When You Feel Ashamed & Helpless at the Persecution of Christians

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Today, I had my first class on the Trinity, one of the theology units I’m taking this semester. In it was a young Iraqi Christian, a Chaldean Catholic who is studying for the priesthood. As we went around and introduced ourselves, you could feel the heaviness in the room when he spoke. We are suffering, he said simply, and no one will help us. In that moment, I felt shame, helplessness and defensiveness all mingled together. All I want to do… …Continue Reading

Incense Perfume: The Liturgical Gift You’ve Been Praying For

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My beloved liturgically-correct readers, I bring good news! You know how you could never get enough incense in your life? How you felt lonely, angry and even incensed without your fragrance of choice, your eau de thurible? I give you La Liturgie des Heures. As I’m sure you, my uber-cultured readers know, that is French for the Liturgy of the Hours and it’s basically parfum de incense. And no, I’ve just made up an incense perfume… although I wish I’d thought of… …Continue Reading

Great News from a Reader: He’s Becoming Catholic!

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I want to share a wonderful email I got from a reader, David the other day. He contacted me to ask some questions about mortal sin and confession, explaining that: “I am a protestant-ish, guy, who is seriously contemplating the Catholic Church. I have been heavily influenced by Catholic writers over the course of these last few years. I have nagging questions that really burn me, and I need some help getting answers!” I emailed back about a week later — and the next morning,… …Continue Reading

Dear Pope Francis, I Don’t Want To Be the Most Beautiful

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Dear Pope Francis, The other day you gave an interview. It was your first interview with a female journalist since you were elected pope. Unfortunately, in a few short sentences, you managed to touch on everything I find problematic about the Church’s attitude to women. I certainly don’t think this is the full extent of the Church’s teaching on women, and I know if you could easily add more, but I hear a lot of this kind of thing, and honestly,… …Continue Reading

Calvinism vs. the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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What is Calvinism? Calvinism is an heresy. It was the invention of John Calvin (1509 – 1564), a Protestant Reformer who was based primarily in Geneva. Calvin was brilliant, harsh and unfortunately for us, persuasive. Calvinism is growing among Protestants today — and it almost killed my faith. Like all good heresies, Calvinism is an intellectually coherent theological system that destroys the heart of Christianity.  It starts with a true premise, namely that God is sovereign and all-powerful. It then makes this the controlling… …Continue Reading

Sacred Heart Feast Friday Link-Up Finale!

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A blessed feast day of the Sacred Heart! As many of you know, the last year or so, I’ve hosted a First Friday link-up on the Sacred Heart with Ryan from Back of the World. Over the past six months, I’ve been really bad with keeping it going. I’ve been struggling with depression but I’ve also been all-Sacred-Hearted-out — in a good way! This year, I’m writing a research masters thesis on the Sacred Heart. Specifically, I’m looking at the theology… …Continue Reading

6 Ways Following Christ is Like Football According to Pope Francis

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Rome Reports has a delightful little video on how Pope Francis’ love of football comes through in his teaching. He shows us at least six ways that following Jesus is like football. (Or soccer if you prefer.) Following Christ means joining His team. “Jesus asks us to be his disciples, for us to ‘play on His team’.” Following Christ means training, “training a lot”, as part of His team. The training we need to be His followers is prayer, the Sacraments, and… …Continue Reading

An Apology

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About two weeks ago, I wrote a post called #YesAllWomen should be thankful for #AllGoodMen. I got some criticism for dismissing the suffering of women who have experienced sexual harassment and assault. I’ve had some time to get all defensive think about it and I think it was justified criticism. I never meant to suggest in the least that #YesAllWomen wasn’t an incredibly important conversation — but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t. Unfortunately, we can sin by omission as well as… …Continue Reading

Echo & Narcissus: Why Does the God Need the Holy Spirit?

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  Ah, the Trinity! Writing about the Trinity is theological Kobayashi Maru. Yes Sheldon, I am. I’ve been reading Sarah Croakley’s God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay ‘On the Trinity’ (although I think ‘deep, meaty, what-the-heck-are-you-talking-bout book’ might be a better way to describe it than ‘essay’!) One of the underlying questions is why God is three? Why not simply stick to a duality between Father and Son? Obviously Scripture reveals the Spirit is truly God and the Councils of the Church confirm… …Continue Reading

9 Reasons Christ Ascended to the Father

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The poor Ascension, I don’t think any other feast of Our Lord’s life is quite as neglected. We all love Christmas because Jesus comes to us, Easter because Christ rises from the dead and comes back to us, and Pentecost because the Holy Spirit descends to us from heaven. But the Ascension when Jesus leaves us?  Why would he do that to us!? Yet Jesus said it was better for us that He leaves us. (Jn 16:7) He said that the Son of… …Continue Reading