Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

Commentary

The Call of Saint Matthew

When living liturgically, I look for patterns. I look at the front of the new monthly Magnificat to see if there are solemnities and feasts and feast days of favorite saints for the upcoming month. September has no solemnities, but has a whopping four feasts: Transfiguration, Nativity of Mary, St....

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Follow the Science

The term "embryo" denotes its change of location, but the entity is the same: a human baby.

114—A Children’s Book About Accepting Your Nature—Matthew Mehan

Writer Matthew Mehan returns to the show to discuss his new children's book co-authored with painter John Folley, The Handsome Little Cygnet. This lovely tale about a family of swans in Central Park introduces children to the idea of accepting one's God-given nature. That is no small matter in a world which tantalizes the young with offers of a more exciting new identity just around the corner. But we need to know what we are in order to properly shape who we will become.

Here’s how to beat liberal censorship of ideas

If you know that the mainstream media are offering slanted coverage of some stories, and blacking out other stories altogether, you need to find outlets that will provide accurate reporting on the subjects that interest you.

Francis knows the Church is in a rut. But does he know why?

I am interested in the positive aspects of Pope Francis’ desire to shake things up. We already know, I think, that this desire is full of contradictory elements which make it very difficult to fulfill in any consistent way. There is still something substantial in the Pope’s consistent message of going outside our comfort zones. But if the Pope is right about the Church being inside a box, does he also understand how this box was made, and what it really takes to break out of it?

On abortion and Communion, the Pope temporizes

Suppose a pastor decided to withhold the Eucharist from President Biden— not because he wanted to advance the Republican Party, not because he wanted to ban abortion, but because he wanted to save Joe Biden’s soul?

47—Vincent of Lerins: Believed Everywhere, Always, by All

All Christians respected the authority of Scripture, but already in the fifth century the Church was riven by conflicting interpretations. Vincent of Lerins developed a formula to tell true doctrine from false: "All possible care must be taken that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all." He emphasized the special role of the ancient Fathers as witnesses to authentic tradition. Thus he provided the foundation for the study of patristics — and this podcast!

On being rooted in the Kingdom of Heaven

She then recalls how much Christ in his earthly ministry wanted to be loved, wanted helpers, wanted friends—and how often he was refused: “When He gave gifts, when He cured ten and was thanked by only one, He revealed to us His suffering human heart: ‘Where are the nine?’ And yet, she explains, “We do not find Jesus saying the equivalent of, ‘Well, that is that! That is the last time I shall ever do anything for lepers. What is the use? Why scatter gifts to people who do not even thank me for them?”

Drama of Holiness: Monsieur Vincent (1947) w/ Steven Greydanus

Film critic and deacon Steven Greydanus joins the show to discuss one of the best movies about a saint ever made, Monsieur Vincent, about St. Vincent de Paul. It is a very rare thing: a compelling drama about a soul already advanced in the spiritual life.

Fear: a leading comorbidity

"Hypertension and disorders of lipid metabolism were the most frequent, whereas obesity, diabetes with complication, and anxiety disorders were the strongest risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness."

The Week in the Shadow of the Exalted Cross

Through the intercession of Our Lady of Sorrows and these saints, may we embrace and lift high the Cross daily in our lives.

Scratch and Sniff Sainthood

“St. So-and-so helped the poor” is easily said. But that simple phrase encompasses a whole lot more if we 'scratch and sniff' the surface (just a bit).

On when human life begins, Cardinal Gregory flubs the question

“The Catholic Church teaches, and has taught, that life – human life – begins at conception,” Cardinal Gregory told the National Press Club yesterday. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Synodality and the evasion of responsibility

Though some at Vatican II hoped Synod of Bishops could gain something like a permanent conciliar status, they were preempted by Paul VI’s establishment of a synodal mechanism that is purely advisory to the Pope. The benefits grow murkier when the topic to be vetted by the Synod is synodality itself—a favorite word of Pope Francis, but one that is almost infinitely malleable. This topic is encapsulated in a single world which nobody understands because, in fact, it has no set meaning.

State control of sex, or Eucharistic Coherence?

In a society which, at the adult consensual level, typically defends all manner of sexual abuse as “love”, those who “love” children in the same ways may well perceive themselves as riding the next great wave of positive change. May they not reasonably hope it is only a matter of time before their own form of abuse is recognized as liberating, wise and good? They cannot help but recognize that the opprobrium heaped upon them alone, for their own sexual desires, is not fair.

Bishops, politicians, abortion, and a witch-hunt

The op-ed presents a challenge to Archbishop Cordileone himself. Because this essay contains an implicit threat— particularly to Speaker Pelosi— and a threat that is made repeatedly but never carried out loses all its force.

St. Augustine—De Doctrina Christiana | Full

“Whoever, then, appears in his own opinion to have comprehended the Sacred Scriptures, or even some part of them, yet does not build up with that knowledge the two-fold love of God and his neighbor, has not yet known as he ought to know.”

Why early Church debates were more exciting

The early Church father hit new audiences broadside with a simple, stunning message— the same message that successful Christian evangelists have always emphasized— the astonishing news that mortal men can obtain eternal life.

