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Cathleen Falsani
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Cathleen Falsani is the Faith & Values Columnist for the Orange County Register. An award-winning religion journalist, Cathleen is the author of five non-fiction books including the critically acclaimed memoir, Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace, The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People, The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, Belieber!: Fame, Faith & the Heart of Justin Bieber, and the forthcoming Disquiet Time: A Devotional for Ordinary Skeptics (Jericho Books, autumn 2014).

Blog Entries by Cathleen Falsani

Top 10 Things I Learned From the Wild Goose

(3) Comments | Posted July 2, 2012 | 11:14 AM

1. Tune in. Log off. Let go.


Darting fireflies supplied most of the light that pierced the rural darkness when I arrived at the Wild Goose Festival site on a farm in Shakori Hills, N.C., late last Wednesday night. I left my...

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Justin Bieber's Ecce Homo

(7) Comments | Posted January 12, 2012 | 4:10 PM

Now, before you sprain an optic nerve rolling your eyes, let me begin by saying, "Yes."

Yes, I realize that the vast majority of HuffPost readers do not fall within young Mr. Bieber's target demographic.

Many of you likely are asking yourselves (perhaps out loud, as we adults are wont...

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An Invitation to The Great Conversation

(13) Comments | Posted January 7, 2012 | 12:26 PM

In 1943, in the throes of World War II and one of the most fraught times in contemporary human history, the psychologist Abraham Maslow published a paper explaining, as he understood them, the five basic, motivating needs common to all of humankind.

They are:

* Physiological (air, food, water,...

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Thanks(giving) Be to God

(21) Comments | Posted November 23, 2011 | 2:55 PM

For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday. Even as a child, with the prospect (and visions) of sugar plums and bundles of wrapped Christmas presents dancing in my imagination, it was our annual family gathering, a food-a-palooza in November that claimed the preeminent spot...

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'The Mighty Macs' is Mighty Marvelous

(12) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 5:38 PM

Rarely do I leave a cinema and feel the urge to tell everyone I know to run out and see the film I've just watched.

But that is precisely how I felt after a recent screening of "The Mighty Macs," an outstanding new independent film with a subtle yet powerful...

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#OccupyWallStreet: Without a Vision, the People Will Perish

(26) Comments | Posted October 19, 2011 | 4:10 PM

The Occupy Wall Street movement is a month old.

Now what?

On Sunday afternoon, I stood in Zuccotti Park with several thousand other folks trying to take in the veritable circus that is the Occupation site sandwiched between Wall Street and Trinity Episcopal Church.

Who is working here? Who is...

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Roger Ebert and "Life Itself"

(3) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 8:11 AM

"The conditions of my life are precarious," film critic Roger Ebert wrote last week in a posting on his online journal titled, "Fall from Grace."

Ebert, 69, perhaps the pre-eminent film critic in the United States and a longtime colleague of mine at the Chicago Sun Times newspaper,...

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Belieber!: Fame, Faith and The Heart of Justin Bieber (EXCERPT)

(41) Comments | Posted September 21, 2011 | 11:14 AM

The idea behind "Belieber!: Fame, Faith and The Heart of Justin Bieber" was to peel back the veneer of celebrity and take a closer look at Justin as a person and as a cultural phenomenon. At 17, Justin's reach and influence is international, vast and unprecedented. As someone who watches...

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Kevin Smith's 'Red State': Masterful, Spiritually Powerful

(3) Comments | Posted September 9, 2011 | 4:36 PM

Don't believe most of what you'll hear about Kevin Smith's new movie, "Red State."

It is not an angry tirade against religion, nor is it an attack on Christianity guised as a horror flick laden with gratuitous violence.

Smith has described "Red State" as a horror film, and it is...

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10 Years After 9/11, the Question Remains the Same

(6) Comments | Posted September 2, 2011 | 8:01 AM

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was standing in the bathroom of my apartment outside Chicago, about to hop in the shower, when I heard the phone ring and then my husband call my name.

"It's Roger from the desk," he called, sleepily, invoking the name of the...

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'Liberate Eden': A Digital Meditation

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2011 | 11:19 AM


"The man who can articulate the movements of his inner life," the late Christian apologist and author Henri Nouwen said, "need no longer be a victim of himself, but is able slowly and consistently to remove the obstacles that prevent the spirit from entering."

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The Dude's 'Buddhistly Bent' Album

(16) Comments | Posted August 20, 2011 | 11:04 AM

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the practice of training one's mind to be clearer and more compassionate by studying and meditating on 59 short aphorisms from the Buddha's teachings is called Lojong.

Number 21 on the Lojong list: "Approach every situation with a joyful mind."

If Jeff Bridges hadn't chosen...

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The Trouble With Christian Labels

(547) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 5:47 PM

c. 2011 Religion News Service

(RNS) A week or two after the 2004 election, I was dining with some friends in New York when the conversation turned to religion and politics -- the two things that you're never supposed to discuss in polite company.

George W. Bush...

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The Divine Surprises of Adoption

(7) Comments | Posted August 14, 2011 | 9:41 AM

Next to lists of emergency phone numbers tacked to the inside door of her kitchen cabinets, Jennifer Grant has posted prayers to remind her that parenthood is both a labor of love and a sacred calling.

Inside the cupboard with the cereal bowls is a prayer from...

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Justin Bieber Loves Jesus

(383) Comments | Posted August 10, 2011 | 9:00 AM

When Justin Bieber strode onto the stage of the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles on Sunday (Aug. 7) night to accept a Teen Choice Award, he thanked his fans profusely, then quickly turned his attention to something more eternal.

"I wanna say that anything is possible if...

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At Church of Beethoven, Music is the Message

(18) Comments | Posted August 5, 2011 | 8:44 AM

"Music," Ludwig van Beethoven said, "is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life."

Transcending dogma, creed, culture and even language, music has the power to elevate the soul as well as the mind. It's the source of a type of faith as often discovered outside...

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Latest 'Pooh' Adventure Is Simple, But Profound

(12) Comments | Posted August 3, 2011 | 5:21 PM

Without the help of special 3-D glasses or Pixar-style bells and whistles, the new "Winnie the Pooh" film succeeds in transporting its audience to a place every bit as magical, where the hidden treasure is found in simple pleasures and sacred friendship.

At a throw-back...

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Watch Out For Those 'Chritches'

(176) Comments | Posted July 28, 2011 | 9:36 PM

When ABC recently announced it had ordered a season's worth of a new show based on the novel "Good Christian Bitches," I'm not sure which surprised me more -- that the network planned to run a show with the word "Christian" in the title, or the derogatory "bitch."

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Colossal Cathedrals: Building for God or Ourselves?

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2011 | 4:55 PM

Poet W.H. Auden once described cathedrals as "Luxury liners laden with souls, Holding to the east their hulls of stone."

It's an evocative image and a reminder that a cathedral, no matter how grand, is meant to be a vehicle of sorts -- elevating the souls of...

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The Dudeist Bible: Just Take It Easy, Man

(62) Comments | Posted July 20, 2011 | 9:05 AM

What would the Dude do?

That is the central spiritual, if not theological, concern of the Church of the Latter-day Dude, the totally not-fake religion based on the ethos of Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, the slacker savior of Joel and Ethan Coen's 1998 cult masterpiece "The Big Lebowski."

Organized (or...

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