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Inspired by the Holy Spirit, our Dominican mission and the call of Pope Benedict XVI to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ through new media, preachingfriars.org focuses on spreading the Gospel through videos, preaching, and theological discourse.

PreachingFriars' Blog

Oct. 22
2014
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The premise of Red is deceptively simple. Swift presents a list of clichés about failed romance (‘loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street’) that don’t make the idea of falling in love seem so fun. It seems like a bad idea, an unnecessary risk, a youthful indulgence that’s eventually grown out of.

 

Swift is warning us about the tendency to undervalue passion. These sobering clichés would seem to lead to a cold, stoic logic, which would say that ‘grown-up’ reason is how we avoid these Maseratis. It would say that we can reason our way of life’s problem. This system is pretty and neat and nice, but it’s not human; it’s less...

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Tags: augustine, lacan, love, maserati, music, reason, Taylor Swift, theology
Oct. 21
2014
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On October 22, 2014, we celebrate the first Memorial of Pope St. John Paul II (the Great). His tenure as pope was known for many things:

Surviving an assassination attempt and publicly forgiving his assassin (May 13, 1981- Mehmet Agca)

The third longest reign of any pope (26 years, 5 months and 18 days- 9,665 days)

Visiting more countries than any pope (117).

His own IMDB page featuring his two plays/movies: Our God's Brother (1997) and The Jeweler’s Shop (1989).

The establishment of World Youth Day (First held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1987).

All these things endeared him to generations of people, but my...

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Tags: discernment, JPII, Pope and the CEO, vocation
Oct. 20
2014
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I like litanies. Of the Saints. Of the Blessed Mother. Holy Name. Precious Blood. I love ‘em all. You can check out a whole bunch of them here

The upcoming Solemnity of All Saints (Nov. 1) always puts me in mind of a time when I was praying privately in church and I heard a priest reciting a Litany of Saints with someone (I think he was going to give her the Sacrament of the Sick):

Saint Mary Magdalen, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John Chrysostom, pray for us.

Saint Augustine, pray for us.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.

Saint Therese, pray for us.

etc.

...

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Tags: Litany, saints
Oct. 19
2014
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God had chosen to create each and everyone of us and has a plan for us.  How do we choose to respond to his love?

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Tags: Chosen, Christian Life, Conversion, preaching, St. Paul, transformation
Oct. 18
2014
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God calls each of us to do great things in the world, but we must let him into our hearts to truly flourish and help build-up the kingdom of God.

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Tags: dominicans, fulton sheen, grace, isaiah, jesus, sin, vocation
Oct. 16
2014
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Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

-Matthew 9:14-17

 

The...

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Tags: hole, new cloth, prayer
Oct. 15
2014
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"Maria, Mutter der Kirche"

When I hear the phrase "Holy Mother Church" used by others it is normally in such a way as to communicate mockery or irony. This is true of everyone from "militant" atheists such as Christopher Hitchens (RIP) and Richard Dawkins, to certain more confrontational protestant and evangelical apologists who view the Catholic Church's claim to fullness of truth as arrogant. Yet I've also encountered this usage among various stripes of "progressive" Catholics, who tend to use the phrase as a way of dismissing theological and liturgical viewpoints which are not in accord with their understanding of the "Spirit" of the Second Vatican Council. I'm not entirely unsympathetic to the...

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Tags: Communion, Ecclesiology, holy mother church, mater ecclesia, mercy, Pope Francis, works of mercy
Oct. 14
2014
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I am going to point out the giant elephant in the room--we live in a divided Church.

 

I know, I know, it's shocking. But let's be real. The shocking part is not that the Church is divided--this is a reality that we have faced from her very beginning (cf. Galatians 2:7-14). However, when someone is actually willing to acknowledge this fact and challenge it - it makes us uncomfortable. Far too often we are content with turning away from disagreement because it is simply easier to not acknowledge it than deal with the potential fallout.

 

I had an experience in one of my classes recently where a contentious issue in liturgy was discussed. The make-up of the class is pretty diverse: there are men and women, lay and religious, so called "traditionalists" and "...

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Tags: Disagreement
Oct. 13
2014
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Looking back on my previous post, Conversion through Unity, I noted that life-changing experiences are opportunities for spiritual growth. This is true for both the individual and the whole community. In these last few months, I've experienced quite a bit of spiritual growth since my summer assignment in East Africa. For the first 10 days of the assignment I was with three other Dominican brothers taking part in the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) immersion trip to southern Tanzania.

 

Since 1962, CRS has been involved with a variety of projects to help foster a spirit of solidarity and creating self-sustaining...

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Tags: Albert Nolan, Catholic Relief Services, catholic social teaching, Conversion, poverty, spirituality
Oct. 10
2014
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Speak Now is a series in which the music of Taylor Swift will be used to highlight certain problems people face in constructing their lives. These are the same problems which theology deals with, too. Aspects of the philosophies of Simone Weil, Jacques Lacan, and Adriana Cavarero will be used as an interpretive framework with the aim to elicit these common problems, and then to suggest certain ways that theology can speak about them.

Taylor Swift has a unique grasp on the tragic--a difficult concept the Greek playwrights wrestled with in an attempt to make their audience understand the human person’s vulnerability to fate.  Perhaps better put in more modern terms, the tragic considers the...

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Tags: art, cavarero, lacan, music, plato, Taylor Swift, theology, tragedy, weil

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