Showing posts from 2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: A Reflection and Review

Narnia.... the very word holds a power over countless readers. With it comes a thirst for adventure, a return to youth, and a longing to peer over the world's edge into “Aslan's Country.” Now with the release of the third film based on the Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, another generation is getting a chance to step through that magical Wardrobe and into the Realm of Infinite Possibilites.

In the Beginning was a Word…

C.S. Lewis' epic series of seven books, The Chronicles of Narnia, began their publication in the 1950's, with a succeeding volume nearly every year until 1956. Like his contemporary, and close friend for decades, J.R.R. Tolkien (author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), the germination for this wildly successful series began quite simply with a word... or an image to be exact.

“It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn't anything Christian about them; that…


I find this to be hilarious and refreshing in its simplicity. Who knew it could be so easy!

The Train Attraction

If you are anywhere near or around or in the proximity of Flemington, NJ, in the near future, I feel you are morally and aesthetically obliged to visit Northlandz Trains. Watch this video of our first stop there a few weeks ago and you'll see why. Absolutely amazing stuff!!

The Advent Conspiracy

Glass Half Full

I love this holy feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception, but I don't like the negative vibe I'm feeling today, listening to some of the prayers and reflections today on Our Sweet Mary. It's all this "sinless perfection" language. I think it makes Mary untouchable, and even a bit un-human. I hope you're not offended. Stay with me!

I remember as a kid hearing the method for determining if you are an optimist or a pessimist. Look at a glass of water. Describe it. Is it half full, or half empty?

Maybe we should be talking about Our Lady as more grace-full than sin-less. It feels more optimistic and realistic. Talk of sinlessness and perfection can sound so... unreachable. I know Mary is immaculate (without stain) but I don't know if she ever spilled anything on her clothes. I bet she did. I almost hope so, in a weird way. One of my favorite scenes from the greatest film of all time, The Passion of the Christ, shows Mary, as a young mother, leaping up and s…

The Little Drummer Boy Returns!

This kid has the music in him! This was the first sitting ever at his cousin's drum set. Watch how he rests the sticks after playing. A natural!!

Saved from a Train

This is video footage of a man being saved literally at the last second from an oncoming train in Madrid. A drunken man staggered off the ledge into the tracks, and an incredible off duty policeman is the only one brave (or crazy enough) to leap onto the tracks to rescue him. PS - my colleague Theresa who told me about this noticed the policeman never shows his face in the retelling of the story. Humility and courage! What a winning combination!

STOP, LOOK, LISTEN: A Christmas Reflection

STOP, LOOK, LISTEN: Rediscovering the Wonder of Christmas. Join Bill Donaghy for an evening of inspiration and reflection on the scandalously beautiful miracle that took place on the first Christmas! 

PLACE:St. George Parish, 15 Lamont Ave., Glenolden, PA
DATE/TIME: Monday, Dec. 6 @ 7:00pm

The Holy Spirit and Babies

I was driving to give a talk a couple of weeks ago on Marriage, Family, and the Sacraments, praying and preparing as the road zoomed below. I was pondering on just how these three things relate when I got zapped by the following thought...

Catholics say every Sunday in the Apostle's Creed that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son." The Holy Spirit is the Eternal Fruit of the Love-Gift between the two Divine Persons of the Father and the Son. 

Whoa... If that sounds way too abstract, Augustine in the fourth century gave us a helpful image in saying that the Divine Love in the Trinity is "enfleshed" in the human love of Lover, Beloved, and the Love between the two. This image blossoms beautifully in Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body in our own time. Stay with me friends while I try and work this out!

The Father loves the Son eternally. The Son receives that Love forever, and forever returns that Love. Since the Gift of Love is Eternal, th…

A Must Read for EVERYONE

Is Abortion and Hormonal Contraception a Prescription for Breast Cancer?

By Jenn Giroux CINCINNATI, Ohio,
OCT. 29, 2010 (

Everywhere I looked this month I saw a pink ribbon. It was on my dry cleaning bag, grocery bag, coffee cup, mail catalogs, receipts, billboards it goes on and on. Don't get me wrong. I love the color pink, and breast cancer prevention and finding a cure is critical to women today. However, I also love the truth. That is why October 2010 is a good time to take Breast Cancer Awareness Month to a whole new level with some facts which can lead to both the physical and spiritual health of women in America and across the world. We live in the world of media messaging where the one with the most money and the loudest message wins the day. What is the "Race for the Cure"? Why are we not being told the truth about the real risks and prevention for breast cancer?

According to the SEER data at the National Cancer Institute, there has been a 400% i…

First Frost



I stumbled on this song today after a friend posted another song by Brooke Fraser on my Facebook wall. "Shadowfeet" is an incredible song, and a powerful myriad of faces appears in this video to help in the singing! Ah humanity, all of us so different, and all of us so alike in our yearning for the Infinite One Who alone can satisfy!


