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From Addict to Ascetic

07/21/2017 - 9:30am
One Saturday in 1884, twenty-eight-year-old Matt Talbot stood outside O’Meary’s pub in Dublin, Ireland. He was low on cash. Workers streamed by him, men with whom he had often labored, and he waited for one of them to invite him in for a drink. Work hard; drink hard—this had been his rhythm of life since [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Real Crisis of our Times

07/20/2017 - 9:00am
It’s said that sharks will die if they don’t keep swimming. There’s a strange lesson here for our own age. Joseph Ratzinger (no, I’m not comparing him to that shark) entered Vatican II with great optimism, yet grew worried in the following years concerning the many radical and permissive interpretations given to the Council. In [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Memento Mori

07/19/2017 - 9:30am
“Is he still alive?” “I thought he had passed away.” “Isn’t he dead? I’m sure I said Mass for him.” Questions and comments like these seem quite morbid. Yet they can be somewhat commonplace in a religious community that is spread out geographically but has hundreds or thousands of members, such as the Dominican Order. [...]
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My Heart Is Pierced by Gentle Things: A Poem

07/18/2017 - 9:30am
Like a canine with its teeth clenched around a rawhide bone, occasionally I’ll come across a line or two of poetry that I cannot dispatch. Such an experience occurred a few months ago. I was doing research for an article about the life of Father Tom Heath, O.P., a holy writer, teacher, and African missionary. [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

07/17/2017 - 9:30am
Let all mortal flesh keep silence, And with fear and trembling stand; Ponder nothing earthly minded, For with blessing in His hand, Christ our God to earth descending Comes our homage to demand. Gerard Moultrie composed these lyrics from an ancient offertory sung on Holy Saturday, a day of silence in memorial of when the [...]
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My Sheep, Don’t Worry, Just Preach!

07/14/2017 - 9:30am
Christ’s words in today’s Gospel reading at Mass rank high among the unsavory truths that Our Lord preaches. He tells his newly chosen Apostles and us too, “I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves.” And turning to the persecutions of his witnesses, he does not say “If they hand you over” [...]
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Wait, Did Cardinal Sarah Call God our Mother?

07/13/2017 - 9:00am
How can anyone think that God’s love is less maternal than a mother’s love, when all the love of mothers… is only a drop in this ocean of God’s maternal tenderness? – Robert Cardinal Sarah, The Power of Silence In recent weeks, the #1 bestseller among Catholic titles on Amazon has been Cardinal Sarah’s The [...]
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Is It Worth It?

07/12/2017 - 9:30am
As the sun in shining looks on all living things, so the work of the Lord is full of his glory. Are complements complete?            Sunlight resurrects dust            upon this composed dust            awaiting its own entombment. This dust travails: Taxed. Worn. Spent.            All by [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Psalm 8: What is Man?

07/11/2017 - 9:30am
What is man that you are mindful of him, The son of man that you care for him? (Ps 8:4) How closely do we look at the psalms? We might pass them by, not noticing the riches they offer to us. The eighth psalm, a “psalm of David,” is an intricate meditation on God’s love. [...]
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A Simple Heart

07/10/2017 - 9:30am
Often today, we value complexity. Blockbuster movies have thousands of names in the credits, develop twisting plots and subplots, and make use the most advanced cameras and special effects. Likewise the best electronic devices today are composed of billions of tiny components, constructed by a series of precise techniques, which run a whole range of [...]
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The Last Chapter

07/07/2017 - 9:30am
Aristotle and Tolkien agree, fairy tales should do far more than entertain us. They are also supposed to teach us. All good stories are composed with the artistic craft and genius of literature such that the reader can learn from the characters and events of the story about how to be brave, to endure suffering, [...]
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The Altar of Chastity

07/06/2017 - 9:30am
Ancient worship must have been something like a combination of slaughterhouse and barbecue. Animals to be sacrificed were brought in, ritually killed, and roasted on altars. Often, parts of these animals were then eaten by the worshipers—Leviticus outlines who gets which parts of various animals, for example. These altars are the images the Church offers [...]
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Limping along the Way of Truth

07/05/2017 - 9:30am
We tend to race through life. Our society is fast-paced, speeding from idea to idea, fad to fad. Even in our Christian lives, we often like to hurry. We love St. Paul’s image of running the race, of being an athlete of Christ (2 Tim 4:7). It is an image that speaks to our high-velocity [...]
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Of Blood & Country

07/04/2017 - 9:30am
The scene: Christmas, 1941. The Corleone dining room table. Tessio: I understand thirty thousand men enlisted this morning. Sonny: A bunch of saps. Michael: Why are they saps? Connie: Sonny, come on. We don’t have to talk about the war. Sonny: Hey beat it—you go talk to Carlo alright? (To Michael) They’re saps because they [...]
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To See or Not to See

07/03/2017 - 9:30am
As fallen creatures, we find ways to suffer from anxiety over just about everything, even the life of faith. Faith seems easy enough when things are going well, but in times of crisis, when our faith is tested, we often realize how quick we are to doubt that God is really there to provide for [...]
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Bears and Jewish Blessings

06/30/2017 - 9:30am
The bear had the voice of my grandfather, who had passed away earlier that week. My dad’s side of the family is Jewish. For as long as I can remember, meals at my grandparents’ house began with Grandpa Jerry blessing the food in Hebrew. He’d chant the prayers with his deep, gravelly, slightly-out-of-tune baritone voice. [...]
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A Heap of Broken Images

06/29/2017 - 9:30am
I sit down on the couch with my favorite drink in my hand, but all my thoughts keep flying. What a long day. One of those three-day-long days. The rain on the roof and the steady drip drip plunk of the water falling into the bucket in the corner reminds me that I still have [...]
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The Young Girl and the Sea

06/28/2017 - 9:30am
St. Thérèse loved the sea. When she first saw it, she was captivated by its majesty: I was six or seven years old when Papa brought us to Trouville. Never will I forget the impression the sea made upon me; I couldn’t take my eyes off it since its majesty, the roaring of its waves, [...]
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A Home in the Heavens

06/27/2017 - 9:30am
Imagine it’s winter. There’s no snow on the ground yet, but the air is bitter cold and the wind bites through all of your clothing. And you’re wearing a lot of clothing. You’re wearing four pairs of socks, sweatpants, jeans, three t-shirts, two sweaters, a down jacket, three pairs of gloves, two hats, and three [...]
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You Shall Know the Truth

06/26/2017 - 9:30am
In the first decade of the twentieth century, the French Dominican Humbert Clerissac delivered a series of conferences to friars of the English Province. In a conference on truth, Clerissac mentions being troubled by a trend he saw in which people fled from claims of truth. He says, “Veritas is not always a recommendation to [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations