Justifying Lyings

weekly reflections Apr 27, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts members,

Let’s continue with our discussion of lying.  I want to start with a position that may seem somewhat provocative, and that is: a lie always begins inside the self.  The first lie is always when we lie to ourselves.  Before we can lie to another person, we generally have to convince ourselves that it is acceptable, justifiable, warranted, etc. (assuming there was at least some forethought).  So we have to deceive ourselves first.

As a...

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weekly reflections Apr 20, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts members,

Happy Easter to you!  I hope all of you had a very fulfilling Holy Week and are able to experience the joy of the Resurrection in this Easter Week.

You’ve heard it many times.  Many of you have memorized it as part of your sacramental preparation. The eighth commandment.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor (Exodus 20:16)

And most of us were taught, when we were little, that lying was wrong. If you took that last cookie from the...

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Spy Wednesday

weekly reflections Apr 13, 2022

Today is Spy Wednesday

Spy Wednesday, one day before Holy Thursday is when Judas hardened his heart and made a deal to hand Jesus over to the chief priests. 

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve;  he went away and conferred with the chief priests and captains how he might betray him to them.  And they were glad, and engaged to give him money.  So he agreed, and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the...

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Caiaphas And Interior Integration

weekly reflections Apr 06, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

From the cross, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34).  Jesus, in His merciful love was pleading for his enemies, the chief priests, the Pharisees, the scribes, the Roman soldiers, and the mob of people mocking him and belittling him.  And he was crying out to intercede for us, us Christians, us Catholics, we His people, who make ourselves His enemy when we sin.

… for they know...

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Trauma, Sin and Enemies

weekly reflections Mar 30, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

One of the most tragic effects of trauma is how it can alienate us from ourselves, from others, and from God.  A common response of trauma is the making of enemies.

This is the fourth weekly reflection in our email series on enemies, and now we’re zeroing in on the effects of trauma on relationships.

Original Sin => Original Trauma

You can think of original sin as leading to the “original trauma.”  The sin of Adam and Eve in the...

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Temporary Enemies

weekly reflections Mar 23, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Did you ever think that many or even most of your enemies may be temporary?  Enemies in a particular moment, not necessarily perpetual enemies?

In last week’s reflection, I made the statement that one reason Catholics avoid naming their enemies is that they assume that being an enemy is a constant condition – and they don’t want to brand anyone, especially anyone close to them, as an enemy because it would then inevitably lead to...

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Six Reasons Catholics Don't Know their Enemies

weekly reflections Mar 16, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Who do you think of when you hear the scripture passage in Matthew 5:44 when our Lord commands us to “Love your enemies.  Pray for your persecutors.”  I invite you to slow down, take a minute and reflect on your enemies.  Who do you consider to be your enemies?  Who are they?

You have some challenging relationships – most of us do.  But do you consider those “difficult” people your enemies?

Or maybe you take...

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Definition of Enemies

weekly reflections Mar 09, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts members,

In Luke 10:29, the expert in the law, after hearing the second great commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” queried Jesus and asked “And who is my neighbor?” This led to Jesus’ telling of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

I was praying last week about the situation in the Ukraine and as I was reflecting on our Lord’s command in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute...

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weekly reflections Mar 02, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Last Sunday to open his Angelus address, Pope Francis said:

In recent days we have been shaken by something tragic: war. Time and again we have prayed that this road would not be taken. And let us not stop talking; indeed, let us pray to God more intensely. For this reason, I renew to all the invitation to make 2 March, Ash Wednesday, a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine. A day to be close to the sufferings of the Ukrainian people, to feel that we...

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Spiritual Warfare

weekly reflections Feb 24, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Demons are real.  We have it on the authority of scripture.  St. Peter tells us,

Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 8:5)

And St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.

And the reality of...

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