Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Commentary

Fulton Sheen’s new book on the demonic

Fr. Tomaszycki spent a total of four years identifying and tagging everything that Archbishop Sheen had written about the demonic and organized all the material to create a set of chapters which would amount to something akin to the book which the famous bishop had intended to write.

St. Aphrahat—On Penitents

St. Aphrahat is known in the tradition as “the Persian Sage.” Born in the late third century in the Persian Empire, he flourished amid persecution and is the earliest prominent witness to Syriac Christianity. He wrote in a dialect of Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, and maintained close contact with Judaism, demonstrating a profound knowledge of Hebrew Scriptures and Jewish customs. He is best known for his collection of twenty-three writings called the "Demonstrations."

4.16 The Heresies—Eutyches & Monophysitism: A Drop in the Ocean

The pendulum swings one more time as Eutyches overreacts against Nestorius, and emphasizes the union of the two natures in Christ, to the point of blurring the distinction between them. This solution corrected Nestorius’ separation of the two natures, but it went too far and compromised the integrity of his human nature and, even more than Apollinarius before him, described a Jesus who was not really fully human.

Rhetoric vs. reality in the Synod’s working document

Nowhere is the gaping chasm between rhetoric and reality more evident than in the working document’s references to the need for accountability in Church leadership.

Raffaella ballet premiere: love opening the way to artistic greatness

This new ballet proves what Catholics are capable of when they believe that artistic greatness is still possible if they embrace their God-given gifts – and that it still matters enough to justify the bold outlay of time, training, and money. This ambition to create was born of the love of bereaved parents for their daughter.

Diabolical assault and the absence of witnesses for God

Who can doubt the ferocity of the attack in a culture which glorifies sexual depravity, gender change, and abortion? Thus does diabolical activity reduce itself to mere temptation when Christ is present yet increase into manifest and even possessive manipulation among persons, groups and societies whenever they fall into a rejection of Christ and His Church. This is the story of both child sacrifice to Ba’al several thousand years ago and child sacrifice to Santa Muerte in our own day.

Vestiges of the Church’s Authority

Jesus refuses to use His power to gain our servile compliance with His teaching. His authority – stripped of all power on the Cross -- elicits our filial and loving obedience.

Beautiful Lourdes documentary now available for streaming

The beautiful 2019 French arthouse documentary on Lourdes is now available for streaming.

The disturbance of patriotic hymns on July 4th

One of the powers and the dangers of music is that it stimulates our emotions. That’s fine when the purpose is to engage us more fully as human persons in the worship of God. It is not so fine when the purpose of that engagement is to enhance a primarily secular message or even a good message that is so obviously politically correct.

Working under the sun…with Christ

For the “Preacher” who is the voice of this inspired book, the key lesson is that everything in human affairs is vanity. This is so because we see neither the origins nor the ends of anything; we can do nothing to resolve this problem; and so we must be content with the simple goods of life and not worry ourselves with things far too great for mortal man. But it is surprising, of course, that the Book does not refer to what we can know from Divine Revelation up to that point.

St. John Henry Newman—Many Called, Few Chosen

"Your very perplexity in reconciling the surface of things with our Lord's announcements, the very temptation you lie under to explain away the plain words of Scripture, shows you that your standard of good and evil, and the standard of all around you, must be very different from God's standard."

The human paradigm of knowing, how it is different, why it is not replicable with AI

AI can of course generate random “ideas”, understood in the rather limited sense of data structures or random chatbot statements; but that is not how humans develop new theories or deal with unexpected situations, as anyone who has done either can attest. This means that our impression of reality is different than what can be achieved by any sort of paradigm based on separation of functions.

Penance Pensées

Jesus demonstrates His dominion over suffering and death with His miracles. Yet all those He healed eventually died. His miracles carry a meaning that extends beyond physical healing. His mission is to save us from our sins and restore our humanity.

