What is true love?

“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”   Our Lord makes it sound easy – too easy, really. We only need to follow these two commandments: Love God and love your neighbor. What could be more simple? Who needs all of those complicated rules about: what to do, what not to […]

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This vineyard can bear fruit

Two friends of mine – fervent, practicing Catholics in their mid-20s – recently welcomed their first child. As you might guess, they are well aware that being married, having kids, going to Mass every Sunday, and intentionally living according to the teachings of the Church, puts them in a distinct minority among twenty-somethings in the […]

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Not a Club for the Perfect

Catholicism is not a club for the perfect. Our Lord tells the chief priests and scribes, “Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you!” Catholicism is a religion for repentant sinners, not a club for the perfect. It is easy for us to imagine that the good people are here and […]

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Mediocrity will not suffice

“You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped.” If anyone ever fears to address the Lord openly and honestly, let him observe the words of the prophet Jeremiah, who speaks to the Lord extraordinarily candidly. Jeremiah is not happy. He decries the Lord for duping him because he is embarrassed. He has […]

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The liberating power of dogma

Napoleon Bonaparte, the anti-Catholic emperor of France in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, once told a French cardinal, “Your eminence, are you not aware that I have the power to destroy the Catholic Church?” The cardinal, the anecdote goes, responded ruefully: “Your majesty, we … have done our best to destroy the church […]

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