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On the Necessity of Struggle

Yesterday, I began the spiritual exercise Exodus 90 with a cohort of local men. There's quite a few disciplines involved, such as extra prayers, intense physical exercise, fasting, and cold showers to name a few. It isn't easy---but in the big picture of human suffering, most of the sacrifices required are relatively small. Exodus 90 disciplines aren't going to kill...

The Catholic Gentleman Podcast Ep. 1 – Sacred Music with J.J. Wright

Today, the feast of the Epiphany, I am pleased to announce that the official launch of The Catholic Gentleman Podcast. Please forgive the audio glitches and other quirks as I learn the fine art of podcasting. I am learning as I go! In our first episode, I talk sacred music with composer J.J. Wright, whose recent album Vespers for the...

A Toast to J.R.R. Tolkien!

A very happy 128th birthday to the great myth-maker and devout Catholic (and one of my favorite writers), J.R.R. Tolkien! Tolkien's writings are richly textured and immersive. He was more than an author. He was a "sub-creator" of an incredibly complex world, replete with exotic and unforgettable creatures, invented languages, histories, and characters. His legends unfold an entire cosmos in...

On the Precious Gift of Humility

Why do I fail when I have so much good will? This is a question that plagues every man who genuinely cares about his spiritual life. Indeed, St. Paul himself, after lamenting the war between his flesh and spirit, cries out poignantly in Romans 7, Pitiable creature that I am, who is to set me free from a nature thus...

The 2019 Catholic Gentleman Christmas Gift List

It's that time of year again: time to start thinking about Christmas gifts for the Catholic gentlemen in your life. Here are 10 gift ideas sure to delight any Catholic Man. 1. The Catholic Gentleman: Living Authentic Manhood Today What it means to be a man or a woman is questioned today like never before. While traditional gender roles have...

Be Not Afraid: 5 Ways to Have Hope in Dark Times

Among Catholics who love our Lord Jesus, there is a great deal of interior suffering and perplexity of late. The reason is no mystery. The forces of evil have been unleashed on the world, and the the spirit of wickedness, the spirit of anti-Christ, grows ever stronger, like the thick, black clouds of a threatening storm devouring the horizon. Worse...

A Morning Mass

It is a Saturday morning. I wake while it is still dark and blindly shuffle into my clothes. My children sleep. The world is still as I step into the chill morning air to attend the early morning Low Mass at the Abbey of Our Lady of Clear Creek.  I arrive at the monastery while the moon still sheds its...

Mercy and the Heart of Marriage

This article is a chapter I contributed to the book, Spirit and Life. What is marriage? The answer is clearly articulated by the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation...

Attention and the Sacrament of the Present Moment

Of all the faculties of human nature, one of the most powerful is that of attention. What we choose to attend to to a great degree shapes our experience of the world for good or ill. Our intellectual faculties are limited, and we simply cannot pay attention to all the visual or auditory stimuli we experience every day. And so...

Make Catholicism Weird Again: On Consumerism and Authentic Faith

Recently, a Pew Research survey cataloged the almost complete collapse of the faith in the United States. The facts are devastating. Only 26% of Catholics under forty in the U.S. believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the holy Eucharist. If the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, the fountain from which the life of the...

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