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Catholic Spiritual Direction

About Paul McCusker

Paul McCusker is an author. He converted from Evangelical Protestantism to Catholicism in 2007. He still works for an Evangelical organization. Paul has over 40 published works, including novels, plays, scripts, and lyrics.

The Crisis that Led to “A Christmas Carol”

December 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Paul McCusker

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Life, As I Find It In 1843 Charles Dickens was in trouble. After writing a series of best-selling novels – The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby, he had seen a down-turn in his popularity. The serialized The Old Curiosity Shop had proven controversial due to the heart wrenching death of a main character,  Barnaby Rudge and Martin Chuzzlewit simply didn’t capture the interest... Read More

Finding Truth in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Part II of II)

December 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Paul McCusker

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Finding Truth in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Part II of II) In part one, we looked at the different themes that run through the film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Today, we will examine why it seems that Pope Francis should like this film and the fact that it succeeded even when many did not consider it a success until much, much later. I don’t know if Pope Francis likes... Read More

Finding Truth in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Part I of II)

December 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Advent, Christmas, Paul McCusker, Seasonal

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Finding Truth in “It’s a Wonderful Life”  (Part I of II) Life, As I Find It In 1945, Academy Award-winning director Frank Capra returned to feature-filmmaking after spending the previous five years serving his country during World War 2. He was nervous. Did he still have the right creative sensibilities to produce films people would want to see? It’s remarkable to think that the... Read More

The Dead Unremembered

November 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Death and Dying, Paul McCusker

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Life, As I Find It There is a pitiable verse in Psalm 31 about being like the “dead unremembered” – a broken pot, discarded and forgotten. It is a visceral lament. Few, if any of us, would want to die believing we had contributed so little to the lives of those who knew us that we could simply vanish from memory or the continuity of the human record. A lot of people died on Nov. 22nd, 1963. Mothers,... Read More

Pope Francis and Experiential Anxiety

November 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Paul McCusker

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Life, As I Find It My friend Anne called in a state of great agitation about her husband Jack. They had been arguing, she explained, and now she hoped I might talk to her husband before he succumbed to despair. I was alarmed. I wasn’t sure how I could be of help – I’m not a counselor, nor particularly smart – but said I’d try. What was the argument about? Pope Francis had given yet another... Read More

The Very Real World of Screwtape

October 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Demonology, Paul McCusker, Spiritual Warfare

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Life, As I Find It While working on the notes for C.S. Lewis’ The Annotated Screwtape Letters, I decided to do a little reading about the real world of demons. I picked up Hostage To The Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans by Malachi Martin, a remarkable study that was meticulously researched and lucidly written without succumbing to sensationalism. It was an unnerving... Read More

The Anglican Bridge (Part II of II)

October 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Conversion, Paul McCusker

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Life as I See It I have written elsewhere that the genius of Anglicanism was in its integration of aspects of Catholicism with Reformation thought. As a Protestant, this was appealing to me because of its familiarity. As someone who didn’t know much about Catholicism, I didn’t realize just how Catholic many of its practices were. The more I studied and became more engaged in Anglicanism, the more... Read More

The Anglican Bridge (Part I of II)

October 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Conversion, Paul McCusker

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Life, As I Find It As I’ve written elsewhere, my formative years were spent as a Baptist. Then, after a move to Southern California in the second half of the 1980s, I attended a variety of non-denominational Evangelical Churches. I have described that period as a spiritual wilderness for me, as I was alienated by what the so-called Seeker Movement had done to many churches. Well-intentioned evangelism... Read More

The Search for Something More (Part II of II)

September 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Conversion, Paul McCusker

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In the late 1980s, many Evangelical Churches engaged in what was then-called the Seeker Movement. Essentially, it was a well-intentioned effort by churches to use a variety of marketing principles and programs to draw people inside.  To an extreme, some churches went out of their way to avoid any resemblance to traditional churches at all – abandoning the word “church” in their names, or meeting... Read More

The Search for Something More (Part I of II)

September 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Paul McCusker

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Life, As I Find It By the end of 1984, I thought the direction of my life was fairly established. I’d been writing dramas for my church for the previous five years, at times spending 20 to 30 hours at the church taking part in a vigorous arts program. I was even published by a couple of reputable play publishers. Though none of that paid the bills, I didn’t mind. I had a day-job (my “tent-making,”... Read More