Terrence Malick’s stunning new film, A Hidden Life, is about Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who was martyred for refusing to swear loyalty to Hitler. James Majewski joins Thomas to discuss the film. He reads excerpts from Bl. Franz’s letters and prison writings, to see how well Malick’s portrayal lives up to the real-life saint.
When a new acquaintance tells you that he was raised as a Catholic but drifted away, because “I had some troubles with what the Church teaches,” you don’t immediately suspect that he is a monophysite.
Every Catholic who has struggled to understand the nature and the importance of the Second Vatican Council owes an enormous debt to Aidan Nichols for this book. It is one of the best books of 2019, clarifying many of the human questions surrounding the Council and certainly increasing my respect for the Council’s achievement. The documents should have enabled the whole Church to grow in faith and love—without in the least justifying the widespread errors which followed.
"And let us not merely seem to pay attention and to believe now, while being admonished by the presbyters, but also, when we have gone home, let us remember the commandments of the Lord..."
The Pope could be thinking about ways to ensure that his policies will survive beyond his death or resignation— that he will ensure the "irreversible change” that his supporters hoped he would bring to the Church.
This December 10 is the first time that Our Lady of Loreto is on the General Roman Calendar. It is very fitting for Advent. After the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, celebrating Mary’s preservation from original sin at her conception, today we are remembering Mary in her Holy House which is now in Loreto, Italy, where she was conceived without sin, and also the place of the Incarnation. These key moments brought us to the season of preparation for the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
The moral argument against the CCHD has been made again and again and again and again. Every year the US bishops’ conference insists that the problems have been addressed, and yet every year there are fresh scandals.
“It was fitting, for His honor and glory, that she, who was the instrument of His bodily presence, should first be a miracle of His grace.”
St. Polycarp was a man with many connections. He knew the Apostle John, Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyon, Pope Anicetus, and the arch-heretic Marcion. He also sought the company of many elders who had heard Jesus and witnessed the Lord’s miracles. Polycarp led a long and fascinating life, and he died a martyr’s death. In this episode we tell his story through his many relationships — his social network in the infant church, which like an infant child was rapidly growing in 150 A.D.
You might not have believed that plans for the beatification of a revered prelate could be turned into another reason to mistrust the hierarchy. But our bishops have managed to do it.
During a frenzy of anti-Christian violence, seven illiterate men were convicted of killing a Hindu leader-- despite the fact that Maoist rebels claimed credit for the murder. They remained imprisoned for years, their appeals ignored by local officials in a region dominated by Hindu nationalists. Now-- thanks largely to the efforts of a CWN correspondent-- the nation's high court has ordered their release.
"The season is chill and dark, and the breath of the morning is damp, and worshipers are few, but all this befits those who are by profession penitents and mourners, watchers and pilgrims."
The Pope wishes to encourage the family tradition of setting up a nativity scene and “also the custom of setting it up in the workplace, in schools, hospitals, prisons and town squares.” In this simple wish, the Pope acknowledges that he has ignored the memo from our increasingly secular culture and its leaders. Instead, he begins with St. Augustine’s observation about the birth of Christ: “Laid in a manger, he became our food”.
The purpose of the ceremony is to provide encouragement for the faithful. As things stand, regrettably, this beatification would more likely to cause discouragement.
In the first part, Paul rebukes and warns the Corinthians for their worldly Christianity. In the second, he offers spiritual advice on matters that could easily be genuinely perplexing. And in the third, he teaches them about spiritual gifts, including the charismatic gifts, but in a way that sheds further light on what is really the main point throughout: The Corinthians wear their Christianity like spoiled children, and it is time to grow up.
"Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."
James Matthew Wilson’s new cycle of poems, The River of the Immaculate Conception, is a reflection on the history of the Catholic faith in the Americas, from Juan Diego to Elizabeth Ann Seton. Its title is the name given to the Mississippi River by the missionary Fr. Marquette. James reads four of the seven poems, explains their relation to the recent Mass of the Americas which inspired them, and discusses the challenges and delights of poetic form.
"The priesthood is like Shane. You ride into town. You see a lot of bad. You do a little good, and you ride off into the sunset."
The punishment of Bishop Bransfield is "for his own spiritual good and his own healing as a man who professes to follow Christ."
Our free liturgical year ebooks offer a rich set of resources for families to use in living the liturgical year in the domestic church. Resources include biographies of the saints to match each feast day, histories of the various celebrations and devotions, descriptions of customs from around the world, prayers, activities and recipes.
"In heaven, love will absorb fear; but in this world, fear and love must go together."
Modernity has attempted to do away with authority. It does this not most commonly by advocating anarchy. Rather, it justifies its own established powers in terms of a fictive self-rule, and purports to replace the arbitrary dictates of power--and much of what makes us human--with scientific rationality. But authority is necessary to human life, and not just as a medicine for weakness and evil. It arises from and serves what is noblest in us.
Ignatius of Antioch is the first of the Fathers to leave us abundant writings. His seven letters were written in 107 A.D. as the aged bishop traveled to his appointed death in Rome. They give witness to many of the early Church’s beliefs and practices: Jesus’ true humanity and true divinity; his real presence in the Eucharist; and the Church's hierarchy of bishop, priest, and deacon. The host of this podcast, Mike Aquilina, confesses Ignatius to be his favorite among the Fathers.
If the Devil had a capacity for love, he would love cynics. Dismas saw the soldiers laughing and ridiculing human misery. “And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!’ The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’” (Luke 23:35-38)
The Vatican had claimed a substantial victory when the Egmont Group admitted the Vatican agency as a participant in the international exchange of information about suspected money-laundering. Now that victory has been reversed.
"But, if some shall disobey the words which have been spoken by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in no small transgression and danger."
For one reason or another, we conclude—based on our own purely private judgment of a pope’s character or impact on the Church or faith or morals—that this person who calls himself “the pope” has either ceased to be the pope or must never really have been the pope. We decide this, then, not by the historical fact of his election, but based on our own understanding of faith and morals, and of what God will or will not permit to happen in his Church.
The Advent season builds up naturally toward the explosion of joy on Christmas Day. But when the bright lights go on in early December, Advent fades into the background.
If you can concoct an innocent explanation for Pope's involvement in the Zanchetta case, please let me know. I can’t.
The time is ripe because, at least in my opinion, too many ostensibly “good Catholics” are going to extremes in what they mistakenly believe is a service to orthodoxy, extremes that are now becoming mirror images of what has long been advocated on the side of heterodoxy. So let me make some distinctions.
Having honed his skills translating Dante, Tasso and Lucretius, well-known Catholic cultural commentator Anthony Esolen has now published his first work of original poetry. The book-length poem The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord is centered around twelve dramatic monologues set during and shortly after the time of Christ, complemented and illuminated by dozens of lyric poems and hymns.
“The unseen God alone was their Comforter, and this invests the scene of their suffering with supernatural majesty, and awes us when we think of them.”
So clearly there IS some resistance in the US hierarchy— if not to the Pope’s leadership, at least to the rhetoric being churned out by papal supporters.
As the spiritual stability of the Church has been undermined by the current papacy, a number of groups have engaged in the spiritual work of counseling the doubtful while consistently ignoring the spiritual works of bearing wrongs patiently and forgiving offenses. Some are also more prone to condemn than to instruct, counsel, admonish and comfort. This can never foster authentic Catholic renewal; all it can do is make angry Catholics feel better about themselves without spiritual growth.
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