Tag: "heaven"

Poem: "Heaven: The Final Dimension"
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Poem: “Heaven: The Final Dimension”

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Heaven: The Final Dimension Meeting family never met Where damaged children are lavished upon and injured souls repaired Where Martin Luther King shakes your hand With great affection Strangers smile in passing Where decent cut dresses, of silk with sparkling threads, are given without fee No tarred roads to mend No corn to husk Land of […]

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 […]

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, […]

You Choose Hell (or Heaven)
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You Choose Hell (or Heaven)

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An inner voice says“That is wrong” or “This is right” and then one makes a choice – to freely do a human act. That inner voice is God’s voice through the spiritual smartphone of conscience. The divine voice speaks in a language with the syntax and vocabulary of the Natural Law, a law mirroring the […]

The Sneakiest of the Seven Deadly Sins
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The Sneakiest of the Seven Deadly Sins

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At age 16, life was about rock ‘n roll. If my own band was not performing on Saturday night, I was out in the audience, watching another band. It would have never occurred to me to spend my Saturday nights at a Catholic conference or retreat. True, no matter how late I was out, I’d […]

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 […]

Desiring Heaven Where Love is Complete
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Desiring Heaven Where Love is Complete

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I remember sitting with my father in a boat on the middle of a still prairie lake. It was August of 1969 and I was sixteen years old. A cool mist rose from the surface of the lake that August morning. Fishing was good just after sunrise and so there we sat still half-asleep, casting our […]

The Kingdom of God is at Hand
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The Kingdom of God is at Hand

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There is a well-known, extremely important, and sacredly joyous phrase from the tenth chapter of The Holy Gospel According to St. Luke, which is to be read at liturgy today. After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself […]

The Narrow Road
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The Narrow Road

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Our original intention was not to climb the mountain, rather it was to take the Gondola up and walk down the 3 mile, 3,000 foot elevation change. The $52.00 price tag changed our minds and so did the perky young attendant, “Oh, I climbed the mountain yesterday and it only took an hour and a […]

Purgatory Part 1: Conversion as a Process
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Purgatory Part 1: Conversion as a Process

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Question: What is purgatory, and why is it necessary? Purgatory is the state, place, or process by which a soul is purified for entrance into heaven. Conversion as a Process When we are converted to Christ and baptized, we are given grace which allows us to recognize our sins, and which begins to cleanse us […]

Gift of Music
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Gift of Music

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  Ginaldiel, the angel, scowled at the bookshelf. It was half as tall as he was, and twice the width of his music stand. “Same old, same old,” he muttered, tapping a long forefinger against his lip. He counted the binders again. Twelve. “Twelve binders of music to sing and all eternity in front of […]

Testimonies of Heaven
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Testimonies of Heaven

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Earlier this year I went to the WPXI television studio in Pittsburgh to tape an interview. The technician who escorted me inquired, “What are you here to discuss today?” When I replied, “heaven,” he asked, “Have they found it?” As he correctly reasoned, the discovery of heaven would indeed be newsworthy. Thoughts of heaven are […]

One Waiting for Us
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One Waiting for Us

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My husband Mark and I used to make a trip to the maternity ward every couple of years.  Given our track record, it was a good idea to have an extra home pregnancy kit tucked away on a bathroom shelf.  One month, I did not really think I was pregnant but since I was late, […]

The Loss of Heaven?
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The Loss of Heaven?

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“…because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell…” I was in confession a few years ago when the priest, just before the part where you’re supposed to make your Act of Contrition, advised me to recite the version with the above line in it, rather than the one that says, “because […]

St. Augustine on Women - Worth a Second Look
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St. Augustine on Women – Worth a Second Look

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Let it not be said that St. Augustine was a misogynist. He thought very seriously about the place in creation of human reproduction–of the male and the female and their particular beauty. Contrary to some contemporaries–mostly Manichees–he saw the female form as a cause of rejoicing. Now, you may read the following excerpt to your […]

Race, Segregation, and Heaven
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Race, Segregation, and Heaven

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The new movie, The Help, based on Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling book by the same name, continues to lead ticket sales at the box office. Both dramatize the extent and tragedy of segregation and discrimination in the South during the early 1960s. Racism affected almost every area of Southern (and many areas of Northern) society before […]

Book Review <em>Invisible World</em>
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Book Review Invisible World

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How many unfinished books do you have lying around the house? One, two, maybe even half a dozen? I used to think it was just me, but then someone mentioned her stack of unfinished books and I realized that there were more people “out there” that suffered through the same dreadful, almost embarrassing, book-reading experience […]

Do All Dogs Go to Heaven?
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Do All Dogs Go to Heaven?

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I’m an animal lover.  At this time, two dogs, a cat, and a hamster are part of our family.  For ten years, I’ve uplifted the spirits of nursing home residents and staff by bringing dogs in to visit. My kids and I regularly witness the power of our furry friends.   At one nursing home, there […]

Hell, Heaven, and Progressive Catholics
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Hell, Heaven, and Progressive Catholics

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With another presidential election looming, it won’t be long before many self-described progressive Catholics start issuing countless statements about numerous policy issues. Though many such Catholics sit rather loosely with Catholic teaching on questions like life and marriage, their “relaxed” position on such issues is belied by their stridency on, for instance, economic matters. Woe betide […]

<i>Heaven in the American Imagination</i>: An Interview with Dr. Gary Scott Smith
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Heaven in the American Imagination: An Interview with Dr. Gary Scott Smith

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Dr. Paul Kengor: Dr. Gary Smith, describe the thesis of your new book. Dr. Gary Scott Smith: My book examines two primary questions: how have Americans conceived of heaven, and on what basis do people gain admission to heaven? My thesis is that while Americans’ beliefs about the grounds for entry to heaven have remained […]

Heaven and Hell
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Heaven and Hell

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Heaven and hell are in the news and on Americans’ minds a lot lately. Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back is currently number one on the New York Times Best Seller List for nonfiction. It details a four-year-old’s near-death experience as told to his pastor father. […]

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Hard to Imagine the Afterlife?

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I know. St. Paul had the same problem though, “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Right now our knowledge of God is conceptual, we use analogies from this created world to speak of the Totally Other: […]