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February 25, 2013

Leon Bloy once wrote, “The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.”

Why? Because to be anything less than holy is to remain unactualized.

Huh?

Let me offer an illustration: Suppose you went out and bought a flower pot containing one daffodil bulb buried in rich soil. You take the pot, put it in a closet, and for the next two weeks feed the bulb nothing but Coca-Cola.

This is a sad...

February 25, 2013
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (San Diego County, CA)

On the first Sunday of Lent I attended Mass at the local Carmelite monastery rather than at my parish church, so this past Sunday was the first time I had seen my parish church transformed for Lent. As I looked about the sanctuary, I sighed.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states:

During Lent it is forbidden for the...

February 23, 2013

If you are not prepared for this Sunday’s first reading (Gen 15:5-12, 17-18), you will probably have a difficult time making sense of it. Your homilist might not discuss it, so I hope this brief explanation will be helpful. It is not a lengthy reading, so we will go all the way through it, splitting it into two parts but hopefully not slaughtering it.

The reading begins straightforward enough:

The Lord God took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count...

February 22, 2013

Instead of spewing insults and getting into heated arguments, I'd like to propose a better solution to the debate over same-sex marriage. Let's start from positions bothsides of the debate agree on. Then let's see whose particular view of marriage best explains this agreement.

There appear to be two different views of marriage that drive the same-sex marriage debate. The conjugal view defines marriage as “the lifelong union of man and woman ordered toward their good and the...

February 22, 2013

Around the time Pope Benedict XVI released Summorum Pontificum, which expanded the use of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite of the Mass, I attended a Catholic conference at the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine in Florissant, Missouri. The shrine boasted a lovely pre-Vatican II altar that inspired a...