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With increasing frequency, Catholics are growing into adulthood without having received the Sacrament of Confirmation, and therefore without having been fully initiated into the Roman Catholic Church. One reason for this is our mobile society. When families move from one…
Since all human life is sacred and a precious gift from God, the over 50 million abortions in the United States since abortion was legalized in 1973 are a profound human tragedy. The lack of significant political and legal progress…
Of course, a very important part of this life is believing and acting as necessary to attain heavenly salvation. For what good does it do to attain success and happiness in this world, if we are eternally lost? Our temporal…
Naturalistic evolution holds that life evolved naturally, without any divine design or guidance. It is widely taught today, more often as fact than as theory, in our schools and universities. The prevailing worldview in the scientific and academic community is…
In contrast with naturalistic evolution, guided evolution (also called theistic evolution) is another way to understand the evolution of life on earth. Guided evolution is the idea that God ordained and sustained the gradual evolution of life. Guided evolution is…
The gospel or "good news" proclaimed since the beginning of Christianity is essentially the news of Christ's Resurrection. This "good news" is that a man who claimed to be the Son of God and the Savior of the world has…
As we become older and more educated, it is quite normal to question the existence of God. How do we know that God exists is a key question in life, which we all must personally answer. I clearly remember during…
Does the Catholic Church accept the validity of the theory of evolution? The answer is both yes and no. While there has been no binding statement of faith issued by the magisterium on this question, several popes and cardinals have…
Trying to correctly discern God's Will in any decision is often quite difficult, but is especially important for the "Big Decisions" in life. These major decisions involve a life commitment that could have serious negative consequences if made poorly. They…
Drawing on discoveries in biochemistry, astronomy, physics and related disciplines, the theory of intelligent design proposes that certain features of living systems and of the universe are best explained as the product of an intelligent cause, rather than purely undirected…
A central belief of Christianity is that Jesus is divine, the Son of God. But, how do we know Jesus himself made that claim and how can we know if it's true? There are several places in the New Testament…
Many people believe the creation story in Genesis is literally and historically true. They believe the universe was created only several thousand years ago, in six, 24-hour "days." However, there is another way to read this story. The story of…
While I was in high school, I received the following poem in a mailing from a Roman Catholic religious order that was encouraging vocations to the priesthood. This poem meant a lot to me then, and means a lot to…
A healthy self-esteem is essential to productive and effective interpersonal relationships, and very important to achieving happiness in life. However, many, if not most people find it difficult to sincerely and deeply believe that they are a truly good, worthy,…
All too often it seems that winning is the most important thing in youth team competitions. This includes all forms of competitive team sports (soccer, basketball, baseball, etc.) and non-athletic team competitions (such as "Odyssey of the Mind"). However, winning…
According to the Situational Leadership Model, there is no one "best way" to go about leading or influencing others. Similarly, there is no one "right way" to always parent our children. It is not appropriate to parent our teenagers in…
In the past several decades, western society has become increasingly secularized. Naturalism, the philosophy that the material world is all that exists, has nearly taken over the entertainment, educational, and legal systems. Naturalistic evolution, with no place for God, is…
Parenthood is likely to be the most enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding role we may ever have in life. Many consider parenthood their most important vocation, since in no other vocation is another human being so totally dependent upon us. Our…
With the decline of traditional religious beliefs, especially in Western societies, the "quality of life ethic" is becoming more widespread and accepted. This ethic holds that the lives of some people lack a sufficient quality and therefore are not worth…
Like most people, I had many different feelings after first seeing Mel Gibson's powerful movie The Passion of the Christ. I felt gratitude that Jesus suffered so much on my behalf. I also felt deep sadness because my sins and…
As it says in the book of Genesis, God made humans in his own image and "male and female he created them." So, we should ask what is God's divine plan and purpose for our sexuality. Of course, the most…
I believe the four stages of Christian faith development, described by Rev. John H. Westerhoff in his book Will Our Children Have Faith?, are quite enlightening and true. As we go through life, we may expand into (add-on) the needs…
As Christians, we are commanded by Jesus to love others. But, what does this mean? In today's culture, love is usually associated with romantic feelings and sexual relationships. Clearly, this is not the type of love Jesus meant we should…
In the early church, adult conversion came first, then catechesis for catechumens, and finally baptism. Today, this order is most often reversed. Infant baptism is first, then catechesis, and finally conversion. But when is this conversion? This moment/stage/process has been…
Clearly, God respects the free will of people on earth. We are not His puppets. We have a free will. We can choose what to do and how to do it. However, since the beginning of time people have used…
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#337) states, “Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine ‘work,’ concluded by the ‘rest’ of the seventh day.” The Catechism also states that the biblical…
I believe there are two fundamental purposes in life, in addition to attaining eternal salvation. Neither of these purposes have anything to do with seeking fun, fame or fortune. Nevertheless, it's these two divinely ordained purposes that offer the true…
Of course, no one wants or enjoys suffering and hardship. They are, however, an inevitable part of our temporal life on earth. I know this may sound funny, but difficulties and hardships can be blessings in disguise. They can be…
Are you happy? We're not talking about outwardly, but deep inside. Do you mostly have happy thoughts rolling around in your head? Or, do you have a nagging unhappiness, uncertainty, doubt, a feeling of not really belonging, a sense that…
We learn from the first chapters of the book of Genesis that God created a good world, a world where there was no evil or sin. However, it's important to realize that the potential for evil and sinful human behavior…
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