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Reclaim Religious Freedom – An Independence Day Homily

Six years of my priesthood were spent serving as the Vice Rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland - my previous assignment. Emmitsburg is a small town with a great Catholic Heritage; But just eight miles north of the town is the historic Gettysburg National Battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Since the National Park Ser...

07 04 2017

God Needs You

You hear people ask all the time: why doesn’t God just fix all the world’s problems. Why doesn’t He just manifest Himself and save everyone? The answer may be . . . us. We are the reason why God doesn’t do these things. Strictly speaking God does not need us at all. However, God has chosen to save the world through the mediation of othe...

05 23 2017

Four Tips For Discerning Your Vocation

One of the blessings of teaching religion to high schoolers is that I get to witness to how God has transformed my life. This comes up in various ways through a myriad of lessons in all the grades I teach. Over the years, one particular topic, one special piece of advice, has resurfaced in various contexts: discerning one’s vocation. Everyone mus...

01 25 2017

Take Up Your Cross

One of my favorite quotes from G.K. Chesterton – or from anyone for that matter – accurately distills the distinguishing characteristic of essentially every critique of the Christian paradigm and unapologetically defends that very paradigm in the space of less than twenty words. In fact, my description of the quote is already longer than the qu...

01 24 2017

How to Be a Humble HERO in 2017

It seems that in the mind of many Christian men today, the ideas of humility and heroism are mutually exclusive. Meekness and humility are praised highly, as indeed they should be, but magnanimity and the virtues of soldiers are more or less swept under the rug. This is a great tragedy of our time. For, as Longfellow puts it in A Psalm of Life, ...

01 16 2017

Made for Greatness?

Jospeh Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is attributed with saying the following: “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness!” I have two problems with that quote. The first problem is that it does not actually define greatness. Is it wealth, power, popularity? Well, since he was a Pope maybe...

01 11 2017

Wise Men, The Nothingness of Eastern Religions, and the Somethingness of Christianity

A brilliant and valiant teacher named John Senior is continuing to be discovered by those startled by today’s shadowy darkness, especially through a newly published biography. Interestingly, Senior could be described as an apostle of shadows, not because shadows are not real but because they point to the fact that things are real. How else could ...

01 07 2017

Three Simple Ways To Evangelize (And Grow in Faith)

If you clicked on this article because you thought you had stumbled onto a list of “silver bullet” ideas for easily evangelizing your friends, co-workers, and family members, I am sorry to say you are going to be disappointed. When it comes to living and sharing our Catholic faith, there is no “easy” way to do it. The martyrs who died for t...

01 04 2017

What My DAD Taught Me About Strength

Four hundred pounds is a lot of weight by any estimation. When loaded on a barbell resting on one’s back, four hundred pounds is unquestionably heavy. Now, do a set of squats with that weight. Such a feat relatively few people ever have the strength, ability, or desire to even attempt. Yet, this was the goal my dad had set for himself for his ...

01 03 2017

Purpose. Meaning. Destiny.

My conversion to the Catholic faith came about largely through the witness of one of my (public) high school teachers. He is a man of God who understands profoundly that the knowledge of Truth is the end goal of all education. There were many things my teacher said that stood out to me and remain in my memory to this day. Few of them stand out as m...

12 22 2016

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