Category: Arts, Leisure & Culture

Art and Ideals of a Culture
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Art and Ideals of a Culture

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The arts are as important to education as math, science and language. In many ways the arts are a language capable of expressing the inexpressible human heart or the beauty of the world. The arts can express the dignity and worth of man and glorify God; this is art in its highest form. The arts […]

Which is Real: Science or God?
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Which is Real: Science or God?

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I’ve wondered, since my conversion, why some found it so much harder to believe in God than in Science. When I was younger in college, I took the pronouncements of  my teachers–Nobel Prize winners* and graduate students–as holy writ (although I didn’t know then what holy writ was). In laboratories we repeated famous experiments, Galileo’s […]

Movie Review: Self/less
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Movie Review: Self/less

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The idea and ideology of “transhumanism”: that human beings are basically just brains in containers, and that if we could just find a way to upload our brains into computers or robots or such–we could live on forever–is the subject of the new film Self/less. It was also the subject of the recent film Transcendence. […]

What Do Twilight, Fifty Shades, and Leviticus Have in Common?
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What Do Twilight, Fifty Shades, and Leviticus Have in Common?

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Most who discuss them agree that the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey fiction series are the same basic story line with different characters. What seems to differ among those discussing the two, however, is why they are so popular that they developed a cult following. I have a suggestion along that line: What if the wild fascination […]

Book Review: The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce
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Book Review: The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce

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Lisa Duffy, an author and speaker for the CatholicMatch institute, overcame a painful divorce and annulment, remarried in the Church, and has spent the past twenty years ministering to those who have been wounded by divorce. In The Catholic Guide to Dating after Divorce (Ave Maria Press, 2015), Duffy provides authentic Church teaching on divorce, […]

The Trouble With Transhumanism
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The Trouble With Transhumanism

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“Transhumanism is a desperate belief system that grasps at technological straws. But the raw desperation in that grasping has the potential–like all Utopian movements–to unleash violently destructive forces. Caveat emptor.” (Wesley J. Smith). There are a number of pressing issues in the broad realm of bioethics. Abortion may well be the biggest bone of contention […]

Movie Review: Inside Out
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Movie Review: Inside Out

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Inside Out, the new Pixar movie about Riley, an eleven-year-old girl whose world is turned upside down when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, is good, but not great. It’s very much a kid’s movie (with knowing asides to parents, as these films always have). When I first saw the trailer for the […]

Life Lessons in the Dear God Series
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Life Lessons in the Dear God Series

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There’s nothing like reading a good book before bedtime, especially for kids. Too often, the busyness of life leaves parents feeling that we have not done enough of one thing or another. Reading with our children rectifies much of that that. I found that reading the “Dear God Series” (Liguori Publications) by Patti Maguire Armstrong […]

Are All Great Scientists Atheists?
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Are All Great Scientists Atheists?

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“The laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics.”  Galileo Galilei “Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality or intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order…This firm belief, a belief bound up with deep feeling, in […]

Movie Review: Jurassic World
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Movie Review: Jurassic World

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The fourth of the Jurassic movies, Jurassic World, is brilliant, in keeping with the tone of the franchise, and great entertainment. The over-the-top trailer should never have shown us the escaped pterodactyls swooping down on everyone. That was a total spoiler and made the film look overblown, which it is not. Jurassic World retains all […]

The Arts: Talent and Discipline
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The Arts: Talent and Discipline

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The arts can nourish the human heart and soul and help to build character. Whether dance, music, theater, visual or literary arts, students must approach their chosen art-form with commitment, focus and discipline. Talent and Discipline What about talent? Talent is a gift, the source of inspiration and insight and is crucial to achieve excellence. But it’s […]

Answering Some Vital Questions
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Answering Some Vital Questions

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Where do you go when it starts to rain? That and some related “musical questions” have been playing over and over in my mind for the last few months. They have made for some interesting soul-searching. For me, the self-examination began on the road. I have to take three business trips annually, all to Kansas […]

Quantum Mechanics & the Real Presence--Which Reality Do We Believe?
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Quantum Mechanics & the Real Presence–Which Reality Do We Believe?

