Category: Arts, Leisure & Culture

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 […]

Wonder in the Womb
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Wonder in the Womb

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As Respect Life Month this year approaches its close, it is appropriate to give notice to one of the enduring classics of the pro-life movement. It is not a learned tome on personhood, or a carefully reasoned argument about the flaws of abortion case law, or a guide to effective pro-life activism, important as all […]

Book Review: Seven Saints for Seven Virtues
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Book Review: Seven Saints for Seven Virtues

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In our modern world, it can be extremely challenging to live a virtuous life. “The concept of virtue is often considered outdated and old-fashioned, but for Catholics, becoming virtuous is essential for eternal salvation.” What, then, can we do? Thankfully, we have saints we can look to as role models in virtue as we journey […]

Movie Review: Men, Women and Children
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Movie Review: Men, Women and Children

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Do not see Men, Women and Children unless you are inured to today’s porn and sex and sex and porn everywhere. The language and visuals are graphic and explicit and involve teens (and remember, today’s sex is degraded), but after a few seconds of getting into it each time, the camera mercifully cuts away. But […]

Struble's Holy Land Adventures a Generation Ago
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Struble’s Holy Land Adventures a Generation Ago

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With the Middle East in mayhem, I’ve been thinking back to my travels in Egypt and Israel during a less tumultuous time.  Upon returning to my teaching post in snowy Salzburg Austria, I found myself suffering from a fever – possibly a result of the sudden change from shirtsleeve weather to freezing cold.  From the […]

Is Rock Music Good for You?
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Is Rock Music Good for You?

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We all know that the lyrics of rock music are often morally offensive; however, evidence is appearing which indicates that rock music itself may be harmful regardless of the lyrics.  Although studies of the harmful effects of rock music are hard to find, there is a growing concern that there is something about the beat […]

Oldest Manager to Win World Series Still Enjoys Kid’s Game
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Oldest Manager to Win World Series Still Enjoys Kid’s Game

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Most 80-year-olds would never consider managing a professional baseball team. Then again, most 80-year-olds would never be asked to manage a professional baseball team. Yet, in June 2011, Jack McKeon accepted the then-Florida (now Miami) Marlins’ offer to lead the team as interim manager. McKeon’s previous stint with the Marlins included a World Series Championship in […]

Book Review: Three Moments of the Day
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Book Review: Three Moments of the Day

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In the Foreward to Three Moments of the Day by Fr. Christopher Collins, Fr. James Kubicki reminds us that “every precious moment of time has eternal significance, either contributing to the salvation of our neighbor or not.” Given that each moment of our life has this eternal value, how do we make the most of […]

Movie Review: The Good Lie
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Movie Review: The Good Lie

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I did not want to see The Good Lie. It was assigned to me by my boss at LifeTeen, Christina Mead (benign dictator). I thought: I already know all about the “Lost Boys of Sudan” (young men who were forced to be child soldiers when their parents were murdered during the civil war). Many sad, […]

Review of Catholic Courses' "God of the Old Testament"
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Review of Catholic Courses’ “God of the Old Testament”

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I just finished Dr. Paul Niskanen’s wonderful Catholic Courses class, The God of the Old Testament. It’s delightful. Full of “ah-hah” moments on a range of topics from historical oddities (I had no idea where the name “Jehovah” came from) to deep theological revelations, it packs some serious scholarly punch—all delivered in an engaging and […]

Book Review: Trusting God, with St. Therese
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Book Review: Trusting God, with St. Therese

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St. Therese once told Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart that “It is trust, and nothing but trust that must bring us to Love.” Trust in God can be one of the most difficult things to cultivate. We humans like to feel we are in control of our lives. It can be incredibly hard to […]

Finally, Catholicism En Français!
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Finally, Catholicism En Français!

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to read The Story of a Soul by Saint Thérése or True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort in their original French? Doing that with new copies was formerly a distant dream or an expensive reality, since there were next to no Catholic books published […]

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