Seeking Truth vs. Not Lying

weekly reflections May 18, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

We shouldn’t just focus on not telling lies.  If we’re wondering whether something we are about to say is a lie or not and we’re basing our decision on splitting moral hairs around the technical definitions of the words, we have a problem.

We need to focus on truth, not on lies. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2465 reads as follows

The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His Word is truth. His...

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Santa and Myth (Gabriel Crawford)

weekly reflections May 11, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Thank you to many of you for reaching out and engaging around the topic of Santa Claus and how we as Catholics can with grace and truth and wonder approach the various stories of Santa.  In this email reflection, I’d like to respond to some of the inquiries I’ve had from our Souls and Hearts members.

Here are the questions… (and I have permission to reprint and use the names I’ve listed)

From a Souls and Hearts Member:

Q:  I...

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Santa and Lying

weekly reflections May 04, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts members,

You might be thinking, “Oh, no.  Dr. Peter, you’re not going to take parents who share with their children the story of Santa and the reindeer to task for lying, are you? Really?”

Yes.  Really.  I invite you to hear me out with an open mind on this Santa Claus thing and children, and see if you agree or disagree.

Let’s start out by examining whether the seemingly fun and amusing story of Santa and his red suit and the North...

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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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