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We Called Him Hoot. I Wish We Had Loved Him

My hometown of Lawler, Iowa in the 1950s featured much character. And many characters. In general, through the years there have been about 500 people who live there. I will tell you about one of them. His real name was Francis. We called him Hoot. I don’t remember why. Everybody I knew had a nickname. Someone called him that once and it stuck. ...

04 04 2019

My Evangeline’s Story: Peace in the Desert

In December I shared the first part of Evangeline’s story with you. I told you how questions arose about my daughter’s health during the pregnancy and how she was born with a large bump on her lower back. I told you how I almost passed out in the delivery room and how I wondered what the Lord was trying to tell us with our new daughter’s name...

03 18 2019

God Will Not Be Conquered by Your Efforts to Understand Him

How can anyone know God? How can we plumb the depths or reach the heights of the Infinite? How do we respond to statements like, “See, God is great beyond our knowledge, the number of his years past searching out,” (Job 36:26)? To me, these types of questions and ideas can seem like the start of an intellectual exercise through which one can fi...

03 08 2019

Love ‘Em Before You Date ‘Em: The Most Important Lesson for Dating Catholics

When I was a young man in college, I went through what most young men go through – the dating scene. As it goes, I found some young women who were attractive, and I sought to gain their attention. I would take them out for ice cream, or go to a movie, or whatever else seemed like a decent date. Then would follow the entire digital dismay of timel...

12 27 2018

Loving God Above All

We were reminded on a recent Sunday of one of the greatest commandments from the Gospel of Mark: “You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Men, this is difficult to truly embrace.  When you think about it realistically, there are so many things and people that w...

11 25 2018

Hell Is Real. Stop Pretending It Isn’t

As I tucked my five-year-old son into bed tonight he wanted to “say some more prayers for people.” I think part of his intent might have been to delay lights-out time, but how could I not honor that request? In his list of intentions, he included “all the souls in purgatory,” at which point he actually stopped and thought about what he was ...

10 02 2018

Husbands, Love Your Wives

The beginning of fall marks the end of the summer wedding season, and as I see the photos of friends, acquaintances, and distant family members getting married, I can’t help but reflect on the classic Catholic wedding photo. The young couple is standing together looking overjoyed at the foot of the altar framed by decoration and bright colors. Th...

09 27 2018

Are Some Jobs Incompatible with Being Catholic?

There are certain occupations that are obviously incompatible with being Catholic. For example, a doctor who performs abortions or assisted suicide; any business involving prostitution or pornography; selling illegal drugs or performing any other work that requires you to engage in illegal activity. But what about other occupations that might have ...

08 10 2018

“It’s Not the Years, Honey. It’s the Mileage”

These infamous words of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark epitomize how a pilgrimage is truly a microcosmic slice of life’s spiritual journey, a distilled process of the joys and sufferings in the everyday encounters with fellow travelers through the stories portrayed in the flashback scenes of the movie of our lives, symbolizing how each ...

08 06 2018

We Love Because He First Loved Us

“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  These words from the first letter of John beautifully and succinctly sum up the origin and end of the Christian life—which, in a word, is love.  “Being Christian,” said Benedict XVI, “is…the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction...

08 03 2018

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