Tag: "death"

A Gift for My Grandmother and Saint Anne’s Gift to Me
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A Gift for My Grandmother and Saint Anne’s Gift to Me

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The summer of 2008 was a summer of opportunity for me.  I was able to attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, Canada with other young adults from the state of Wisconsin through Catholic Youth Expeditions, a retreat ministry founded by Father Quinn Mann, a priest of the Diocese of Green Bay. As part […]

Facing Death as a Catholic: We Who Remain
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Facing Death as a Catholic: We Who Remain

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One of my favorite scenes in Return of the King is Sam and Frodo sitting together as Mt. Doom erupts around them. When Frodo says, “I am glad you’re with me Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things,” my heartstrings are always tugged because Frodo is reaching for the soul friendship. Love ‘till death. Boundless […]

Faith in Suffering: Kristi's Gift to All of Us
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Faith in Suffering: Kristi’s Gift to All of Us

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I crawled into the bed with Kristi and we lay together all afternoon talking and laughing. We talked about everything under the sun: our childhoods, our hopes and dreams, our disappointments, homeschooling, our faith, our husbands, our children, and her cancer. It’s been a year ago already and I can remember everything about that day. […]

Eternity: A Special Woman's Journey Home
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Eternity: A Special Woman’s Journey Home

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On Tuesday morning (May 19), a few hours before my mom, Madge Eisenbath, underwent brain surgery, I went to 7 o’clock Mass at my home Catholic church. I knew my family was in for a challenging time, so there was no better way to prepare. Little did I know … In the first Scripture reading, […]

Seven Things that are (Way) Better as a Catholic
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Seven Things that are (Way) Better as a Catholic

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Having spent most of my life as an atheist (I converted just 13 years ago), I have a good basis of comparison for the difference between Catholic and non-Catholic life. And without a doubt, these seven things are WAY better now that I’m Catholic! Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com.   1. WEEKENDS My husband and I spent three […]

From Grief to Gratitude
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From Grief to Gratitude

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Christmas traditions help a family cope after mother passes away In 2005 I lost my wife Joanne after her short battle with cancer. Nothing could have prepared me and our nine children for the future that lay before us. Our first Christmas without her was heart-wrenching. I remember decorating the tree, with every ornament that […]

Shudder -- It's Good for You
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Shudder — It’s Good for You

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Be sober. Accept reality. This is serious.

Death with Dignity? According to Whom?
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Death with Dignity? According to Whom?

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Over time, terms often seem to enter our conversation without explanation. When this happens we tend to think we understand what the term means and when and how we might use it when talking with others. Case in point: Death with dignity. What does that mean when used by those who are politically motivated to […]

Book Review: <i>Mortal Blessings</i>
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Book Review: Mortal Blessings

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I am a daughter of aging parents. While I don’t know the day or the hour, I know that the time is coming when I will need to walk with them on their final journey home. Death is part of life, and as a Catholic, I understand that it is the doorway to a different […]

Unbearable Loss
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Unbearable Loss

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My earliest recollection of Caitlin was in her mother’s womb. Her mom and I were both pregnant with daughters. Information we did not know at the time, but would later bring great delight. This “wasn’t our first rodeo” as they say, I was on child number four and Caitlin made six. The girls were born […]

Movie Review: <em>Heaven is for Real</em>
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Movie Review: Heaven is for Real

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The movie Heaven Is for Real, based on the book by the same name, is the true story of four-year-old Colton Burpo who claims to have seen heaven. First off: Do not watch the trailer if you haven’t already! It’s a great trailer, but it gives away a bit too much. Second off: do see […]

Transhumanist Children's Book Says "Death is Enemy of Us All"
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Transhumanist Children’s Book Says “Death is Enemy of Us All”

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Transhumanism is everywhere. We are being steeped in it like a tea bag in hot water. Not all the images are favorable, but shows like Almost Human, Intelligence, and Lab Rats and movies like the Bourne Legacy, Her, and Transcendence keep transhumanist themes always percolating, especially in the minds of those who will be most […]

Transhumanists Say No to Death
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Transhumanists Say No to Death

