"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name." --Psalm 100:4

Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

Be Made Whole

Right after our last child, I was recovering from the cesarean surgery and started to notice that my foot was sore. My husband is in orthopedics, so one morning over breakfast, I told him that it was hurting a bit. He promised to keep an eye on it, and we went about the day. Two days later the pain had grown worse, and by the end of the day it was swollen. We tried to treat it medicinally until I couldn’t walk on it at all. It was a Friday, and he told me to come in for an x-ray. I didn’t go. It was tough to get all the kids taken care of and make time for all of that. So the weekend came and it got progressively worse. I finally went in that Monday and got the x-ray. The x-ray tech set me up and went over to…

On the Fine Art of “Doing your Damnedest”

He found himself in a difficult position.  Very difficult.  In 1946, the embers of the Second World War were still cooling. The beloved President Franklin Roosevelt had midwifed a nation through war only to die at the threshold of victory. Replacing him was the vice president and Missouri native Harry Truman. While Truman could claim some notable achievements as Senator prior to ascending to the vice presidency (consider his dogged efficiency and admirable integrity on the “Truman Committee”), he was sorely underestimated. In the wake of the Great Depression and the bloodiest catastrophe in human history, Truman looked like a shadow compared to the formidable FDR. While Roosevelt was considered suave, sophisticated, and steady, Truman was seen as a bespectacled hayseed, a failed haberdasher with little more than a high school education to inform him. Even FDR’s secretary, charged with serving the new president, spat, “I just can’t…

Christians Need To Recover Fasting: Intercession

After news of the PA Grand Jury Report and the McCarrick scandals broke, two of my seminary classmates and myself took up prayer, fasting and penance for the Church. Increasingly desperate times call for increasingly desperate, or rather heroic, measures…  A priest friend shared with one of his parishioners that he was entering into a time of fasting and penance for the healing of the Church. The rather negative reaction was as follows: “Fasting… what’s that going to do? What is that going to help with?” In my previous article, we reflected a little why and how fasting is essential to the Christian life, especially in a world that is as disorienting as ours. It is not a matter of denying worldly things for the sake of needless suffering, but fasting helps to reorient us back to God and the life of virtue and holiness God intended for us.

Let’s Get Reacquainted With the Idea of “Offering it Up”

We Catholics who grew up straddling the cusp of the conciliar divide may have a vague memory of the phrase “offer it up.” It was advice frequently given by the sisters who taught us our catechisms: “When you are in pain, when you are disappointed, when your feelings have been hurt, offer these things up to the Lord and ask him to use your suffering” that He join it to His own pain on the cross, for the good of others. Offer it as penance for your own sins, or the sins of those who cannot or will not do penance for themselves; offer it for the sick, the lonely, or for their intentions.” “Penance” has received a bad name over the last forty or so years, largely because it was taught to many in the language of punishment rather than in the language of virtue, offering, and peace. So,…

Why Boys Should Have Libraries

I am blessed to be the priest of a parish school, and one of the most delightful aspects is getting to visit each classroom every week, from kindergarten to eighth grade. I pray with the students, provide pastoral care, and answer their questions. One of our students, a young seventh-grader named Hayden, has shown great interest in literature. He and several other middle-school boys regularly ask me about the best ways to foster their intellectual lives, and which books to read. I recently gave Hayden a few books, along with the letter below: ____________ Hayden, Every Catholic man should have a well-stocked library. The reason for this is two-fold. First, Catholic men are protectors of knowledge. This has been our duty since the destruction of Rome in 476 AD, when countless monks and priests dedicated their lives to preserving ancient texts from around the world. You have now been entrusted…

Five Ways St. Joseph Can Help Your Lent

On the feast of St. Joseph, Br. Joseph Martin Hagan, O.P. offers five ways the earthly father of Christ can help us this Lent.

Why You Should Take Pascal’s Wager

There are many forms of Pascal’s Wager, but the best form, I believe, can be stated like this: If you think there is (at least) a 50% chance of Christianity being true, then you should commit to a deeply religious life. The reason for this is simple to understand: You have potentially an infinite amount to gain, with comparatively little–in fact, virtually nada—to lose. There are, however, and, as you would expect, objections to Pascal’s Wager, which we must consider before we continue. Often, the initial point of hesitation is this. You cannot force yourself to believe something you happen to be unsure about, so wouldn’t a person be acting insincerely by accepting Pascal’s Wager, if they’re unsure about God? And surely that doesn’t sound right? Would God want someone to act insincerely? Good old God? But this formulation of the wager—which I owe to Dr. Michael Rota (who I…

How to Help Your Parish Become a Disciple-Making Factory

  Most parishes wish they were better at evangelizing and making disciples. They wish they could help parishioners become more ardent, committed followers of Christ who are excited to share their faith with others. But how do we get there? Marcel LeJeune, President and Founder of Catholic Missionary Disciples, has been dedicated to the task for many years. Through his work with parishes, dioceses, and college campuses, he equips Catholic leaders to make disciple-makers who make disciple-makers. He is also an international speaker, author, and evangelist. Marcel served as the Associate Director of Campus Ministry at St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M University for eleven years, the largest campus ministry in the country. Before that he was the Director of Campus Ministry at St. Elizabeth’s University Parish at Texas Tech University for four years. He holds a Master of Theological Studies, specializing in Pastoral Theology. Today, Brandon Vogt sits…