Look, it is one thing to throw up our hands and say we just don’t know why there should be something instead of nothing. But that uninterested dismissal simply won’t do in the face of the question of why we, alone among all material beings, are persons. For while we seldom have occasion to worry about how things came to exist in the first place, the intricacies and peculiarities of our personhood occupy us, with or without active reflection, at every moment of our lives.
|Free eBook: Liturgical Year 2023-2024, Vol. 1|
The prosecution has painted a very unflattering portrait of Cardinal Becciu. He could easily be convicted of incompetence as a money-manager and arrogance as a bureaucrat. But did he break any laws?
There are two reasons for my opinion that roles at Mass should be reserved for those who have been confirmed and are at least in their mid-teen years. The first is that this will typically upgrade the quality of the liturgical celebration, changing it back from “kid time” to a serious Catholic spiritual responsibility. The second is that our culture has the transition to adulthood backwards. If kids have already “been there, done that”, they are less likely to be drawn in to a life of faith.
Do I measure my behavior against the capital sins of pride, anger, lust, sloth, avarice, envy, and gluttony? Have I abided by the precepts of the Church? Do I have a healthy fear of God in preparation for my Day of Judgment?
This is the first episode of a series covering the complete filmography of Terrence Malick, who is arguably both the most important Christian filmmaker working today and the most important filmmaker working today, period. What sets Malick apart from a number of other directors whose work deals with a religious search, is that his films are not just about searching indefinitely with no answer, but they come from the perspective of a sincere believer who actually has a positive proposal about life's meaning.
In most periods of Church history there have been significant divisions over one issue or another, divisions that boil down to the respective mindsets of the parties who are wrestling with a particular problem. Certainly, security lies in a proper understanding of what the Church has taught formally in the past about the various issues at stake; and clearly, those who think Church teaching can be changed to suit the desires of the dominant culture have substituted the ideas of the dominant culture for the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Bradley Elliott, a professional drummer turned Dominican friar, joins the podcast to discuss his book, The Shape of the Artistic Mind: A Search for the Metaphysical Link Between Art and Morals in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas.
Twice, then, I have been late to an interesting story because I underestimated how rough Pope Francis can be on those who oppose or annoy him.
Most of our preoccupations are colored not only by our own faulty commitments but by the unrecognized temptations which too often affect our goals and our behavior. Or, to approach this from a different point of view, the combination of our preoccupations and our gifts may make us either suitable or unsuitable for the accomplishment of particular goals which require, for success, abilities which go beyond mere spiritual commitment or holiness.
Just as the marital embrace is necessary for the expansion of families and the growth of populations, the laying on of the hands is the tangible Apostolic lifeline of grace that protects the integrity of the Church’s Sacraments. The requirement is so strict that any break renders Holy Orders invalid and (like contraception in marriage) frustrates the Church’s grace-filled expansion.
The secular celebration of the “holidays” has becoming increasingly toxic, and the observance of Halloween— also now divorced from its Christian origins— is now even more troubling, with the intimations of Satanic activity more and more evident. Somehow Thanksgiving has escaped the corrosive effects of a consumer culture.
I am honored to be taking up The Way of the Fathers podcast where my good friend, Mike Aquilina, left off. In season 4 of The Way of the Fathers, we’ll be looking at the heresies of the early Church, and how the Church fathers confronted and refuted them.
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” This seems to be the hallmark not only of William Butler Yeats’ early twentieth-century world but of our world today. We look to media and find that the most aggressive and widespread presentations merely purvey the values of a corrupt human culture. We look to politics or we look to business and we find pressure from both to extend that corruption. The list goes on, and the only solution is conversion of heart.
We cannot ignore the turmoil, injustice, evil, confusion, and clericalism throughout the Church over her history. But the Ark besmirched by sin is not the Covenant.
Daniel McInerny joins the podcast to discuss his novel, The Good Death of Kate Montclair, the modern cult of authenticity, the desire for control that tempts people to euthanasia, and what it truly means to accept your death.
On rare occasions Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI had removed bishops who broke ranks with the College of Bishops by questioning fundamental points of Catholic teaching. In this case it seems that Pope Francis removed Bishop Strickland because he was too clamorous in his defense of Catholic doctrine.
In other words, our desires and reflexive behaviors are not definitive of who we are, precisely because we are actually persons with powers of both intellect and will by which we may, astonishingly, control and guide both our desires and our behavior in accordance with our evaluation of the good.
In the 1990s, American Catholics who cherished the perennial teachings of the Church looked to Rome to correct centrifugal tendencies within the American hierarchy. Now the roles are reversed, and we count on our American bishops to protect us from the confusion spreading across the Atlantic.
Attorneys for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote to the EEOC regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Bishops’ attorneys rejected the notion that the EEOC has the authority to penalize the exercise of the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech and to redefine as “sexual harassment” speech in opposition to abortion, birth control or gender identity.
"Great occasions for serving God come seldom, but little ones surround us daily... If you do all in God's name, all you do will be well done."
Thomas and James review Martin Scorsese's new film, now in theaters: Killers of the Flower Moon, a tragic retelling of the conspiracy in which many Osage Indian women were murdered in 1920s Oklahoma. What moral insight is Scorsese trying to communicate by telling the tale from the murderers' perspective, does he succeed in this, and does the choice make the film less dramatically compelling?
While the Catholic Church has been rocked by secularistic infidelity at every level in a host of distressingly human ways, many of the old Protestant churches are no longer recognizable, or are dramatically reduced in size, or have all but disappeared. As Christian bodies go, if you think the Catholic Church has problems, you haven’t seen anything yet. The Catholic Church is still receiving large numbers of converts from the levelled trenches of Protestantism: Providence, I believe, at work.
The Pope does not owe me any explanation for his decision not to read a speech. My point is that by offering an implausible explanation, when no explanation was necessary, the Vatican press office created a problem.
The People of God express and multiply His creative Words by honoring His Covenant.
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.
Want more commentary? Visit the Archives.