Category: Featured

The Ted Kennedy Chronicles: A Look at the Latest Declassified FBI Files
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The Ted Kennedy Chronicles: A Look at the Latest Declassified FBI Files

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Another round of declassified FBI files on Senator Ted Kennedy has been released (click here and here). Fittingly, in Kennedy’s case, they once again raise all sorts of questions, from the moral to the political to issues of national security. First, however, allow me to pause with a sympathetic note. Among the documents within Kennedy’s […]

Lenten Transfiguration
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Lenten Transfiguration

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Imagine: you are ten years past customary retirement age.  It’s time finally to kick back and relax.  You live in a great city where everything is at your fingertips – shopping opportunities, cultural events, all your relatives and lifelong friends.  Suddenly God appears and tells you to pack up, uproot your life, and march into […]

Ugly Girls
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Ugly Girls

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For the second time in a week I have run into the ugliest girls I ever met. I’m not being mean. It’s simply true — they’re hideous. Dubbed “Monster High Girls”, they are 10 inch or so fashion dolls and marketed to little children ages 6 to 12. They have been around since last summer, […]

The JP2 Generation Tells Its Story: Part Two, Stephanie Muhs
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The JP2 Generation Tells Its Story: Part Two, Stephanie Muhs

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Presented in cooperation with Greg Schlueter and JP2Journey.com: The JP2 Generation Tells Its Story,  remembering World Youth Day 2002 and the impact of Pope John II. Part Two, Stephanie Muhs  The second day of our World Youth Day pilgrimage was one filled with great hope and anticipation.  As we boarded the buses that beautiful, sunny […]

Reflections on Latin and the Catholic Church’s Memory and Identity, Part Two
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Reflections on Latin and the Catholic Church’s Memory and Identity, Part Two

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Part Two, The Church’s Memory & Identity Under Siege: In my previous article, I talked about the Catholic Church and the Latin language.  I left off with a note on various theologians and laymen substituting their makeshift theology for the Tradition of the Church.  I would like to expand upon that point. Still smarting from […]

Book Review <em>Consoling the Heart of Jesus</em>
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Book Review Consoling the Heart of Jesus

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The first time I saw the book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus — A Do-It-Yourself Retreat, I thought, “How could I, a mere mortal console the heart of God?”  I wasn’t sure how anyone could console our Lord and Savior’s heart at the cross. It didn’t make sense to me, so I deemed the book unbelievable; that was […]

Letter from a Friend: How Christ Experienced All Our Suffering
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Letter from a Friend: How Christ Experienced All Our Suffering

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It is the Lenten season; a time of fasting and penance in an effort to draw nearer to the Lord who suffered all things for love of His people. And though the time to consciously strive to join one’s sufferings to the Cross of Christ is always in season, during Lent it is especially so. […]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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It’s St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, and everyone is Irish today — if not in fact, at least in spirit.  Come on now, don’t be an old Druid!  Regardless of your nationality, St. Patrick is a saint for everyone. It’s not just because I’m half Irish or that my parents named me after St. Patrick, […]

How Does One Judge the Morality of Human Acts?
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How Does One Judge the Morality of Human Acts?

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Created by God as rational and free creatures, human beings determine themselves and establish their identities as moral creatures through their free choices. We make ourselves the kinds of persons who we are in and through the actions we freely choose to do. As Pope John Paul II put it in his moral encyclical Veritatis […]

Murders and Moral Bankruptcy: Where Have You Gone, Eyre Crowe?
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Murders and Moral Bankruptcy: Where Have You Gone, Eyre Crowe?

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In January 1907, a German-born official in the British Foreign Office wrote a memorandum that since has been indelibly linked to his name for its incisive analysis and uncanny prescience. Eyre Crowe had good reason to scrutinize Germany’s foreign-policy initiatives. The Kaiser’s imperialist impulses had managed to alienate Russia, terrify France, antagonize Great Britain, and […]

Hope Springs Eternal
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Hope Springs Eternal

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As a long, hard winter comes to a close, four words can always elevate my spirits: ‘Pitchers and Catchers Report!’  This simple phrase indicates the boys of summer are heading to the sunny paradise of either Florida or Arizona to work out the kinks that settled in during the long winter months.  Pitchers are stretching […]

Gregorian Chant: “Pride of Place”
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Gregorian Chant: “Pride of Place”

