Columnists

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Old vs. New in the Kingdom of God

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“Liberal” and “conservative.” The definitions of these terms are seldom stated. Usually they are just presumed. Often people call “conservative” those who like old-fashioned things and “liberal” those who favor the latest ideas, trends, and values. But for the Christian, the ultimate question is not personal preferences of style, or whether something is old or […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Parable of the Wheat and Tares

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At one time or another, we’ve all dreamed of a perfect world.  Imagine a company where everyone is productive, a government full of honest politicians, a church where all are saints. Dreaming about such things is natural; expecting such things is dangerous.  Unrealistic expectations lead to discouragement, despair, even cynicism. That would be bad enough.  […]

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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Paul in Arabia: The History of the Temple

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The story of Paul’s journey into Arabia begins and ends in the Temple at Jerusalem (Acts 7:1—8:1; 22:17-21). Paul made his scriptural debut as the young prosecutor who guarded the cloaks of the members of the lynch mob who stoned Stephen (Acts 7:58; 8:1). Scripture offers scant details about the next few years of Paul: […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Sower and the Seed

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I’ve always loved gardening.  Seeds I’ve planted include carrot, cucumber, and of course, zucchini.  In each case, I’ve planted seeds in neat rows, expecting nearly all of them to sprout and yield fruit. But the farmer in Jesus’ parable (Mat 13:1-23) uses the broadcast method.  Lots of seed cast everywhere.  And predictably, many of these […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Does Life Feel Like a Chore?

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I once knew a woman who called herself “a recovering Catholic.” It seems that as a child, she was taught a religion that was all about guilt. Impossible demands were placed on her requiring strenuous efforts that were doomed to frustration. Turn the other cheek. Don’t even THINK about romantic flings. Love your enemies. Attempting […]

Marge Fenelon
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Lines from the Declaration of Independence to Ponder this July

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As youth, many of us were required to memorize – or at least study – the Declaration of Independence. Although we might not be able to quote it now, we’re probably able to spot it if we hear it read or recited by someone else. At least I hope so. The Declaration of Independence is […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul

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“Self” Magazine is certainly a sign of the times. This is an age when it is socially acceptable to admit that life is all about me. But selfishness is nothing new. Ever since Eve bit into the apple, human beings have made the choice to dethrone God and put in His place the unholy trinity […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Eucharist: The Body of Christ?

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The Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely, that in the Eucharist, the communion wafer and the altar wine are transformed and really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Have you ever met anyone who has found this Catholic doctrine to be a bit hard to take? If so, you shouldn’t be […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Trinity Sunday: Is it Relevant?

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Many are ready to give a polite nod of some sort to Jesus of Nazareth. Most honor him as a great moral teacher. Many even confess him as Savior. But the Incarnation of the Eternal God? Second person of the Holy Trinity? God can’t be one and three at the same time. Such a notion […]

Jake Frost
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A Tale of Five Kings for Father’s Day

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My poor Dad. He made a ton of money his whole life. But he never had any. Instead, he had kids. Lots of them. Of course, when I was younger I never considered things from the perspective of my parents. The good things they gave us, as far as I could tell, were like the […]

Marge Fenelon
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How God Conquered My Fears in the Holy Land

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While I was in the Holy Land, many Scripture verses surfaced in my mind and heart as I stood in the places of the Old and New Testaments. But, the one I found myself recalling most often was Psalm 91: For you have made the LORD, my refuge,             Even the Most High, your dwelling place.      No […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Difference the Spirit Makes

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As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything. We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey. Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Why The Ascension Matters

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The celebration of the Ascension used to leave me a bit flat.  It was clear what Good Friday did for me.  And Easter Sunday’s benefits were indisputable.  But as for the Ascension, what’s in it for me? Christianity is about a kind of love we call agape or charity.  It is love that looks away […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Paraclete

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He wore steel rimmed glasses and had hair to the middle of his back.  The fringe on his buck-skinned jacket bounced as he walked. At least that was the way I was accustomed to seeing Mike as he bopped around town.  It was just a few years after Woodstock, and we were all taken with […]

Jake Frost
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Book Review: Something Other Than God

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I have a bone to pick with Jennifer Fulwiler:  she kept me up late for about week reading her book, Something Other Than God. And we’ve got four kids aged five and under, so sleep is at a high premium around here. I wasn’t planning on reading Something Other Than God at all right now.  […]

Marge Fenelon
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What Does Pope Francis’ Visit to the Holy Land Have to do With Us?

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It may seem as though Pope Francis’ trip to the Holy Land May 24-26 is something far away, both mentally and geographically. Trust me, it’s very close. Sure, he’ll be meeting with a number of dignitaries from positions and areas that don’t directly affect us. But, the main purpose for his trip is to meet […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life

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“As long as you believe in God and try to be a good person, your religion doesn’t matter.”  “There are different paths up the same mountain, but they all lead to the peak.” How many times have you heard people speak this way?  This is the prevailing wisdom.  It’s politically correct.  Tolerant.  Reasonable. But it’s […]

Jake Frost
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The Cereal Box Principle

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What’s the most widely read literature of the 20th century?  According to an informal, non-scientific poll (consisting of me and Mom, who happened to be talking about this on the phone), it’s not Pride and Prejudice, or The Lord of the Rings—it’s the cereal box. Now, obviously that’s not because packaging prose is particularly powerful.  […]

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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Paul in Arabia: Saul, Stephen, and the Temple

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The Temple authorities cracked down on the Nazoreans.  Peter and the Apostles were rounded up and brought before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court.  The majority of its members favored a drastic sentence.  It was the influential Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, who took the initiative of securing their […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Good Shepherd and His Abundant Life

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The atheist philosopher of the 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said: “if Christians want me to believe in their redeemer, they need to look more redeemed.” He was drawing the wrong conclusion from a perceptive observation.  To Nietzsche most Christians looked just as burdened, clueless and lost as everybody else.  When he looked into their […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Divine Mercy and Doubting Thomas

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The Gospels tell an incredible story.  A virginal conception.  Miraculous healings.  Even people coming back from the dead.  How are we to know that it’s not all just a fanciful fabrication? There is much evidence for the reliability of the Gospels, but here is one of the strongest bits of evidence I know.  Think for […]

Jake Frost
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The Great Alleluia!

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A few days before Easter our clan would gather around the dining room table, cover it with newspapers, and get dirty. Or rather:  colorful. Lots of little fingers got stained purple, pink and green while dipping hard boiled eggs into cups of die. The more artistically inclined among us would draw crayon designs on their […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Glory of the Resurrection

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The serpent’s bite was a deadly one.  The venom had worked its way deep into the heart of the entire human race, doing its gruesome work.  The anti-venom was unavailable until He appeared.  One drop was all that was needed, so potent was this antidote.  Yet it was not like Him to be stingy.  He […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Victory of the Cross

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Terrorism is nothing new.  It’s probably as old as the human race.  In fact the cradle of civilization, now Iraq, was the home of the most infamous terrorists of antiquity, the Assyrians.  Their goal was to conquer their neighbors in a way that would minimize  initial resistance and subsequent rebellion.  To do this, they knew […]

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