Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

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All Catholic commentary from January 2021

Mel Gibson’s Santa dispenses justice in Fatman (review)

In Mel Gibson's countercultural Chris Cringle we have a father figure who understands and compassionates the childhood wounds of his adversaries, yet insists that wicked deeds require retribution both for justice's and for the evildoer's own sake.

Vision Book Cover Prints

No Sympathy for the Devil

Can there be anything more maddening for an evil spirit than Transubstantiation?

Mass in time of Covid: what 2020 revealed

The keepers of fashionable public opinion have encouraged us obsessively to put our trust in flimsy face masks, our hope in the pharmaceutical companies working to produce vaccines. What might happen if we put the same communal energies into prayer?

Discernment: The third rule is prayer

I daresay it is even important to learn to slow down and effectively listen in our discussions with those we regard as wrong or even sinful. Every form of listening is an act of humility, which leads to insight that reaches beyond ourselves. Bringing this back to prayer, silences in which we truly listen will become more frequent, and more fruitful for discernment over time.

In Belarus, Vatican diplomacy fails a religious-freedom test

In this pontificate, in Belarus as in China, Vatican diplomats seem anxious to preserve amicable relations with a repressive regime, even it means sending loyal prelates out to pasture.

Liturgical Year Volume 2 Released: Ordinary Time before Lent

This liturgical year ebook includes all the liturgical day information for the period of Ordinary Time before Lent just as it appears on CatholicCulture.org. It offers 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.

The best books we read in 2020 (plus films, music, etc.)

It’s time for the annual article in which some of the Catholic Culture staff look back on their reading in the past year and recommend the best - plus films, podcasts and music.

The Pope’s video on fraternity? Let’s go deeper.

A video promoting universal fraternity, posted by the Vatican on Pope Francis’s Twitter account (Pontifex), has raised more than a few eyebrows. Because the video continues Pope Francis’ now common emphasis on reciprocal respect and charity among people of all religions, the video has prompted fresh discussions of the growing problem of universalism, or the idea that there are many paths to God, and all of them are valid.

31—Gregory of Nyssa: Zero to Hero

Gregory of Nyssa was born into a family of high achievers. His brother was Basil the Great; his sister was the eminent Macrina. In Gregory’s young life, however, he was a disappointment. It’s not that he was a sinner, but he seemed to lack the ambition and drive that were characteristic of his family. At Basil’s death Gregory suddenly emerged as a major player on the world scene — a master of theology, a leader at councils, a healer of divisions in the Church.

Bishops’ acquiescence makes restrictions on worship possible

If you believe that the emergency restrictions in place where you live constitute a violation of your right to worship freely, don’t be too quick to blame the civil authorities. The blame might lie with your bishop.

What if everyone will eventually be Covid-positive?

Catholics boldly proclaim that every human being has the right to life. But no one has a “right” to escape death.

Discernment’s Fourth Rule: Learn from your preferences

What is to stop you from continuing to discern God’s will by trying various things—perhaps various organizations in your parish devoted to different apostolic works, or various other forms of volunteer activities—in order to learn by experience whether you can combine genuine Christian service with genuine joy of serving in a particular way? This is a perfectly reasonable pattern of discernment, by trial and retrial.

5 things I regret that went uncorrected in 2020

It is hard to know how to handle a rant. As a general rule, I am convinced that it is better to use bad news as a motive to deepen our commitment to Christ, grow spiritually, and engage more fully in Catholic mission. That’s true even if mission depends increasingly on prayer as our public opportunities for success become more and more constricted.

A Short Film About Killing—Dekalog: Five (1988)

This film makes us confront on a visceral level the horror of taking a human life, even the life of someone we might find despicable. It is the fifth installment of Dekalog, the famous Polish TV series inspired by the Ten Commandments.

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