A presentation by Father Bruce for the 2021 Morning Walk Fellowship.
Mental illness and spiritual battle often get conflated, and the faithful that suffer with mental illness find differentiating the two nearly impossible. The assumption at the root of this conflation is that emotional and mental distress is a purely spiritual phenomenon that requires a solely spiritual response. Resentment, loss of faith, and/or despair abound for devout faithful people who do not recover through prayer alone. Isolation and fear take root which discourages trust and love in Christ as well as leads people to self-hatred and even self-destruction. Mental suffering in this light, places the blame on the sufferer and does … Continue reading “St. Therese and Mental Illness” →
She spoke a language I could not understand. Standing a few inches taller than me, with dark hair tied up in a tight ponytail and her arms crossed, this young, bright poli sci student looked me in the eye and said, “I feel so sorry for you.” I gaped. The smile that accompanied these words signalled pity, but not, I thought to myself angrily, compassion. We stood by a table in the library hall. My apologetics team had propped up a poster with the question of the day (“Is religion poison to the world?”), and my new friend, attracted by … Continue reading ““I am not broken”: Rethinking a Christian Presentation of the Gospel” →
Growing up I often heard the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” used as a way to approach the complexity of living in a world where we are called to love a broken and sinful people. This phrase actually comes from St Augustine in his Letter 211 where he writes, “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum” or “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The phrase, albeit simple, captures an important struggle of taking a nuanced look at each person, distinguishing the good from the bad. While the phrase is not direct from scripture, it is based on … Continue reading “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” →
Shellfish. Starving children in Africa. The Crusades. In a normal, rational world, these three subjects would be as far apart from each other topically as they are physically. In religious debate between an uninformed atheist and an unprepared Christian, however, these three topics are the conversation’s bread and butter. Having grown up in the church with an interest in theology and philosophy, I have been able to debunk these for years. To my annoyance, while the value behind these posits has been erased completely, the posits themselves subsist in some sort of perverted strength in numbers. I post this article … Continue reading “On the Crusades and Their Significance for Christianity” →
Here I am, back from a long break, and the best block of content that I could think of was a guide on how to pronounce foreign words in English. How does this have to do with Christianity? Let’s just say that you will find out later. But in the spirit of writing about religious topics, I will begin by referencing an issue related to Islam. Months ago, Fox News contributor Judge Jeanine Pirro made a statement (in the form of a question) about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar that resulted in the judge’s two week suspension from her news network. “Think … Continue reading “Just Say it in American” →
For millennia the family craft would dictate one’s career. The son of a farmer is expected to be a farmer, the son of the fisherman will become a fisherman, and the son of the carpenter will become a carpenter. Within the past century a new model of choosing your own career became the norm. You could apprentice in a chosen field before you set down a lifelong career that would usually result in decades of work, at the same firm, and end with a comfortable retirement. Today the attitudes are changing once more, as switching between career paths is becoming … Continue reading “St. Ignatius and Opportunity Costs” →
Today, Brexit was supposed to become official. However, it was delayed and the drama seems to be continuing till June 30th at the latest. Regardless of the timing, this year the United Kingdom will part ways from the European Union and enter the unknown, an unknown that can lead to new opportunities and greater risks.
In my limited experience in this life I have noticed that there is a tendency to push against true intimacy with other people. In the realm of relationships and marriage a higher divorce rate and increasing break-up related suicide are symptoms of a deeper problem concerning a lack of real intimacy. While fear of the unknown vulnerability needed for intimacy deeply impacts relationships, I want to talk about its impact on friendships as well. Today is a time of easy friendships. Our ability to be connected on social media has made it incredibly easy to begin and renew friendships again … Continue reading “Commitment and Friendship” →
It is common in American immigrant communities to view things from their ancestral homeland as sacred and holy, while viewing everything American as profane and disposable. This trend is difficult to quantify, and it is based solely on my observations. Yet I noticed it consistently throughout immigrants from Eastern Europe as well as even some immigrants from China. It is not an explicit view that anyone articulates, but it is most similar to a gut feeling or a bias that ascribes more moral value to the heritage culture than to its American counterpart. In fact, I was myself prone to … Continue reading “The Strange Image of America” →