Remembering Uncle Di

...we wish we were wrong. We would be ecstatic if it turned out that the apparent villainy we decry had an innocent explanation, that ecclesial corruption was a phantasm, that we had misread the signs and had a long list of apologies to make.

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Happy Birthday to Our Lady!

Celebrate by remembering the historical and humanity of Mary and Jesus, the liturgical Blessing of Seeds and Seedlings, drinking wine in honor of Our Lady of the Grape Harvest, and being inspired by depictions of the Birth of the Virgin Mary and the poem by Robert Southwell.

Is realism in modern fiction an aberration? w/ Joshua Hren

In this outtake from episode 113, Thomas asks Joshua Hren whether the turn to realism in modern fiction, a historical anomaly, is also a problem from a religious and philosophical point of view.

An unintentionally revealing papal interview?

Does the Pontiff really think that traditionalist Catholics are “laughing at the Word of God?” In marked contrast with that harsh judgment, he offers no criticism of the German bishops whose “Synodal Path” threatens to challenge foundational Church teachings on faith and morals, creating a very real danger of schism.

Natural Law to the Rescue

But the details of public policy involve the prudential judgments of the laity in the political arena. Church authorities overreach the limits of their competence when they endorse views that exclude reasonable alternatives.

Not guilty? Bad spiritual advice still hurts you.

Spiritual growth is undermined by bad spiritual advice. This may even harden a person in serious sins of which he is unaware. It unquestionably reduces the accuracy of the person’s perception of reality. Moreover, while the guilt attributable to sin is conditioned by knowledge of the evil and consent to it by the will, the evil done through the sin to others is not lessened, nor are its disordering consequences for the sinner eliminated.

St. Louis IX—Letter to His Son: A King-Saint’s Fatherly Advice

“Therefore, dear son, the first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.”

Thérèse (1986), and What Makes a Good Saint Movie?

James and Thomas tackle Alain Cavalier's 1986 film Thérèse. It gives them a chance to ask the question: What makes for a great saint movie? One of the great strengths of the film is actress Catherine Mouchet's amazing physical resemblance to the Little Flower, but also the way in which she seems to inhabit her from the inside, shining forth a visible beatitude unique in cinematic portrayals of saints. She does this without ever falling into the "plaster saint" sentimentality one might fear.

Our Lady’s Thirty Days for Our Summer Malaise

The Feast of the Assumption, August 15, begins the Germanic tradition of Our Lady's Thirty Days, including Queenship of Mary, Nativity or Birthday of Mary, Naming of Mary and Our Lady of Sorrows.

113—Can a Novelist “Create” a Saint?—Joshua Hren

In his new book How to Read (and Write) Like a Catholic, fiction writer and editor Joshua Hren lays out an approach to Catholic literature that spans all the way from St. John Henry Newman called “a record of man in rebellion” to the other end of the continuum, which is a representation of the Beatific Vision.

Following your conscience? 2. The COVID problem

So what do we know from the actual clarifications of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church? We know that, on the one hand, if you have conscientiously decided to take the vaccine, you are not to be dismissed as deficient in your Catholicism. And, on the other hand, if you have conscientiously decided not to take the vaccine, you are not to be dismissed as deficient in your Catholicism, and further that it is immoral for any Churchman to tell you otherwise, or any civil authority to force you to take it.

Following your conscience? 1. Not a blank check

As persons possessed of both intellect and will, we are morally obligated not only to follow the promptings of our consciences but also to continuously form our consciences with an ever-growing understanding of the Good, and to strengthen our own ability to respond correctly to the promptings of conscience through the cultivation of virtuous habits. We also need to learn to discern the difference between the genuine promptings of conscience and mere rationalizations.

The misuse of Church authority on vaccination

My religion tells me that I cannot violate my conscience. If my conscience tells me that I cannot take the vaccine, then, doesn’t my religion tell me that I cannot take the vaccine?

46—Cyril of Alexandria: The Fifth-Century Man from Uncle

Cyril's uncle was the notorious Theophilus, a ruthless and fiercely competitive churchman — and the old man handpicked his nephew to be his successor as bishop of Alexandria. Cyril learned from Theophilus how to orchestrate an international incident and carry it through to the victorious end. But he was very much his own man: a towering intellect, the mastermind of the Council of Ephesus, a prodigious commentator on the Scriptures, and a saint of a different sort.

The quest for wisdom (or) When will we ever learn?

Understanding cannot be purchased with gold; silver cannot be weighed as its price. It cannot be valued in precious onyx or sapphire. Gold cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels. We need not even mention coral or crystal—the price of wisdom is beyond pearls! The finest topaz cannot compare with it; it cannot be valued even with the rarest of jewels set in gold.

Final Liturgical Year volume for 2020-2021 available now

Our liturgical year ebooks include all the liturgical day information for each season just as it appears on CatholicCulture.org. These 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.

Beware of the push to mandate COVID vaccination

Congress can decline federal funds to implement COVID vaccine mandates that do not make exemptions for self-determined reasons of conscience, religion and medical concern. If such measures are defeated, there will be a record vote to show the public where our representatives stand. But like Congress, state legislatures and county officials can prohibit state and local funds for implementing mandates that do not allow exemptions for reasons of conscience, religion and medical concerns.

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