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Let’s Fast and Pray on Fridays to Protect Life

A gaping hole has emerged in Catholic life with the disappearance of the Friday penance.  The Catechism (§1438) and the Code of Canon Law teach us that every Friday is a day of penance in honor of Our Lord’s Passion (unless a solemnity falls on that day). The US Bishops in 1966 did not abolishthe Friday penance, but merely stated that the oblig...

05 24 2018

An Eastern Bishop to Lazy Catholics: Suck It Up!

Sorry, but not sorry, for the somewhat harsh title. As the Easter season has drawn to a close, I was reflecting on penitence. During the 50 days of Easter we celebrate in the Church, we are jubilant in that our Lord has conquered death by His Resurrection. The dark days of Lent are long gone and we’ve found ourselves singing “Alleluia!” again...

05 18 2018

How A Muslim Convinced Me Our Lents Are Too Soft

I officiate a lot of basketball games. One year I worked about 225 games in the six months between October 1 and April 1. To put that in perspective, college basketball teams play 30-35 games in a season, while NBA teams play 82 games during their regular season (the longest regular season in all of basketball) during roughly the same timeframe. Do...

03 10 2018

Don’t Just Give Things Up, Give Them Away

The "three pillars" of Lent have a beautiful logic to them.  The first pillar is prayer because prayer unites us to God and prepares us to receive Him.  The second is fasting, which is a conscious denial to the flesh, disciplining the appetites and joining us more to Christ.  It has the added benefit of uniting us in shared suffering, which ...

03 07 2018

Cafeterias. Men Should Stay Out of Them.

I have been eating in a cafeteria for the past few weeks. The buffet is a tempting death trap – pick what you want, as much as you want, and only what you want. I am the master of my own culinary consumption – which is more or less true at restaurants or at home, but the cafeteria buffet line takes it to levels beyond what any human can take. T...

07 06 2017

Catholics and Fridays. What Happened?

Should we abstain from meat on Fridays? The short answer is – yes. The longer answer is – you need to practice penance on Friday and can substitute something in place of abstaining from meat. Here’s the problem. The longer answer has practically destroyed the Friday penance in the United States. Many countries still practice mandatory abst...

06 21 2017

Why Men Need To Fast

I am staring at the Exodus 90 kit (if you don’t know what Exodus 90 is, click here). The 90 days of living the dream haven’t started for me yet but will be here before I know it. Prayer and fasting aren’t a new concept for me, but the rigor and length of Exodus 90 are a more intense take on it. I might be crazy, but I am looking forward to st...

04 19 2017

“He Fornicated & Read the Papers”

In The Fall, a fictional philosophical novel by Albert Camus, one character reflects aloud: “I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.” I first heard this line re...

01 28 2016

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