Category: Arts, Leisure & Culture

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 […]

Movie Review: The Song
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Movie Review: The Song

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The Song is a new Christian film inspired by “The Songs of Songs” (aka “The Song of Solomon”) in the Bible. It is one of those distinctly southern/country culture films, with the two main characters being Christians themselves. It’s a story of adultery. A story of career vs. vocation, and spouses who are physically separated […]

Separated At Birth: The Identical Explores Identity, Conflict, Mission
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Separated At Birth: The Identical Explores Identity, Conflict, Mission

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First, there’s the great music: The Identical, which has been showing in theaters across America, is replete with rock-and-roll music that is eerily reminiscent of the great Elvis Presley.  In fact, the legendary rock star Drexel Helmsley, one of the twin protagonists played by Blake Rayne, is a dead ringer for the ’50s icon; and if you’re […]

Catholic Dad—a Book to Inspire
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Catholic Dad—a Book to Inspire

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Society is schizophrenic on fatherhood. Studies show that by every conceivable measure, children are better off with fathers. Yet the entertainment world often portrays them as bumbling or non-essential. The feminist movement has furthered that notion because at least for some take-charge kind of women, men just get in the way anyways. But it isn’t […]

Christian Filmmaking: Let's Be Honest
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Christian Filmmaking: Let’s Be Honest

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Several noteworthy commentaries on the lack of quality Christian filmmaking in recent years are beginning to pose an awkward question for those of us who are both trying to be faithful Catholics and film aficionados. With a few bright spots since Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe […]

Book Review: Mortal Blessings
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Book Review: Mortal Blessings

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I am a daughter of aging parents. While I don’t know the day or the hour, I know that the time is coming when I will need to walk with them on their final journey home. Death is part of life, and as a Catholic, I understand that it is the doorway to a different […]

Dolphin Tale 2, A Heartwarming Tale
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Dolphin Tale 2, A Heartwarming Tale

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As theaters are drowning in action movies and superheroes, a different kind of hero has made a second cinematic splash. Dolphin Tale 2 is a heart-warming, family friendly, and entertaining flick, featuring the unlikely protagonist, Winter; a dolphin without her tail. In case you missed the first Dolphin Tale, this based-on-a-true story movie focused on […]

Inside the Dolphin Tale’s Second Splash
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Inside the Dolphin Tale’s Second Splash

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What does a dolphin without a tale, acclaimed writer/director/actor Charles Martin Smith, and a group of renowned stars like Harry Connick Jr. and Morgan Freeman mean for Hollywood? In the first Dolphin Tale movie, it meant a major $100 million, motion picture hit worldwide and now, it means a sequel Dolphin Tale 2. But more […]

Movie Review: The Giver
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Movie Review: The Giver

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The Giver is yet another young adult dystopian novel turned into a movie, but it actually preceded many of the others. This engaging, perfect-for-our-times narrative by Lois Lowry was published in 1993, and is required reading in many schools. There is controversy surrounding the content, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out […]

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