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Try This Weird Benedictine Trick (Demons Will Hate You for It!)

Before entering the Dominicans, I attended a diocesan seminary run by Benedictine Monks, one of whom was my spiritual director. He gave me a piece of advice once, something he and many of the monks themselves did: find one thing to do every meal to mortify yourself with. Take one…

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Solid Armor, Trained Arrows: Persevering in the Desert of the Conquering Christ

Lent is not only a time of bodily affliction and psychological combat; it is a time of continual victory for those who hold onto the victorious head and commander—Christ Jesus. As St. Ephrem the Syrian explains: Samson killed many with the jawbone of an ass, but the serpent killed the…

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Fixing Our Attention on the Paschal Mystery During Lent

In the office of Readings for Ash Wednesday, St. Clement I, the bishop of Rome in the late first century, exhorts the Christian people to fix our gaze on the Paschal Mystery in the following manner: “Let us fix our attention on the blood of Christ and recognize how precious…

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Christian Dignity

Our life on this side of death is marked by a deep and insatiable desire. Human persons, strange creatures that we are, live constantly on the edge of despair for this very reason: we are finite beings with a seemingly infinite longing. We want to be “happy”; we want to…

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The Friendliness Called Affability

It seems a certain nastiness is becoming increasingly common in the way we deal with those who are not our closest friends. From public figures whose words and actions are broadcast on television, to squabbles in comment sections of online posts, to even the face-to-face interactions of social life, we…

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The Noonday Demon

Have you ever felt bored on the spiritual journey and wanted to give up? Have you ever felt that the spiritual life is such an unbearable burden of troubles that you just want to put it aside for a more comfortable life? Stay alert, if this is the case, for…

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Time to Ditch “Pro-Life Day of Prayer” for “Pro-Life Day of Action”?

On January 22nd, the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, we Catholics have the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, and in California, usually the Walk for Life, on the nearest Saturday. But is it time to ditch focusing too much on rallying Christians to prayer and…

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A Spirituality Behind the Wheel

I remember once when I was a teenager, a family member was driving me somewhere on the freeway. And suddenly, the truck in front of us began to drift dangerously out of its lane. My driver immediately made the sign of the cross. The truck then corrected itself. Looking back,…

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Backpacking Rosary Reflection

In August, along with a number of my fellow student brothers, I had the opportunity to go on a three-night, four-day backpacking trip through part of the Cascade Mountain Range in Oregon. While it was quite beautiful, the hike covered 50 some odd miles, which, not being in peak physical…

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Crossing 2020 to 2021

No doubt that the year 2020 has been a year of tremendous hardship. As we reach the last days of this year, we look forward to 2021 with great hope. As we look with hope for a better year to come, let us also mark it with the sign of…

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