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Don’t Waste Your Life: The Importance of Bold, Faith-Filled Action

I don't have much use for success gurus, but one idea from Tony Robbins that I heard years ago stuck with me. When asked the secret of change, he talks about taking "massive action." We often don't achieve our dreams, he claims, because we're too half-hearted and timid about pursuing them. We think about what we'd like to do endlessly, but never...

Digital Masses and Johnny Cash on the Pain of Lonely Sundays

Note: This is the opening of the forthcoming issue of Sword & Spade.  It is being published here exclusively because of its ties to an upcoming Sunday that is potentially without Mass. As this issue nears printing the coronavirus is forcing many into “social isolation” to slow the pandemic.  Whatever your opinion of such measures, there is the real possibility...

The Many Faces of Manhood

Within contemporary culture, manhood has been placed in a box, and a quite small one at that. The only accepted version of a real man is one-dimensional: aggressive, musclebound, dangerous, and unfeeling.   In saner times this was not so. There were many archetypes of manhood. The warrior. The poet. The philosopher. The king. While some exceptional men were all of the above,...

Calvary: A Film for Our Times

The following is a review of the film Calvary. Spoilers Ahead. Calvary is rated R and earns this rating. Viewer discretion advised.  I first watched the film Calvary four years ago. I remember leaving the theater feeling shocked and not a little disgusted. It was a brutal film, even an ugly film. And yet, four years later, I believe it is exactly the film we...

Fear: The Root of Many Faults

Many of our faults and failings are more complex than we at first realize. Our patterns of behavior are rarely random, and surface sins are often merely symptomatic of deeper, more subtle wounds in our souls. Fear is a prominent example of a deeper wound, for fear, perhaps second only to pride, is the cause of many of our faults...

You Can’t Buy Holiness

I don't have a book problem, I tell my wife, I have a bookshelf problem. Our home is overflowing with books on every conceivable topic, with nearly every bookshelf double stacked. Yet, despite this superabundance of tomes, my wishlist remains filled with hundreds more books I would like to buy in the future. No matter how many I seem to...

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...