Culturally punished into the light of Christ

Most of us can still remember (or are aware of) the massive public shift that occurred in the 1960s when Western public cultural habits were still largely and fairly frankly oriented toward Christian principles, even if they were overwhelmingly honored in the breach. And most of us are still bewildered by the rapidity of the cultural shift away from any public approval of these principles. This bewilderment has left us grasping at straws, and at theories.

Welcome budget cuts for the US bishops’ justice-and-peace office

Because— here is the important point— setting public policies is not the responsibility of a Catholic bishop, much less of an episcopal conference.

Church Teaching on Cinema: Pope Pius XI

In 1936, Pope Pius XI published his encyclical on the motion picture, Vigilanti cura. The encyclical deals with the grave moral concerns raised by the cinema, which had by then become a ubiquitous social influence. Vigilanti cura was ghostwritten by the American Jesuit Fr. Daniel Lord, who wrote the original Motion Picture Production Code and helped to found the Legion of Decency. This is the first of three episodes surveying the body of magisterial documents related to cinema.

4.15 The Heresies—Nestorianism: Two People in One

The pendulum swings again as Nestorius overreacts against Apollinarius, and emphasizes the distinction between the two natures in Christ, to the point of describing a radical separation of natures. It was as if Nestorius was saying that Christ is not one Person, but two - a divine Person and a human Person, united only as long as the human will submits to the divine will.

When marriage is not ‘for better’ but ‘for worse’

What does “worse” mean in a marriage? It may mean living together in illness or poverty. But it may also mean living together in a difficult relationship; the romance itself may become “better or worse.”

Decisions, decisions…and the strenuous art of making good ones

Merely by looking at yesterday’s news—in this case the news reported on the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist, who so courageously decided to bear an unceasingly provocative witness to Christ—we see immediately that, even in Catholic affairs, good decisions can be thin on the ground.

180—Saint Thomas and the Forbidden Birds & the tradition of English verse w/ James Matthew Wilson

Poet & philosopher James Matthew Wilson rejoins the show to read poems from his new collection, Saint Thomas and the Forbidden Birds, published by Word on Fire, and to discuss the tradition of English poetry and, in particular, meter. Don't miss the title poem, a verse setting of a passage from Aquinas's Summa Theologiae!

God Knows We Exist

Children love the comedy and playful absurdities of God’s handiwork! What more evidence do we need?

The AI paradigm of knowing and its problems

In order to do things that manifest “intelligence”, any AI system has to be based on a paradigm of knowing. How does the computer “know” about its task or subject? This is something about which AI engineers and theorists do not think, because there isn’t much choice. AI is perforce based on algorithmic processes that utilize inputs (data or sensors) and output instructions or text. Essentially, modern AI is based squarely on ideas that stem from the British empiricist tradition.

A new offensive in the war on traditional liturgy

Even if Grillo were right, and tradition meant whatever the future says it means, then the Church of the future could discard the liturgical fashions of today. If Pope Francis suppresses the TLM, some future Pontiff will restore it.

The Shepherd of Hermas | Pt. 4 (Parables 9-10)

“Keep his commandments, and you will have a cure for sin.”

Just beachy—and the gift of friendship in families

To brag about blessings is to suggest they are of our own making, when typically all they require is our cooperation. Each member of a joyful Catholic family knows he has received more than he has given. After all, ultimately in our human weakness we can only do so much, and the rest must come from our bountiful Father in Heaven in accordance with the particular plan by which He chooses to draw each and all of us to Himself.

Diabolical Marks of Self-Inflicted Violence

The IVF industrial complex violates God’s law, deforms the natural relations of men, women, and children, disposes of unwanted babies, and treats humans as animals. Some suggest that IVF technology is “pro-life.” If so, Doctor Frankenstein’s techniques are also pro-life.

In the midst of confusion: Rethinking the “synodal way”

This is why I describe a proper concept of synodality as the Church firing on all cylinders. That’s a modern and mechanistic image, of course, but despite this deficiency it implies that the Church runs most smoothly when each member understands his or her proper role and assumes the responsibilities proper to that role in obedience and service to Christ the head—who in turn is most perfectly represented in the universal Church by the successor of Peter, and in each local church by the bishop.

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