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Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

By Chris Pelicano

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The Tuft-less Titmouse

How do you know when you are being deceived? It depends, in part, on the nature of the deception. Some deceptions are direct, bold-faced statements or assertions contrary to the truth. Some deceptions are more sins of omission, so-called half-truths, that mislead by appearing to be complete and...

Clean House!

A client of mine creates and sells products that help families to know and grow in the Catholic Faith. His customer base is as enthusiastically and unapologetically Catholic as he and his staff are. He recently told me that while writing some promotional copy for his products he seriously...

We Cannot Have Both.

It has been said a million times: in Scripture, in Sermons, in Literature, in History, and in Individual Lives. “You CAN’T have both.” And it’s always worth repeating. The more you love the world the less you love God the more you love God the more you reject the...

No Right to Choose Wrongly

The "freedom to choose" has grown out of all proportion in American culture over the last several decades. "I have a right to choose for myself," seems to have become the definitive (and way-overused) response to any issue at hand. And even though free will is a defining human attribute, it is not...

Glued to the Games

I have never been accused of being an avid sports fan, but I always enjoy watching the Olympic Games. The breadth of ordinary humanity engaged in such an extraordinarily wide range of athletic endeavors at such high levels of performance is truly amazing. Also amazing, and just as appreciated, is...

Chicken Sandwiches and Kindred Spirits

I just came back from a long lunch with friends I didn't know. Yes, I went with my wife and a couple of our kids to Chick-fil-A for lunch. So did a lot of other people—not only in my small town but all across the country. We parked in an overflow parking lot, waited for an hour inside the...

A Crisis in Personal Responsibility, a "Defect in Private Duties"

Samuel Johnson said, “Almost all the miseries of life, almost all the wickedness that infects society, and almost all the distresses that afflict mankind, are the consequences of some defect in private duties.” No matter where we start to look at our present situation—personal...

Big Deal!

"Being offended" is in such vogue these days. It is either the basis for or the dominant element in most major news stories. "Offense" is a kind of fuel that keeps the fire of "righteousness" alive. And "righteousness" is crucial to news stories, it is what...

Peer Pressure: Just Say No

C.S. Lewis once commented that it is impossible to say the right thing about the Blessed Virgin Mary. Whatever is said is either insultingly too little or insultingly too much (depending on the audience). In today's culture the same could be true when addressing the subject of race. Nevertheless,...

On the Solemnity of St. Joseph

A simple encouragement to implore the intercession of St. Joseph: “Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin...graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness...and just as once you saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's...

Go Deeper! Reflection on the Secular Media's Superficial Worldview

The "narrative" of secular media is a superficial worldview. No great revelation here, since that's precisely what's lacking—the influence of divine Revelation. Story after story, told 24-7, all with the same thing missing from them—the deeper Truth. This shallow approach is...

Above and Beyond

There is a war within each of us—the same war that rages around us in our culture. Our natural life—with its natural drives and natural logic, springing from our natural heart and mind—simply knows that it grasps the whole of reality. There is nothing else, or so it would...

God's Way

Some of Robert Browning's words were recently brought to my attention. They were offered as a small consolation in bereavement, but I quickly saw how they revealed a quiet truth that pertains to the season of Lent—and of course, to all life's seasons. I walked a mile with Pleasure; She...

Core Strength

I know a guy who has been active all his life. By conventional standards of diet and exercise he is healthy. But his occupation requires him to sit for exended periods of time in front of his computer and this was crippling him —despite everything he was otherwise doing to stay healthy. He...

The Look of Love

Grace is invisible; we can't see it. But every now and then we can see it at work, usually in the life of someone else. When parents see their child cooperate with an apparent effortlessness, or a friend realizes a mistake and corrects himself, or a dying man says "thank you" for a sip...

Breaking up is hard to do.

What's the defective premise of life in this world? It's the assumption that this world, as it is, IS essentially ALL there is. There are at least shades of this assumption in all of us. (You could say that it underlies the single largest voting block that exists.) How could it be otherwise? This...

Responsible to the End

Just a quick reflection before the weekend arrives: My Dad died on the First Sunday of Advent. He taught me about life, all my life. He always worked hard but his last week was his hardest ... and this is really my point. Vacations are punctuations, but life and death are work. And the only way...

Modesty is Unremarkable

My daughters told me recently that modest clothing is unremarkable in itself, but remarkable in its potential effects. Ironically, the benefit of modest clothing is its transparency, so to speak. Modest clothing attracts attention neither to itself nor to the superficial qualities of the person...

Free Chicken Nuggets for Everyone!

How about that North Carolina mom who sent her four year old to Pre-K school with a rather ordinary homemade lunch? The Department of Health & Human Services intervened, deemed the lunch unhealthy and augmented it with a serving of processed chicken nuggets ... then sent the child home with a...

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