Category: Virtue

Fail Forward: 7 Blessings of Falls in the Lives of Men

September 15, 2020
We are living in a time when men are besieged from all fronts.  Men have a suicide rate three times higher than women which many attribute, at least in part, to men equating asking for help with portraying vulnerability in a society where vulnerability is equated with weakness and not being a real man.  As […]

Don’t Waste Your Life: The Importance of Bold, Faith-Filled Action

April 28, 2020
I don’t have much use for success gurus, but one idea from Tony Robbins that I heard years ago stuck with me. When asked the secret of change, he talks about taking “massive action.” We often don’t achieve our dreams, he claims, because we’re too half-hearted and timid about pursuing them. We think about what […]

Digital Masses and Johnny Cash on the Pain of Lonely Sundays

March 21, 2020
Note: This is the opening of the forthcoming issue of Sword & Spade.  It is being published here exclusively because of its ties to an upcoming Sunday that is potentially without Mass. As this issue nears printing the coronavirus is forcing many into “social isolation” to slow the pandemic.  Whatever your opinion of such measures, […]

The Many Faces of Manhood

October 9, 2018
Within contemporary culture, manhood has been placed in a box, and a quite small one at that. The only accepted version of a real man is one-dimensional: aggressive, musclebound, dangerous, and unfeeling.   In saner times this was not so. There were many archetypes of manhood. The warrior. The poet. The philosopher. The king. While some exceptional men […]

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Calvary: A Film for Our Times

August 23, 2018
The following is a review of the film Calvary. Spoilers Ahead. Calvary is rated R and earns this rating. Viewer discretion advised.  I first watched the film Calvary four years ago. I remember leaving the theater feeling shocked and not a little disgusted. It was a brutal film, even an ugly film. And yet, four years later, I believe it […]

Fear: The Root of Many Faults

July 17, 2018
Many of our faults and failings are more complex than we at first realize. Our patterns of behavior are rarely random, and surface sins are often merely symptomatic of deeper, more subtle wounds in our souls. Fear is a prominent example of a deeper wound, for fear, perhaps second only to pride, is the cause […]

You Can’t Buy Holiness

July 10, 2018
I don’t have a book problem, I tell my wife, I have a bookshelf problem. Our home is overflowing with books on every conceivable topic, with nearly every bookshelf double stacked. Yet, despite this superabundance of tomes, my wishlist remains filled with hundreds more books I would like to buy in the future. No matter […]

Works, Faith, and the Paradox of Grace

June 5, 2018
One of the most paradoxical aspects of the spiritual life is the tension between human effort and Divine generosity. That is, the question of whether we are saved by what we do or by what God does. Confusion arises because we are quite clearly told in scripture that we must do certain things. We must forgive or […]

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