G.K. Chesterton, Father Brown, and Evangelizing the Culture

At one of the local parishes, I help to lead a series called “Evangelizing the Culture”. We meet once a month and different people lead discussions on various books, movies, TV shows, or other forms of media from our modern culture and we look at how we can find messages relating to our faith even in seemingly secular work. I’ve led discussions ranging from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, the Disney movie Moana, Homer Simpson, and John Green’s The Fault…

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Praying Before Meals

“Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.” When I first joined the Catholic Church almost seven years ago, one of the biggest things that I had to get used to was formalized prayer. After all, I was coming from twenty-five years of not practicing organized religion in my life at all, and many of the forms and rituals of the Church were very foreign concepts…

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What I read: December 2018

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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What I read: October & November 2018

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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Hobbit-fest 2018

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are nice and all, but my favorite day of the year is my annual Lord of the Rings marathon. Traditionally taking place on the day after Thanksgiving, this is the day that I indulge in watching all three Extended Editions of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, which takes about twelve hours in total. It’s glorious. I also like to plan a hobbit-worthy menu for the day, which includes all seven hobbit meals spaced…

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On Pilgrimage: Germany, Austria, & Hungary

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Every time I travel far from home, it awakens a strange dichotomy in my nature: a love of adventure, of exploration, of seeing new sights and having new experiences, but at the same time an awareness of how much I love…

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What I read: September 2018

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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Applying the Five Love Languages to Prayer

How often in Christianity are we told that we need to have a personal relationship with God? Being asked if you have a “close and personal relationship with God” is practically a cliche turn of phrase these days, so that we may not even really consider what it means to have a “relationship with God.” How often do we think of our relationship with God in the same way that we think about our earthly relationships, such as with our…

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Chesterton, Elfland, and the Modern Imagination

I recently attended my very first Chesterton Conference, an event which is put on every year by the American Chesterton Society. If you have never heard of the writer G.K. Chesterton, it might strike you as odd that there could be an entire conference dedicated to his work, never mind an entire national organization. (Chesterton is actually celebrated world-wide, as there is also an Australian Chesterton Society, as well) Well, let me tell you, Chesterton is probably the greatest writer…

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What I read: July 2018

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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