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The latest children’s book, penned by a transhumanist, is really going well beyond the reality that we know as human beings. The book, entitled Death Is Wrong, is explained thusly: If you have ever asked, “Why do people have to die?” then this book is for you. The answer is that no, death is not necessary, […]

Au Revoir, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
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Au Revoir, Phillip Seymour Hoffman

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Death is always a hardship, and death by any means besides natural causes is a tragedy. So, when the body of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found Sunday, February 2 in the bathroom of his Greenwich Village apartment, it was a tragedy. Hoffman, 46, had died of an apparent drug overdose. A friend found him […]

Caring for Life Near the End of Life
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Caring for Life Near the End of Life

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My wife, LaRee, and I were asked to address a conference about critical life issues sponsored by the Diocese of Metuchen in New Jersey. They wanted us to speak about a Christian perspective on suffering, disability and end of life care. It is a timely topic because New Jersey is considering a law to allow […]

Mass of Christian Burial: Ecclesial Crisis on Display
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Mass of Christian Burial: Ecclesial Crisis on Display

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Make no mistake about it: The Church in our day is in the midst of a terrible, and in many ways unprecedented, crisis of faith. This objective reality, however, is largely lost on the overwhelming majority of Catholics, both clerical and otherwise. While some Catholics, with deliberate intent, actively promote the various agendas that underlie […]

By a Mother
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By a Mother

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  “O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you….”  My baby’s heart stopped beating and I don’t know when.  All I know is that on Friday it was fluttering and six days later it was still.  One moment:  Whoosh!  Whoosh!  Whoosh!  Then:  Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep…….. My mother’s heart heard […]

Don't Wait 'til It's Too Late to Decide
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Don’t Wait ’til It’s Too Late to Decide

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This past week, health care journalist Charles Ornstein wrote a compelling piece for the Washington Post detailing his personal experience with heart-wrenching end-of-life medical decisions.  Ornstein’s story of his mother’s death highlights the complexity of this little-discussed topic, and should serve as a wakeup call to every American family: End-of-life issues should not be avoided […]

Book Review: <i>A Grace Given</i>
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Book Review: A Grace Given

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During the summer of 1998, our family faced the sudden death of our twelve-year-old son.  He was perfectly healthy that morning, but during the night, his airways had a spasm and closed up.  We discovered him blue and not breathing. I said “faced” because we came face to face with death; waiting for medical help, […]

Tree of Souls: A Way to Remember and Pray
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Tree of Souls: A Way to Remember and Pray

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The highest-grossing movie of all time, Avatar,features a giant willow-like tree that represents the center of culture and religion for the Na’vi inhabitants of the planet Pandora. The tree has extreme spiritual significance because it allows the Na’vi to communicate directly with their Mother Goddess, Eywa. It also allows them to connect at the same […]

I Cursed God: Healing in the Fire, Part 3
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I Cursed God: Healing in the Fire, Part 3

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Click for: Part One, Part Two Dad began to slowly recover.  We were ecstatic the day he was moved from the ICU to a regular ward. He had slipped out of the clutches of death.  The day he was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital, it was like we had turned a corner into sunlight.  In […]

Christ Teaches Us How to Die
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Christ Teaches Us How to Die

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For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. (1 Peter 2:21) There are many, many lessons to be learned in the example Christ left for us in his suffering. One of those, I believe, is a lesson in how […]

Glimpses of our Memories, Pieces of our Hearts
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Glimpses of our Memories, Pieces of our Hearts

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Gently making its way toward the front of the room, is this beautiful parade of humanity. The timelines of their lives, their histories… overlap, envelope, criss-cross, consume. At times, one who hasn’t been seen in Too Long is reached for. Hushed promises to Get Together Soon are whispered. Not empty promises. Life does get in […]

For This I Came into the World
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For This I Came into the World

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Phrases scroll across my mind during these weeks following the peaceful but unexpected death of my 26 year old son Paul.     “I want my baby back!” I cried to God the first week or two, although he was no baby.     Another one that plays across my mind is:  “Why did you […]

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