Netflix or Nothing: Our Need for the Void

August 17, 2017

Netflix is the Devil! Is that a startling enough headline for you?  I’m exaggerating, of course, but only by a little. Personally, it’s easy for me to lose hours upon hours to Netflix or other similar streaming services.  Even when there wasn’t a show that got me excited, I would come back like the bored man to his fridge.  I know what’s in the fridge – I’ve basically memorized it…

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Catholics, Yoga, and Words

August 2, 2017

You know, words are a funny thing.  That’s important to remember when we ask questions about Catholics and Yoga. That’s because, I think, much of the problem will come down to what we mean by the word “yoga.”  I can’t speak for other languages and cultures, but American English at least has a pretty nasty track record of dragging words through a whole bunch of meanings before leaving them, muddy…

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Where We Come From

June 28, 2017

Not too long ago, I came  across a cool map of American Migration based on Ancestry.com’s genealogical data.  It started me thinking about how many people I know or have heard about who have decided to delve into their ancestry.  Indeed, others have noted that there is a growing number of people who are interested in their genetic history and discovering their roots.  Something about being able to point to a…

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Freedom in the Forest

June 21, 2017

As I write this, I am in one of my favorite places in the world: Camps Kahdalea & Chosatonga.  It’s a pair of superb wilderness camps nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Parkway at the edge of the Pisgah National Forest.  Staffed by an exceptional group of counselors, these camps take seriously the modifier “wilderness.”  They expose youth aged 8-18 to a wide array of adventurous activities from…

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Pride, Prejudice, and… Eunuchs?

June 14, 2017

  So June is a big month for Catholics As you may know, it is the month of the Sacred Heart.  Some of the biggest and best liturgical feasts (excepting Easter) usually happen during this month.  The Trinity, Corpus Christi, The Sacred Heart (hence the month’s dedication), the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Solemnity of Sts. Peter & Paul (June 29), not to mention a whole host of other…

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Spiritual Direction by Copernicus

June 7, 2017

“A revolution!” they say.  “A tale of persecution and ignorance!” they cry.  Most people are familiar with the name Galileo.  Sadly, a great many of those people associate that name with the idea that the Catholic Church opposes science.  While the Church’s handling of the Galileo situation wasn’t perfect, the common narrative is far from correct.  And never mind the fact that it wasn’t Galileo’s discovery in the first place….

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A Pious Visit

May 31, 2017

Pentecost is almost upon us. It is the day when the Spirit was poured out on the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is the birth of the Church.  It is the beginning of our universal mission.  It is the reason for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  But, it is also the reason that we should love our country, our families, and all those joined to us in faith. Allow me…

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When Shepherds Fight

May 10, 2017

“What do I do when two priests disagree with each other about something?” “How do I know which one is right?”  I’ve been asked this before, and it is a distressing question.  Not that all priests should always agree on every detail, but people usually only ask this question out loud when it concerns some significant teaching on morality, liturgy, or doctrine.  Of course, I hope the irony of the…

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Marijuana Part 2

April 26, 2017

As expected, there was some resistance to and controversy around my last post on the morality of Marijuana.  In the comments I saw, there seemed to be a few different approaches to arguing that I am wrong about marijuana.  I do appreciate thoughtful responses and some of those comments were, but most of them were unclear about which part of the argument was wrong.  Therefore, I’d like to maybe clarify…

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Marijuana, Morality, and the Mind

April 20, 2017

So, it’s 4/20, which is like some kind of holy day for pot smokers. Thus, it seems like a good time to deal with the question: is it a sin to smoke Marijuana?  Once upon a time, it was illegal everywhere and so the answer was easy: it’s sinful to break the law, so it would sinful to smoke an illegal substance.  In recent years, however, a number of states legalized…

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