Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Commentary

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.

4.14 The Heresies—Apollinarius & Monothelitism: A Human Suit

Apollinarius tried to say that Jesus could not have sinned because his human nature had no will of its own. In doing this, he stumbled onto a heresy called Monothelitism (“one-will” christology), which would become a huge controversy later. But a Christ without a human will would be a Christ who is not fully human. He would only be wearing a human body like a costume, but he would not be truly human.

A new—and potentially explosive—dubium

A clear official declaration about the possible lack of validity of ordinations between partners in sin against the Sixth Commandment would benefit the Church and ensure the integrity of Holy Orders. It would help to curb abuse of authority and homosexual acts in seminaries if the abuser and the abused know that his ordination would be invalid.

So who owns the Catholic ‘brand’?

Is it a bad thing that lay people are raising money for Catholic causes? That donors are enthusiastically supporting new initiatives?

Catholics create huge new ballet: interview with producer, composer, and choreographer of Raffaella

On June 29 and 30, in South Bend, Indiana, there will be a major and even unprecedented event in the history of American Catholic art: a new, full-length classical ballet production with a new story, new music, new sets and costumes, and nationally known dancers - with a cast of about fifty. This fairytale ballet, Raffaella, was commissioned by Duncan and Ruth Stroik in honor of their daughter Raffaella Maria Stroik, a dancer with the St. Louis Ballet who passed away tragically in 2018 at the age of 23.

The Blasphemy of Self-Worship

Who among us are not distressed by the Godless moral madness that suffocates the culture? But the temptation to abandon all hope is also a component of the sin against the Holy Spirit.

A Tocqueville for today

Csak realizes that the American Founders, in their determination to preserve and protect human freedom, were influenced by the understanding of “liberty” expressed by John Winthrop as well as John Locke, by the Christian moral tradition as well as the Enlightenment.

Summer: Come and Rest a While

Summer season is a time to physically rest and be with family. The Feast of the Visitation and Mark 6:30-31 “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

The Fauci narrative, undermining science and democracy

For months we were exhorted to “trust the science.” Now it is abundantly clear that the “science” with which the American people were presented was not immunology or virology. If that “science” were given its own name, the appropriate name would be “Anthony Fauci.”

AI, its capabilities and threats
(Part 1 of Technology and the limitations of artificial intelligence)

Artificial Intelligence has become a catch-all phase that sums up belief in the power of machines. The thrust is that computers can now do many things formerly reserved to humans alone, thus duplicating and exceeding human intelligence, allowing AI systems to “take over”. But the real danger lurks in the complexification of society. As computer-based systems are used to operate functions spanning more components of society, the dangers associated with malfunction increase.

Teach your children well

The first thing one noticed was that there were nine priests concelebrating the graduation Mass, each of whom had spent time over the past six years helping to form the graduating students in their Faith. For the students, this was a leave-taking from a spiritually formative school environment, and at least to some extent a parting from close friends who had played their own role in that formation.

Personal Encounters

Technological gimmicks – such as those ubiquitous live-streaming liturgies-- cannot substitute for trusting give-and-take of personal relationships:

Drunk on temptation? The Book of Proverbs can help.

Poking fun in the right spirit is salutary, and wisely laughing at our own weaknesses (rather than foolishly defending them) is actually a step toward sanity. Seeing how our sins make us stupid is one way of recognizing that we really do not wish to be fools. Most of us like jokes, but we have no wish to be one. Poking gentle fun is one form of correction, especially if we can poke fun at ourselves.

A liberal’s lament, and the problem of ‘exculturation’

Father Reese is pessimistic about the prospects for change in the Church— at least for the sort of change he would favor.

Blind Bartimaeus, the prophet

Naturally he “sprang up,” and doubtless he ran toward the son of the Lord’s voice. Remember that he was blind, and there was a crowd around him. He must have barreled into people, scattering them like a human bowling ball.

Mushrooms and other fungi—and our sins

The purpose of spiritual exercises is to develop and strengthen good interior habits. Others may join me in remembering times when we have enjoyed imagining temptations to sins which we were theoretically determined not to commit. But this is pure folly! Some of us may have learned to substitute mental prayer for such imaginings whenever they arise, until they are no longer nearly as troubling as once they were.

Something is very wrong in an Argentine diocese

Two Argentine bishops resigned in the past year before even taking office-- both in the Diocese of Mar del Plata. Now the former Archbishop of Mar del Plata has also resigned, less than a year after becoming archbishop of a larger see. What's going on there?

The Hallmark liturgical calendar

If the UN declares a "Day of X," chances are good that the Vatican will join in the celebration.

The Generosity Multiplier

Gratitude is essential to families and societies... The spirit of entitlement and envy crowds out gratitude and distorts generosity.

News coverage in the whirlwind, or theater of the absurd?

This was an important clarification by Cardinal Fernéndez, given the steadfast omission of any moral judgment on homosexual activity in Fiducia supplicans.

Wildcat does justice to Flannery O’Connor’s faith (w/ Joshua Hren)

Wildcat is a respectful and nuanced portrayal of Flannery O'Connor, her faith, and her art. The film's portrayal of the relationship between artistic ambition and faith is deeply relevant to Catholic artists. It should inspire them to find creative ways of dealing with the pressures that would subvert their God-given gifts, whether those pressures come from other Catholics, family, or the art world.

Why doesn’t Pope Francis Celebrate Mass? Part II

Wouldn’t it be easy for non-Christians—even for Catholics who are not properly formed in their faith— to fall into the belief that this is the most important function of the Sovereign Pontiff: giving speeches?

4.13 The Heresies—Pelagianism and the Seeds of Calvinism

Pelagius was so optimistic about human nature and the freedom of the will that he went so far as to deny the reality of original sin and the need for infant baptism. Saint Augustine corrected Pelagius and his followers, but in the heat of the debate he went a bit too far in in the opposite direction, and proposed a doctrine of election that the Church ultimately did not embrace.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy

I suspect that even most believing Christians somewhat undervalue the importance of keeping the Sabbath, or more than a few special Christian feasts. This widespread neglect has even been officially reflected in the deemphasis of pre-Communion fasts, the reduction of Friday penitential practices, the increasing emphasis on Saturday evening Masses (so that Sunday can be a “day off”), and the reduction of Holy Days of Obligation (and their frequent conflation with the Sundays that follow them).

How scientific is the theory of man-made global warming?

In conclusion, we can say that the theory of anthropogenic warming is based on rather long-range extrapolation from a data set much shorter than known climate cycles. The basic assumption of the theory is very problematic and not reflected in the historical record.

When “staying informed” becomes an illusion

I had been following the obscure impulse that if I just scrolled long enough to wrap my head around the situation, I might find the magic words to say so that error would be dispelled and charity reign. Absurd, obviously. Even serious reading and deep reflection wouldn’t accomplish that, so why would scrolling Twitter do it?

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