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April 2, 2014

Nearly twenty years ago, when I was a baby Catholic, I read Purgatory Explained by Fr. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. In sometimes lurid detail, Fr. Schouppe paints vivid accounts of the sufferings of the holy souls in purgatory, as reported by the saints, and tells of the wondrous effects of our prayers to speed the holy souls on their way to heaven. Not to mention the...

March 19, 2014
Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well

In recent weeks, I have been seeing alarms raised by faithful Catholics over controversy in the Church. Most recently the Catholic news outlets have been reporting that Cardinal Walter Kasper gave a speech on the family in February to the consistory called by Pope Francis. Among other things, the Cardinal speculated on the conditions under which the Church could offer the sacraments of...

March 12, 2014

Many people dislike platitudes. Just the other day, I was part of a conversation on Facebook in which the original poster was complaining about the silliness of saying, "Count rainbows, not thunderstorms, and walk on." The thread participants all riffed on this platitude, and my contribution was that paying attention to the rainbows instead of the storm while walking is a great way to ...

March 5, 2014

The other day I was visiting with some friends at a party. One of them, a Catholic, mentioned that she and her husband had recently embarked on a cleansing diet, and had good results. Then she remarked, "It's amazing how much easier it is to avoid certain foods when you are not doing it for spiritual reasons."

Lent is here, that penitential season on the liturgical calendar when Catholics give up all sorts of things for spiritual reasons. And it is again that time of year when the...

February 26, 2014

Every so often the time comes in a Catholic's life when he must consider finding a new church to attend. Usually this time comes when he is going on a trip, whether for business or pleasure, and needs to find a parish in which to attend Sunday Mass. Other times he is moving to a new city and needs to find a new parish in which to register. And, occasionally, he is simply dissatisfied with his current parish and wants to find a new parish in his diocese that is more to his liking.

That...