St. Thomas Aquinas: You must love you. First.

weekly reflections Oct 05, 2022

The importance of love

Love was of the highest importance to St. Thomas Aquinas. He identified love as “the source and summit” of the life of each person. Catholic philosopher Anthony Flood, in his masterful book The Metaphysical Foundations of Love summarizes love as “the structuring notion of Aquinas’s practical philosophy.” (p. ix). Flood’s book is a particularly helpful synthesis of Aquinas’s thought on self-love, and I rely on it heavily in this...

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Of Mirrors and Identity: The Hardest Question

weekly reflections Sep 28, 2022

For 15 years, I devoted myself to psychological assessment, with a specialized focus on men entering the seminary. I focused in learning how to understand, at a deep level, the individual humanity, the unique personhood of each of these men who were offering themselves in service to the Church.

Seminarian candidates from all over the US presented themselves in my office for an all-day assessment. I was charged with evaluating these men’s psychological fitness, their...

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The Deepest Human Formation Work A Catholic Can Do

weekly reflections Sep 21, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members.

Get ready. In this reflection we are about to get into some of the most important human formation work a Catholic can do.

A brief review of needs, God concepts, and God images

Let’s review of the ground we have already cultivated to prepare for this weekly reflection.

Two weeks ago, in the weekly reflection The top 10 needs that fuel modern-day idol worship, we explored the definition of a modern-day idol, and how what people often think of as common idols...

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Are You A Heretic? Distorted God Images Catholics Hold

Uncategorized Sep 14, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Last week, we discussed the top 10 needs that fuel modern-day idol worships, and you can check that out here in our archive.

Today, we approach the question of idols from a completely different direction. Bur first, I want to make a radical assertion. Here it is.

Are you a heretic?

You hold many heresies inside. Even though you may be a devout, faithful Catholic who holds fast to all the teachings of the Church, you still have heretical beliefs and assumptions...

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The Top 10 Needs That Fuel Modern-Day Idol Worship

weekly reflections Sep 06, 2022

Dear Souls & Hearts Community,

So often we hear homilies, sermons or read spiritual writings about idols in the modern day. And that is a good thing, it makes sense. The first commandment of the Decalogue in Deuteronomy reads as follows:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the...

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The Counterfeits of Self-Giving

weekly reflections Aug 31, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts members,

This morning, I was reading Fr. Jacque Phillippe’s book Called to Life before the Blessed Sacrament and a passage on self-giving leapt out at me to share with you today in our weekly reflection.

Self-giving and its counterfeits…

Fr. Philippe writes:

Still, self-giving is not always so simple in practice. People sometimes give generously of themselves, without experiencing the happiness promised by the Gospel. Instead they encounter sorrow, fatigue,...

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Why I Reject the Concept of “Personality”

weekly reflections Aug 24, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

We seek to understand ourselves

So many Catholics want to understand themselves better, and within proper limits, that is a good endeavor. Over time, people have developed various ways of trying to describe who we are -- not just collectively as the human race, but also in our individuality. There is a pull for each of us to understand himself or herself better.

Ancient Greeks

Hippocrates, drawing on even older Egyptian and Mesopotamian ideas, described the four...

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Through The Eyes of a Catholic Toddler

weekly reflections Aug 17, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Most Catholic parents (like non-Catholic parents) misunderstand their toddlers. And this lack of understanding and attunement causes many problems between Catholic parents and children that may manifest immediately (in the “terrible twos”) or later in the parent-child relationship.

A little perspective…”

A little toddler’s eyes see the world very differently than the eyes of an adult. Very differently. A toddler’s...

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The Real Reason Adults Leave the Church

weekly reflections Aug 10, 2022

Dear Souls and Heart Community,

It happens to so many devout Catholic parents of adult children. They hear words like this during the all the family reunites at Christmas Eve: “Mom, Dad, I’m not going to Midnight Mass this year. I haven’t gone to Mass in years. I don’t believe in Catholicism anymore. It’s not for me.”

Those words fall like a hammer on the hearts of so many Catholic mothers and fathers. Those mothers and fathers have prayed for their...

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Who’s Your Daddy? Confusion Over Our Primary Parents

weekly reflections Aug 03, 2022

Dear Souls & Hearts Community,

Over the last four weekly reflections, we’ve been discussing parents, and in particular unexpressed parental love, parents who implicitly deny any wrongdoing in raising their children, parents who avoid their own shame (using their children in the process), and parents who don’t love their children.


Those weekly reflections raise a question. Why? Why does God allow for so much bad parenting to happen? Isn’t God...

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