A Violent Salvation

Our modern world seems to run on violence. And it seems that every day the news is of more violence there and more violence here. From college campuses arguing over speech and “safe zones” and “trigger warnings” to the very real violence of terrorism all meant to disrupt and destroy. And can we even talk about what seems to be “perpetual war” in hotspots around the world where our soldiers are sent…

Are You a Hater?

Prejudice is always the ugly counterfeit to true discernment and good judgment. But we humans all too often confuse these realities to our own detriment. As a man who has grown up in the American South, I can readily attest to the sickness of prejudice in society, in communities, and in my own heart. By God’s grace, in my own area of the South, I have witnessed the powerful changes that have…

A Stranger They Will Not Follow

I was a nervous wreck! A 15-year-old teenager with his best buddies was sneaking into a movie theater without paying! I can hear the voice of my mother in my head “Young man, you carry your family name. That should make you think twice about doing things you know you shouldn’t!” We didn’t get caught. We loved the movie. We laughed, and we congratulated ourselves for our stealth and our “courage.” And I…

Watered Down Faith

“It’s like trying to take an aspirin for cancer!” OK, that got my attention! The speaker was talking about the dangers of watering down the clear message needed for our group so that it wasn’t so discomforting. But his illustration really drove the point home that some problems need the fully potent dose of truth to be corrected. I admit it hit home with me, especially as I thought about how just…

3 Invaluable Insights

Our busy lives really do challenge us in keeping our priorities in the right order, don’t they? We moderns are a complicated mishmash of schedules, opportunities, affluence, and “freedom.” And that multiplication of events, desires, hopes, and advertisements don’t seem to be slowing down. It seems that each new day brings a new barrage of invitations, exhortations, and marketing all meant to fill up every available moment of our day with “You…

Bind on Earth; Bound in Heaven!

I’ve heard this so many times: Why can’t I find love? What’s wrong with me? The expectations of some fairy tale notions wound us and wound our children. And that, dearest, is precisely the evil one’s intentions. Because the end result of these fantasies is the depressing lie that there is no such thing as love and that always leads to “there is no such thing as God.” Game, set, match kingdom…

Taste Suffering SO THAT You Can Taste Glory

Sometimes, the scriptures say things that really unsettle me. But I’ve learned when that happens, that’s a clue that I am approaching a place in my own heart that needs attention. And it’s beginning to dawn on me that most of the time I am unsettled by the wisdom of the Faith it’s because this wisdom is touching on suffering. Take, for example, this quote from St. Isaac the Syrian: If you would…

Freedom from Anxiety

Well, the truth is I was worried (OK, actually worried and scared). I had never faced anything like this before and all I had ever heard was this situation was serious. And it was. But as I stood there waiting to face the music I so dreaded, I noticed something. My anxiety and fear were making things worse. These emotions and feelings were clouding my judgment, and that was dangerous. You see,…

Your Hunger Reveals Your Heart

“You are what you eat.” So goes the saying that has at times served as a means to get people to have better diets, and a way for philosophers to reduce the human person to merely a thinking animal, and even to theologians trying to have folks consider the profound teaches of the Eucharist. For the vast amount of history, before the modern industrial revolution, the search for food and “daily bread”…

The Temptation of Misplaced Trust

Say what you will about the old TV shows: They were naive. They weren’t completely honest. They were sentimental. All of that may be true, but at least they attempted to foster the best of our hopes and dreams rather than pandering to our lowest desires. One such show was “Father Knows Best.” Robert Young played the dad and the comedy was gentle, but the show focused on a good-natured father who really…