Walking,stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home,a land that i've never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
and i have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Theres distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way

You make all things new

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll b…

Breathing Gold

These fall days are ridiculously busy with family life, teaching, prepping, grading, planning, but just 5 minutes under golden trees like this is like time spent in Lothlorien, where time ceases to move at its normal tick. What is it about beauty and things natural that stops the infernal tick of time, or at least seriously delays it for awhile? Don't miss this holy season! Get out there under some trees for a spell! And let them cast their spell over you!

I first heard Eva Cassidy's angelic voice in 1996, the year she died. At the age of 33, cancer took her away. Her voice was little known outside of the DC area, where she sang in jazz and blues clubs. But now her gifts are reaching the world. I don't know how old she is in this heart-breaking rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but by her look, it appears she already has the cancer.

This song takes on a whole new weight of sorrow, fragile beauty, and glory should that be the case. I hope you are ready for this! And for a search for more of Eva's music! She is a gift, and her voice still echoes in the world!

Leather Goods and Phenomenology

Rebecca and I were watching a show on last night, squeezed in between Clare's brief nap and before the Boy's first waking of the night, when this Louis Vuitton commercial came on. It was captivating, and I immediately thought of Pope John Paul II. It was not because he wore leather goods.

This short clip is a perfect illustration of a philosophy that formed John Paul's thought; phenomenological personalism. Wazzat?

Phenomenology is the study of what things, people, experiences do to us. How they impress themselves upon our hearts as realities in themselves. This is a receptive way of living and growing, as opposed to a grasping, ladder-climbing, crush all enemies approach. We knock and seek and look, and behold the Door is opened unto us. We receive, we don't demand. We say "may it be done unto us according to His Word," according to Life's unfolding myriad of graces, the dark as well as the light, and see how all can lead to wholeness, to His F…

Resurrection Day

From the tomb of the earth life has emerged! And the world weeps and watches. From the womb of the earth, men are born again, made new, promises made, and loved ones embraced as if for the first time.

One miner said, "There were not 33 men down there. There were 33 men and God."

As the world watched the events in Chile, did we see the sacramental connections? Did we feel the Hand seeking us out in our dark tombs of cold rock and emptiness? Did we recall that God has been there, done that? That He entered that cavernous place and in his own burial in the womb of the world, He filled it with grace? And rose again! There is a dank, barren place that our radical individualism has placed us in, and it doesn't keep the heart warm, doesn't fill us.

We're made for the arms of others, for the embrace that melts the cold, for the light of human eyes that shatters the shadows of solitude, and fear, and isolation. Viva Chile! for your determination and passion for the lives…

Is There Really Right and Wrong? A Vintage Video Lecture by Dr. Peter Kreeft

One Plus One is One

The same Love, the one Love
that filled the heart of Francis, with joy
that guided the eyes of Teresa, to the poor that fed the mind of Thomas, with wisdom that gave Philip his laughter, for sorrow is a passing cloud and Edith her conviction and Maximilian his courage and Therese her smile is the one Love, the same Love that looks at you and I
and knocks soft upon our hearts and seeks and hopes to find the one thing, the same thing of us as of them: an open door to enter as a Guest and let fall from arms immeasurable gifts innumerable.

Little Flowers

Today is a great feast; it's the Feast of Littleness. The Feast of the Ordinary and the Celebration of the Common. This is the feast celebrating a little French girl, Thérèse, who was little known in her day, did not travel too much, performed no miracles, made no marvelous journeys to faraway missions, and from roughly her 15th to her 24th year, was "hidden" in a cloister from the eyes of the world. She died in just as much obscurity from tuberculosis before her 25th birthday. Little though she was, however, she possessed a heart that was aflame with love. In fact, she herself once wrote that love was to be her very life, her vocation!

Small though it seemed in her time and place, we know this fire had a way of being seen and felt. Darkness cannot overcome it. The smallest spark can still be seen in the deepest darkness. Today, I wonder if a Catholic church exists that does not have an image, icon, pamphlet, or prayer of St. Therese in it. That's the paradox …

TOB Testimony - Vocation as Gift: Ride the Wave By Bob Angel

This is the testimony of a friend of mine who attended a TOB course this summer. Powerful stuff! You can finish the article through the link below...
The word “vocation” sometimes makes me hyperventilate. But let me back up for a quick moment—my name is Bob; I am a Florida native currently studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. I worked for the fire department of Tampa after finishing my studies at the University of Florida, all the while dating and discerning what God willed for my life. I struggled with the notion that, as a sexual being, God would ask me to lay down my masculinity to serve others. I resisted this call for many years, fighting God's current and selfishly hurting many women by my indecision, before finally relinquishing control and entering the seminary.
Having just finished my first year of studies, I still found myself wrestling with that big question of purpose and trying to find God's will for my life. The re…

Bye Bye Binky

"If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you.... get more balloons."

BABIES to the Rescue!

