction, or feels unloved and/or unlovable. Sr. Miriam James Heidland, a member […]

A Charlie Brown Christmas Miracle
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A Charlie Brown Christmas Miracle

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It’s amazing that the show was nearly not broadcast. I speak of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” — a show that, for reasons I don’t understand, holds more power over me with every passing year. The show has a very simple premise: Too much commercialization can take the meaning out of Christmas. As it goes, Charlie […]

Book Review: Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women
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Book Review: Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women

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Before reading Anne Costa’s book Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women from St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, I knew who Edith Stein was but did not really know a lot about her. She had figured into other things I have read and I had connected with some of the passages quoted from her writings. […]

Chastity and Love: Please Don't Let Them Be Misunderstood
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Chastity and Love: Please Don’t Let Them Be Misunderstood

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Chastity and love are two of the most misunderstood concepts in our culture today. In her new book Chastity Is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin, Arleen Spenceley does a masterful job clearing up the confusion. About chastity and how it differs from abstinence, she says: Chastity neither pretends sexuality doesn’t exist nor […]

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part I
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Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part I

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The third installment of The Hunger Games: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part I does not disappoint. Director, Francis Lawrence, who also directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire keeps the momentum going in a sleek, seamless film. As we all know, sequels are hardly ever as good as the original, but in serial films it seems, as […]

The Contending Opinions on Three-Parent Embryo Safety, Part I
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The Contending Opinions on Three-Parent Embryo Safety, Part I

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In our long stride toward the inevitable designer babies, the first manipulation has been the noble goal of creating babies free of the mitochondrial diseases carried by their mothers. This series will examine the issue rather thoroughly in four basic segments: 1. The basic cell biology involved. 2. The problem of defective mitochondria. 3. The […]

Review:  The Grace of Yes
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Review: The Grace of Yes

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Lisa Hendey—Mrs. Catholic Mom herself—wants to be on Survivor. And ride a Harley. And after reading this book, darned if I don’t think she’ll do both. The Grace of Yes is a wonderful mix of stardust and Crisco—a blending of the mystical with getting dinner on the table. For example, Hendey notes: “I’m continually challenged […]

Castellani's Eyeglasses
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Castellani’s Eyeglasses

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I have a dear friend in Buenos Aires, Fabián Rodríguez Simón, a voracious reader and recalcitrant freethinker. Every time we meet I like to engage with him in tough (and bitter) theological disputes. In one occasion, while reviewing the great Catholic writers of the 20th century, from Chesterton to Lewis, from Bloy to Tolkien, my […]

The Grace of Admitting Our Brokenness
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The Grace of Admitting Our Brokenness

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Even healers need to be healed. Even teachers need to learn more. And even those who advise perfection aren’t perfect. If we’re willing to admit that, then we have the grace of integrity, explains Lisa Hendey in her fourth book The Grace of Yes, released yesterday by Ave Maria Press. Integrity gives people in authority (including […]

Book Review: The Light is On for You
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Book Review: The Light is On for You

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Confession, also known as The Sacrament of Reconciliation, can be a hard sell, even among Catholics who actively practice their faith. In the Introduction to The Light is On for You: The Life-Changing Power of Confession (The Word Among Us Press), Cardinal Donald Wuerl acknowledges that only “slightly more than 60 percent of practicing Catholics […]

Movie Review: Gone Girl
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Movie Review: Gone Girl

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I don’t know why this simple premise intrigued me when the best-selling book and now movie, Gone Girl first came out, but it did: A young married couple. The wife suddenly disappears. Was it murder? Did her husband do it? But alas, the film, for all its accolades, is a massive disappointment, and really, a […]

Book Review: The Grace of Yes
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Book Review: The Grace of Yes

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What does it mean to live generously? That is the question at the heart of Lisa Hendey’s new book, The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living (Ave Maria Press, 2014). Hendey, founder of CatholicMom.com and well-known speaker, offers readers an intimate look at her own struggles as she attempts to follow God’s will […]

U.S. Borders Open Wide and Encourage Reproductive Tourism
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U.S. Borders Open Wide and Encourage Reproductive Tourism

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Last night before heading off to bed I happened to check my email, only to read this unbelievable headline – “Obama Administration Allows Fertility Clinics To Sell US Citizenship.” Boy, did that catch my eye! I’ve just finished reading the Policy Alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security. You can read it here but […]

How Sinner-Turned-Saint Augustine Can Teach You Temperance
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How Sinner-Turned-Saint Augustine Can Teach You Temperance

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Prior to his conversion, St. Augustine led a pretty debauched life, shacking up with a mistress for 15 years and fathering an illegitimate child with her. As a result I was initially surprised when Jean Heimann’s new book Seven Saints for Seven Virtues chose St. Augustine as a role model for temperance, “the cardinal virtue that helps […]

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