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Mary Hood Hart

Loving God before all else

If asked, most Christians would say we love God before everything else. But if we claim God is our first priority, how well do our ac­tions support that claim? To examine our priorities, we should first examine what it means to love God. Perhaps the best answer to this question originates from Jesus himself. Jesus […]

Christ On The Cross, by Mihaly Munkacsy
Jesus shows the way to navigate a world amidst fear and evil

Terrorism attacks. Mass shootings. Deadly floods, droughts, and fires. This is the stuff of nightmares. Our world, both distantly and intimately, can be terrifying because of threats both known and unknown. Of course, the reason we are so aware of dangers is that we live in a time of instantaneous communication. News reports arrive across […]

Cultivating a broader understanding of violence

On one point, I think most of us, especially Christians, can agree: Violence is bad. And yet we often don’t recognize violence in all its forms. Apart from our com­mon understanding, violence is also defined as: “strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive force.” In a broad sense, violence could include emotional manipulation, yelling, […]

Overcoming writer’s block and the roadblocks of life

I don’t usually get writer’s block. Often, days before a column is due, an idea germinates. I play around with the idea in my mind before I sit down at the computer. And, if I’m lucky, the words spill out on the page. Other times, I sit down to write without a clue what I […]

Consider the humanity of the men and women behind bars

“I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Mt 25:36) I’ve never been inside a prison. The closest I have come to inmates is driving past a highway work crew. Too often, I have failed to give much thought, much less show compassion, to people in prison. Yet Jesus did not overlook the […]

Embrace the mercy of God and rejoice in His gift to all mankind

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 Working for a church, I spend a lot of time around Christians. My week days are in a church office. Sundays are spent working in a variety of faith formation ministries and as participating in Mass. Often, especially late on a Sunday, […]

Walking through the desert with Jesus this Lent

I have plenty of vices to give up for Lent. I love chocolate. White wine is my beverage of choice. I’m pretty much addicted to my smart phone. So, when Lent comes, I have options for self-denial. But I’m not choosing any of them. I’m approaching Lent this year as it is revealed to me […]

Be merciful to all others, as God is to us

When my son was in Afghanistan, my anxiety and concern compelled me to remember him and the others serving there. However, since his safe return last May, my mind and prayers were not often focused on those deployed. When I heard the news of the six American troops who died at Bagram before Christmas, I […]

God loves all, without exception

Working at a parish, I encounter parents wanting to involve their children and teens in community service. Sometimes this type of outreach is required for a school, a club, or to create a well-rounded college application. Other times, for younger children, parents say they want their offspring to help others less fortunate so they can […]

Political correctness and an excuse for bullying

Much is being said about political correctness these days. Apparently being politically correct has come to mean that we fail to speak truth because we are trying too hard not to offend. At one time, being politically correct meant, at least from my perspective, sensitivity to prejudice and bias. For example, writers became more aware […]

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