First off, can we agree that the bustling world of Big People is very often a mess? I don't consider myself a pessimist, more like a hopeful realist, but I think we so-called adults can be too busy, too complicated, too angry, too focused on work, too focused on the weekend, too selfish, too serious... (or is this just my reflection in the mirror?).  From whence shall come our help? To whom can we turn in this dark hour to save us from ourselves? How do we un-adult-erate the situation and get back to the simplicity of the "little children" who shall inherit the Kingdom? Do we look to the skies? Is it a bird, a plane, a self-help section? NO! Look down, it's a baby! It's time to obey those neighborhood street signs that command us to "Watch Children." Recently, my wife and I adopted our second child, a beautiful baby girl. She was just two days old when we first laid eyes on her (and honestly we haven't taken our eyes away since!). Once again, God has …

Welcoming Clare

Signs, Signs, Everywhere's Signs...

"... I have made you a sign for the house of Israel..." 
- Ezekiel 12

This morning's first reading at Mass was a bit... dark. The prophet Ezekiel was inspired to literally embody the exile that unfaithful Israel was about to become. He "shouldered the burden" and dug a hole in the wall of the city and escaped in the darkness of night to show the people where their sin was leading them. A sign in his very body of what was to come. God loves teaching us this way, through physical signs and symbols.

A few millennia away from Ezekiel's experience, sitting in the church pew, close to my wife, with a hand on our little boy's soft head of hair, I had a whole other train of thought start chugging down the tracks of my mind. 

"I have made you a sign..."

The summer has allowed me to go, most days, to daily Mass with my family. I'd heard it from Rebecca but now I see how others love to watch our little boy - quite literally the "MASScot" of St. …

Into the Light

These are the final days before our little boy becomes a big brother. Another little life is coming our way! Another life that almost wasn't.

Several months ago, a young woman entered a Planned Parenthood center intending to have an abortion, but someone, some word, some inspiration, got her to get out. So right now, somewhere a little unborn heart is still beating, and maybe the pace has quickened as this week that little life is due to enter into the light of day. This child is even now taking in those final nutrients, that viaticum for his or her departure from a life in the womb to the next life, here and now. Praise God!

We are overwhelmed again at the fragility of life, at this new baby moving in that hallowed place that too often has become a place of terror through abortion. This new unrepeatable, inviolable little life is moving, and little does this little one know how he or she is moving us! These last few months a day hasn't passed without a prayer for the birth moth…

A MOE Abundant Life

Last week was nearly a "grace overload" for the Donaghys. While we stayed at Normandy Farm Conference Center for the Theology of the Body Congress (which was incredibly inspiring) we had the pleasure of hosting the Missionaries of the Eucharist at our humble abode.

From the very first night (when all 12 of us stayed under one roof) these young missionaries filled our house with prayer. The MOEs, as they are affectionately called, are a traveling band of young people (some post college, some teenagers) who spend every summer "walking from Lewiston, Maine to Washington, DC to proclaim the beauty of the Catholic faith to everyone we meet, specifically through the Theology of the Body." 

They stay with host families, in church basements, school halls, anywhere they can rest their heads. And they'll talk to anyone; businessmen, families, kids, drug addicts, homeless men and women, the lonely and forgotten, and the young and materialistic. Everyone on the road for th…

Expecting Grace

My wife posted a beautiful series of simple, a cappella songs she composed and sang for our little ones, loved and lost through miscarriage over the past seven years. There are special hymns for Grace Elizabeth, our precious daughter who lived just 10 hours in this world, and for our little boy who is almost and unbelievably two years old. I hope you can consider supporting her music, again, composed in the midst of our first steps with infertility, through the hidden gifts of the Snowflakes adoption program, and into the "cross walk" of our days with our unborn Grace.  She sings of the day Grace came, and returned to God, and she sings of the little Simon - our adopted baby boy - who came not a moment to soon to help us carry that cross. The link for the CD is here.

We pray for any and everyone ever touched by the pain of infertility, the loss of a child, and for those discerning adoption. Our full story of Grace is here, and we always welcome thoughts, questions, and comme…

The Congress Must Carry On!

Philadelphia Cardinal calls the Theology of the Body 'the curriculum for the Culture of Life'

Philadelphia Cardinal calls the Theology of the Body 'the curriculum for the Culture of Life' Cardinal Justin Rigali calls for the National Theology of the Body Congress to become an on-going campaign of human and catechetical formation PHILADELPHIA, July 30 – Joined by more than 50 priests and two Bishops, Cardinal Justin Rigali delivered a powerful call to action to attendees of the first National Theology of the Body Congress. He urged, "This Congress must not end. The contribution of the speakers and participants, the fruits of the seminars, discussions, and artistic performances must advance still further. This Congress must become a campaign of human and catechetical formation." He called for the mining and proclamation of the rich content presented at the Congress "so that the next generation can continue to access and comprehend it." The National Theolo…