What I've Learned From My Atheist Friends

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What I've Learned From My Atheist Friends

I once heard someone say that the longer you are a Christian, the fewer non-Christian friends you have.  I know this has been very true for me.  As I fell in love with God and my Catholic faith in high school, the more I started to make choices around my faith.  Where I went to college, the career I chose, the subjects I studied, and how I spent my free time were significantly influenced by my identity as a follower of Christ.  I don’t think this self-segregating phenomena is peculiar to Christians.  It’s totally normal, if not always healthy, to spend time with people who think and act like us. However, by the magic of social media, I’ve managed to stay in touch with, reconnect with, meet, and in fact deepen relationships with people whose lives have taken a very different turn from my own.  Some of these people are atheists

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New Bikes and the Spiritual Life

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New Bikes and the Spiritual Life

Ready or not, it was time.  Time for each child to take the next step in bike-riding expertise.  And so one sunny afternoon, we all set out – each with the next-level bike – to let the Great Bike Training of 2018 commence.  We hadn’t been at it long before three kiddos realized this was not going to be a simple one-and-done session.  As Teddy grumpily inched along on his balance bike, Max slowly wobbled next to dad, and Bridget took her first tumble, the hesitation and frustration set in

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Pope Francis Thinks You Need A Friend...Bad

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Pope Francis Thinks You Need A Friend...Bad

These days I’m making a podcast about friendship with my some of my best friends and, reflecting on so many stories, I have to say, friends are super important. In fact, Pope Francis agrees! In his new document on the call to holiness in today’s world, he emphasizes, “no one is saved alone.”

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Books That Shaped Me

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Books That Shaped Me

We're done with Lent, now, which is nice. Hopefully we're not done with growing in our faith though. This time of year we throw the switch from "Fast" to "Party". If you haven't already done so, it might be a good time to put together a reading list for the year of our Lord 2018. To help you, I'm sharing an annotated list of books that have shaped me

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You’re a Hypocrite, I Promise

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You’re a Hypocrite, I Promise

These days we have very little tolerance for hypocrites, that is, people who don’t practice what they preach. And this is good! We should be challenging others, and ourselves, to be authentic and virtuous. Jesus calls us to “live in the truth,” and criticized the legalistic scribes and pharisees as hypocrites (See Mt. 23!). But when it comes to Jesus’ call to “be perfect” we all fall short. The real question isn’t whether you’re a hypocrite but what kind of hypocrite you’re going to be. As we move from Holy Week to Easter we can meditate on three very different paths.

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A Heart's a Heavy Burden

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A Heart's a Heavy Burden

About a month ago I went with a couple of my friends to Santa Monica to see a showing of Howl’s Moving Castle in 35mm film. For anyone who hasn’t seen this film, it’s an animated movie by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli and it’s based on a fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones published in 1986. The movie follows a young woman named Sophie who lives in this bright world that’s full of magic.

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 Thoughts & Prayers & Action

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Thoughts & Prayers & Action

It seems like “You are in my thoughts and prayers” has become synonymous with “I will do nothing in the face of suffering and injustice” for many.  Especially in the wake of a major disaster or violence, what used to be an expression of solidarity has become incredibly politically charged. 

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Lean In

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Lean In

When the 40 desert days drew to a close,
And Your empty, worn down body cried,
“Seek comfort!” “You deserve it!”
My Lord, what did You do? Lean in.

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At the Start of Lent

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At the Start of Lent

Here we are again, at the start of Lent. One thing is shocking about the start of Lent this year, and it is how little our society is shocked by another mass shooting at a school.

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 The Super Bowl Forgotten

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The Super Bowl Forgotten

I love everything about the big game. The crazy fans, halftime show, greasy food, friends, and one too many beers.  But if I am being honest, something else weighs on my mind as dawn breaks the Monday morning.  Sex trafficking at the Superbowl.

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Why I'm still thinking about 'The Last Jedi'

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Why I'm still thinking about 'The Last Jedi'

It’s been a month and a half since the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, was released. Tension between fans who liked and hated the movie was higher than between main character Rey and her nemesis Kylo Ren, but by now the controversy has simmered down and conversation dwindled. Even though bickering over the film exists only in a sub-reddit far far away, I can’t help but ruminate on the Force, the relationship between teacher and pupil, and the simultaneous fragility and strength of hope.  

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Discern, Decode, Decide

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Discern, Decode, Decide

There is a crisis of discernment in the Church.

You might think that I'm going to write that there is not enough discernment. Maybe I'll write that a failure to discern is causing people to miss their vocations.

But that’s not what I’m about to write.

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A Holy New Year

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A Holy New Year

If you haven’t seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I highly recommend it. It’s an Amazon-only show, and it follows Midge Maisel - a Jewish woman whose husband leaves her, so naturally she goes into stand-up comedy.

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It Is Better to Receive

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It Is Better to Receive

This Advent, especially as we approach Christmas, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s better to give than to receive.”  This is an important idea, one that emphasizes a spirit of giving rather than selfishness.  But any Christian has heard it before, so I’m going to offer a different thought for reflection: the best thing that you can do this Christmas is receive.

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How to Christmas like a Christian

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How to Christmas like a Christian

So, let’s say you are a Christian.  Christmas is a pretty big deal, right?  The birth of the savior of the world warrants some major celebration.  One problem, lots of your friends, family, and even society at large love Christmas but don’t seem to care much about Jesus.  Most of the focus is on parties, presents, and Santa Claus.
 
What’s a Christian to do?

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Me Too

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Me Too

“Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2356).

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