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Of Miracles and Mysteries A little over 20 years ago, shortly after I had decided to enter the Church, I was being catechized by a very learned and wise priest (this was before the days of RCIA classes). As a physicist, I was struggling with the notion of transubstantiation — that by the action of […]

Flannery's Existentialist Stamp
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Flannery’s Existentialist Stamp

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In one of his last works before his masterpiece, The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky wrote The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. In this story, the narrator goes to another solar system and lands on a planet where the inhabitants are people just like us, but untainted by the Fall in the Garden. They live, the narrator tells us, […]

Movie Review -- Mad Max: Fury Road
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Movie Review — Mad Max: Fury Road

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Oftentimes I am sure I’m going to like a movie and am very disappointed. Rarely am I sure I will detest a movie and turn out liking it. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of those latter films. Although named for Mad Max, this is not his movie. It’s really Imperator Furiosa’s (Charlize Theron) story. […]

CL68 - hbrattonb notxt web
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God, Beauty, and Symmetry in Science

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“Now, may our God be our hope. He Who made all things is better than all things. He Who made all beautiful things is more beautiful than all of them. …Learn to love the Creator in His creature and the Maker in what He has made.” (St.Augustine of Hippo, Commentary on Psalm 39) “..and there is […]

Movie Review: Far From the Madding Crowd
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Movie Review: Far From the Madding Crowd

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Fans of “Pride and Prejudice” will love the new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, Far From the Madding Crowd. It’s a romance of class divisions as well as gender divisions (in the sense that a fiercely independent and independently wealthy female sees no “need” for a husband). Miss Bathsheba Everdene* (the astute and expressive […]

A Child, a Song, and the Weight of Glory
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A Child, a Song, and the Weight of Glory

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In 2012, twelve year old singer Jackie Evancho delivered an exquisite rendition of Nella Fantasia. It is the vocal version of Ennio Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe. Gabriel’s Oboe is from the soundtrack for the 1986 film The Mission: A favorite film, and composition, of mine. Sweet child, I believe that what you were singing about was […]

Two Takes on Chastity
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Two Takes on Chastity

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Ave Maria Press recently published two books on chastity. While the books come to the same conclusions, the authors do so from very different viewpoints. The first, Chastity is for Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin, by Arleen Spenceley, is by a twenty-nine year old woman who is still looking for Mr. Right. She […]

Movie Review: Ex Machina
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Movie Review: Ex Machina

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Ex Machina, an updated story on Artificial Intelligence, is a new science fiction classic, with all the bells and whistles of today’s filmmaking, but without a terribly new conclusion about the human or moral ramifications of A.I. A megalomaniac computer scientist (Nathan) has created a top-secret female robot (Ava) and invited a computer coder (Caleb) […]

The Messengers: An End Times TV Series
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The Messengers: An End Times TV Series

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The new TV series The Messengers is an end-times drama in the battle of good and evil. But first, before tuning in, suspend any theological expectations–it is fiction after all. The plot centers on a group of five young people with no connections to one another. An energy pulse courses through them, killing them, after […]

Gifts of the Visitation by Denise Bossert
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Gifts of the Visitation by Denise Bossert

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Gifts of the Visitation: Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and Elizabeth (Ave Maria Press, 2015) is a story of grace, conversion and surrender. Denise Bossert beckons us to go deeper than ever before into the world of Our Blessed Mother and of St. Elizabeth as they joyously await the birth of our Lord and of St. John the Baptist. […]

The Second Greatest Story Ever Told
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The Second Greatest Story Ever Told

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As one might expect, the first greatest story ever told is that of God creating the world and then sending His son to save us from our sins. Throughout human history, God has wanted His people to know Him, to love Him, and to Trust Him, but due to sin, this has not been an […]

Is Indiana’s Debate the Precursor to a Forbidden God?
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Is Indiana’s Debate the Precursor to a Forbidden God?

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No matter what side of the debate you find yourself on, the heated discussion surrounding Indiana’s recently passed religious freedom restoration act is infuriating. For those who honestly condemn bigotry it appears to be a discriminatory power grab, one that is nothing less than downright disheartening. For those who welcome the measure, they see a […]

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