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Works, Faith, and the Paradox of Grace

One of the most paradoxical aspects of the spiritual life is the tension between human effort and Divine generosity. That is, the question of whether we are saved by what we do or by what God does. Confusion arises because we are quite clearly told in scripture that we must do certain things. We must forgive or we will not be forgiven....

Forgiveness: The Condition of All Relationship

Mother Angelica, the spunky Italian nun, once quipped, “If it wasn’t for people, we could all be holy.” And it's simply true. Which of us has not thought at one time or another that the path to sainthood would be so much easier if it were not for so-and-so who is a real thorn in our side? Relationships can be...

A Force for Good: Character Counts in the Workplace

  When I was asked to serve as interim dean of the business school at the Catholic University of America, I thought it pru­dent to attend a seminar for new deans sponsored by the leading business school accreditation organization, the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The seminar lasted two days and consisted of presentations by...

Ten Ways to Win the Battle Against Porn

The most strenuous battles today is that against the ravenous wolf  that we call porn. We can safely say, with great sorrow and pain, that one of the most powerful and prevalent addictions today is that of porn. Because of the easy and all too prevalent availability and access to porn, more and more people—teens and even children—are viewing porn....

Being Over Doing: Resisting the Cult of Speed

If there's one thing our culture values, it is speed. Fast food. Fast cars. Fast internet. The more quickly and efficiently anything can be done, the better. Yet there are few things more destructive to authentic human experience than speed. Hurriedness is not the father of wisdom. Doing things rapidly causes us to devalue them. Then again, perhaps we hurry...

Cross Fit: 10 Ways to Stay Spiritually Healthy

Healthy organic foods, physical health centers, taking various vitamin pills, exotic vacation resort getaways, and many others are all attempts to maintain good bodily health. No doubt, all of this can be good for this simple reason: our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should be responsible guardians and custodians of this gift of our body...

A Vow of Stability: A Call to Commitment in an Age of Choice

Recently, while traveling for business, I was tired after a long day and so began scrolling through the channels on the hotel television. Because there was next to nothing worth watching on the hundreds of channels available, I finally settled on a mildly interesting house hunting show. If you haven't seen this kind of show, the basic premise is that...

Cardinal Newman’s Simple Rule of Life

Blessed John Henry Newman was a Cardinal of the Catholic Church and one of the most famous English converts to the faith. While he was a distinguished man of letters, an erudite apologist, and an accomplished prelate, he was known most of all for his holiness of life, the result of which has been his recent beatification. Cardinal Newman was a...

How to Treat a Lady: Reclaiming Manners Between Men and Women

…the greatest man would justly be reckoned a brute if he were not civil to the meanest woman.” Martine’s Handbook (1866) The crisis today in the relationships of men and women is multi-faceted. The general lack of manners in their interaction is both an indication and a cause of the crisis. Women are to be reverenced, always and just because they are...

Living for Likes: The Danger of Living to Please Others

As a blogger, one of the biggest temptations is to become fixated on likes, shares, and views, and to write everything so that it gets the most of them possible. Social media and the internet provide the ultimate feedback system, with instant knowledge of whether or not something was well received. The hard part is criticism, and the temptation is to...

Everyday Sanctity

The 45 minute wait time. The stubbed toe. The traffic jam. The report due by 3 p.m. The gossiping relative. The mortgage payment. The gross diaper change. The unexpected car repair. The lost wallet. The rude person at the grocery store. The head cold. This is the stuff of ordinary life. In each of these moments we are faced with a choice: God's...

The 5 Advent Virtues of St. Joseph

Saint Joseph can help us to live a most fruitful Advent, and for many reasons. Let us quietly meditate upon five extraordinary virtues of this greatest of all saints so that we can live a most fervent Advent season and allow Jesus to be born in the depths of our hearts this Christmas! 1. Silence. Not once in the Bible...