Tag Archives: faith

Purification and Enlightenment

One of the most challenging, most exciting and most meaningful of the “jobs” I did as a Director of Religious Education for the thirty years that I was in that profession was working with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It was a process for those who were exploring entrance into the Catholic Church that lasted as least nine months and for some longer. During that time those in this process listened to presentations on Catholic doctrine/teaching, asked questions and discussed the answers with sponsors, catechists and among themselves, and slowly discerned whether …

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Magic Wand? or a Combo of Hard Work and Faith?

Playlist: “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” (from my album “A Chance to Dream”) “If you eat your dinner, I’ll take you to Disneyland some day”. This was the only conditional phrase I ever heard my Dad say. He didn’t do much of the disciplining or raising us, my mom did. So, when he did, I took it seriously. He was either tremendously brave or completely ignorant to have made this promise to me, sitting in a small, grimy kitchen of our rented apartment in Zagreb in the winter of 1974. Disneyland was …

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Christ at the Center: Home Edition

November 3, 2013: 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time Gospel: Luke 19:1-10 At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and …

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Somebody Else Will Do Something

When I first decided that I was going to be a missionary after I finished college, I heard these words countless times:  “Oh, you don’t need to go all the way to Romania. Someone else will go.” I used to get so angry when someone would say something like that to me because I knew that if I didn’t come to Romania, no one else would. I knew that if I didn’t come back, I was rejecting God’s call for my life and that I would regret it for the rest of my life. So, …

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God and Sherlock Holmes

The archetypical fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who made his debut in the late Victorian age, is showing new life in the 21st century as the hero of a series of films and TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic. I have more than a passing interest in Holmes, having written a book of essays about him as well as five published detective novels of my own. This long-time fascination with the sleuth isn’t as unrelated to my day job as communications director of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as one might think. Because Holmes is …

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What Rachel, Brett, Johnny, Millennials, Pope Francis and Toby Keith All Have in Common

Talk about an innocent blog posting that goes viral. It seems that everyone in the blogosphere (my apologies to Scott Rosenburg) is well aware of a recent blog written by Rachel Held Evans entitled, Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church. There have been so many likes, tweets, recommends—and whatever else they are called—that I don’t know if there is a computer out there that can count the related comments and blogs written to comment on those comments. And, yet, I seem to feel called to add to that number. Rachel certainly hit a nerve. It …

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Holy Ship of Theseus!

I do not remember much of my Metaphysics 101 class from my undergraduate days at the University of Dayton. I would describe the class as a giant mind trip in all honesty. One particular mind trip, though, has stuck with me through the years because I think it is a very good analogy for the process of conversion in our Christian life. The thought experiment is called the Theseus’s Paradox and it goes something like this: Theseus has a ship. Over time Theseus replaces parts of that ship as they wear out or break. The …

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A Seeker’s Guide to Lumen Fidei

Recently, Pope Francis released his first Encyclical titled Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith). Pope Francis described the Encyclical as a “work of 4 hands” as it was started by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and is a completion of a trilogy of encyclicals on the 3 theological virtues of faith, hope and love. On the Sunday following the release of Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis explained the meaning of the encyclical during his Angelus Prayer. Primarily, this encyclical is for the People of God. It is a document meant to “go to the essentials of the …

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But, I Asked So Nicely…

“I WANT LEMONADE.” (In angry three-year-old voice). “That’s not a nice way to ask. Plus, you’ve had more than enough sugar today.” “But, Daddy, can I please have some lemonade?” “No. You’ve had enough. I will get you some water.” “But Daddy…I asked so nicely…” Here, I have documented for you a recent exchange I had with my little girl. In a typically childish manner, she screamed at me for something. She was practically saying, “All I really want is just this one thing. And, I want it now.” She realized her mistake fairly quickly, …

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Running Boston

    Boston Common Picture from Wikimedia Commons   My wife, Hollie, and I spent first the two years of our marriage living just outside of Boston. In fact, the first time she came to visit me in New England, we walked all around the city in the pouring rain. We were soaked, but we were also soaking in the architecture, the smells, those funny shaped roads, and of course the people. I’ve been to Fenway four times in my life. The first time, I was only about seven, and my Grandfather woke me up …

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