Category: Christianity

For Mothers’ Day 2022

     A Happy Mothers’ Day to all my Gentle Readers, all mothers, and anyone who had a mother! Mothers, as most of us are aware, are vital to the continuing of the species…and you’ve just got to love our species. Especially the members who wear “pronoun pins” and insist that men can give birth. But …

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The Message

     These days, virtually no one in the public eye speaks plainly and clearly. How long has it been since you last heard a politician answer a direct question with a direct answer – especially an answer of “yes” or “no?” Come to think of it, how long has it been since the last time …

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The Neglected Patriarch

     Today is the feast day of a remarkable saint, the stepfather and protector of the most important Child ever to be born: Joseph of Nazareth. Yet few give him much thought, as virtually nothing about his life is included in the New Testament. For a modest taste, one must turn to a “non-canonical” document: …

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Faith, Hope, And Confidence

     As has been happening more and more frequently of late, I’ve got a large number of entries in my “Future Columns” folder, and absolutely no interest in writing about any of them. That the topics themselves might not go unnoticed or undiscussed, here are the links: Can a state law override your freedom of …

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There Are Days

     Indeed, there are whole years. And 2021 was one such. This year isn’t shaping up to be better.      But this is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the special liturgical season of Lent. It moves around from year to year, as it depends on the date of Easter. For those with an interest, …

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Do You Pray?

     Not a lot of people pray these days. To my sorrow, that includes many self-nominated Christians of every denomination, including mine. I understand some of the reasons. Our lives have never before been as cluttered as they are today. The world around us presents us with a multitude of distractions, some seemingly so imperative …

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Even The Greatest Men Are Sometimes Wrong

     Men are fallible. We make mistakes. Some of us are wrong more often than right. And yes, “men” includes women, so no smirking, ladies. Especially since the majority of you react worse to being criticized than to being publicly groped.      The history of Christianity knows few mortal figures to compare with Saul of …

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Threatening Or Heartening?

     I’m in the habit of sending out “Happy New Year” notes to my friends, cordial acquaintances, and other regular correspondents. Those who reply usually just echo the wish, perhaps with a few words of personal news attached. However, this year one friend, whom I’ll call Smith, included in his response that he’d decided to …

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Saint Stephen

     Today, December 26, is the feast day of Saint Stephen, one of the first (some accounts make him the very first) martyrs to the Christian faith. Here’s what this morning’s missive from the Catholic Company has to say about him:      St. Stephen (1st. c.) was one of the Church’s first deacons in Jerusalem …

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The Big Whys

     Why do you do what you do? Apart from the autonomic stuff such as breathing, and the instinctive stuff such as chasing cute girls, that is.      As far as I can tell, there are only three categorical reasons for any consciously chosen action: Desires; Fears; Beliefs.      Virtually everyone understands the first two …

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Names

     [My Christmas story. Someone – apart from Joseph and Mary – had to be first on the scene. But who might that have been…and what did he take from being first to lay eyes on the Christ Child? – FWP] ***      Census has always been an irritant. There are many — I am …

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Christmas, Children, and Christ

     If you have young children (I don’t), or were once a young child yourself (I wasn’t), you’re probably familiar with children’s Christmas frenzy. It’s all about the presents. (Well, maybe a little about the decorations.) The religious aspects of the holiday are virtually impossible to communicate to them. The origin of the gift-giving tradition …

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The Speculations Of Unbelievers

     Many persons who lack faith claim to be disturbed by those of us who have it. In some cases, this is because the unbeliever fails to understand the nature of a religious faith. In others, the unbeliever misunderstands or misconstrues an important characteristic of religious faith: inasmuch as it is unprovable by its nature, …

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Images Of Perfection

     Good morning, Gentle Reader. Yes, I “took yesterday off.” After a fashion, anyway. I spent it finishing the first draft of my novel-under-construction, which is now in the hands of my test readers. And with that elephant off my back, I feel years…well, maybe a month or two younger. So I’m back at my …

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A Walking Corpse

     This piece will be rather brutal, I fear. I have some ugly ground to cover, and it’s not easily compressed into a thousand exquisitely appropriate and entirely non-vulgar words.      Someone once posited that the way to structure an exposition is to lead off by telling your audience what you will tell them. You …

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For The Feast Of Christ The King

     [Today is the Feast of Christ The King, which falls on the last Sunday before Advent. It’s a unique holy day for several reasons, and one that I find particularly personally significant. The essay below first appeared at Eternity Road on January 6, 2008. I find that I cannot improve upon it, for which …

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Which Is To Be Master? (UPDATED)

     My most recent novel, In Vino, provides the culmination of several themes threaded through the Onteora Canon. One of the most important of them is expressed compactly in this passage:      [Ray] glanced around the table. All the glasses were empty. No cheese and only a few crackers remained on the tray he’d prepared. …

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Concerning Hallowe’en And Related Things

     The costuming, the candy, and the partying all to the side, Hallowe’en – the night before All Saints Day – is actually a Christian event of some antiquity. It and All Saints Day (November 1) itself arose as counterweights to the pagan festival of Samhain, which also occurs on these two days.      The …

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From The “No, Really?” Dept.

     There are days I marvel at the obdurate ignorance of self-nominated “scientists.” As I was one, once, I think I can say this with authority: if it isn’t in his wheelhouse, the typical scientist will dismiss it as irrelevant at best, absurd at worst.      Mankind has developed a great variety of approaches to …

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Gifts, Love, And Miracles

     Today’s Mass reading from the Gospel of St. John told of the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes:      After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. …

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