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Look up “Gregorian chant” in just about any current dictionary or encyclopedia and you will see a description that says it “is the liturgical chant of the Roman Catholic Church.” Notice that the tense of the verb “to be” is in its present form of “is.” What Should Customarily Be? The definition doesn’t place Gregorian […]

Lent -- Sharing in the Obedience of Jesus
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Lent — Sharing in the Obedience of Jesus

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“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice”  (1 Samuel 15:22).  That’s a truth to keep central as we enter this season of Lent.  It’s possible to make a grandiose resolution and miss the reality at the […]

On Folding Underwear, Running a Marathon and Developing Discipline in Prayer
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On Folding Underwear, Running a Marathon and Developing Discipline in Prayer

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I fold my underwear. That is probably an overshare, so please forgive me. I also fold my socks, but I doubt that makes me unique, because folding socks makes sense, but underwear? What’s the point?! I have often had that discussion in my head and with my wife (especially when we were first married and […]

Baby-phobia Has Reached Epidemic Proportions
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Baby-phobia Has Reached Epidemic Proportions

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Imagine the crushing judicial power of a modern nation coming down upon you, trying you, sentencing you, and then planning your execution – all while the charges against you remain secret.  You might recall that as the plot of Franz Kafka’s paranoiac novel, The Trial, the protagonist of which is a 30-year-old bank clerk. Under […]

Music First!
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Music First!

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My husband and I homeschool our children.  This has changed in the last several years from Mom doing all the schooling with Dad’s support, to a true collaborative family effort.  At this point, both Mom and Dad are working, so the structure of “school” has changed.  Mom manages our middleschooler, who now does most of […]

Do We Allow People to Change?
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Do We Allow People to Change?

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The other night, I had the pleasure of watching You Again, a fun, lighthearted comedy that will appeal to anyone who ever found herself at the bottom of the social ladder in high school. Featuring such stars as Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Bell, and Betty White, it explores what happens when women are […]

Reflections on Latin and the Catholic Church's Memory and Identity, Part One
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Reflections on Latin and the Catholic Church’s Memory and Identity, Part One

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Part One, Latin and the Catholic Church: Recently I obtained the Latin text of Cardinal Lambertini’s (Pope Benedict XIV) treatise De Servorum Dei Beatificatione Beatorum et Canonizatione (“De Servorum”).  After going over a couple of passages of interest, I reflected upon the treatise itself.  My thoughts revolved around the place of the treatise in Catholic […]

Litany for Japan
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Litany for Japan

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Our Lady of Akita, pray for us. St. Peter Baptist, martyr and patron of Japan, pray for us. St. Francis Xavier, patron of Japan, pray for us. St. Paul Miki, martyr, pray for us. St. Anthony Dainan, martyr, pray for us. St. Anthony Ishida, martyr, pray for us. St. Francis Nagasaki, martyr, pray for us. […]

Quakes and Waves and Psalms
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Quakes and Waves and Psalms

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As someone new to praying the liturgy of the hours, I never before fully understood the place of the psalms in the prayer of the Church.  “In [Christ],” the Catechism says, “the psalms continue to teach us how to pray”, so much so that the Church calls the psalms a “school of prayer” (2587 and […]

Humans Really Are Odd Beings
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Humans Really Are Odd Beings

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Adam and Eve really did have it easy.  They were so comfortable in their human skin.  More to the point, they were comfortable in their human skin which had a spiritual soul.  This did not seem odd or cause them any kind of dilemma, stress, or confusion.  They were created to be perfectly at ease […]

CL3 - hbratton notxt
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Understanding the Language of Lent

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If you will, you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him. Immense is […]

Fasting for Body and Soul
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Fasting for Body and Soul

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I long to take just one little bite as I watch the melted cheese slowly ooze out of the golden, toasted bread.  My children wait with eager anticipation for my famous grilled cheese sandwiches.  The clock reads 12:30, and today is Friday.  On my periodic fast days, I make it a priority to not eat […]

The Tea Party vs. NPR
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The Tea Party vs. NPR

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“The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian,” said NPR’s Ron Schiller to two undercover reporters. “I wouldn’t even call it Christian; it’s this weird evangelical kind of [movement].” Not knowing he was being videoed, Schiller continued: “The current Republican Party is not really […]

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