Essays on Going Deeper as a Catholic
by Jeffrey A. Mirus
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A faulty understanding of Divine Revelation or Catholic teaching on faith and morals can interfere with our growth in love of God and neighbor and our response to the challenges we face. In this collection of essays written between late 2017 and early 2019, I have selected those which apply theological principles and insights to the way we understand the world and how we live. Topics range from Original Sin to human dignity, and include (among others) the difference between God’s law and mere ideals, the nature of authentic discernment, the character of holiness, the relationship between Church and State, the natural law, models of apologetics, temptation and moral gradualism, and even the incompatibility between trust in Providence and, well, complaining.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Practical Theology
- Grace under fire: How a false gradualism undermines resistance to temptation
- Is there a “morality gap” in the way Pope Francis presents his favorite themes?
- On the role of the Holy Spirit in papal elections
- Understanding Mercy—with pointers from the Apostolic Penitentiary
- This delicate lover: God rarely embraces us by force
- Original Sin: What is it really and why does it matter?
- Pope Francis and Humanae Vitae: The difference to me
- Complaining? It’s a question of Providence.
- Making up for—and regretting—lost time
- Practicing apologetics upon ourselves: Five models
- The Genesis Wars: Forgetfulness of Christ?
- What is the law? When can we ignore it? Part 1: True Law
- What is the law? When can we ignore it? Part 2: The Common Good
- What is the law? When can we ignore it? Part 3: Natural Law
- Holiness, always personal and over against the world
- What IS the proper relationship between Church and State?
- Discernment is important, so let’s not make a mockery of it.
- “If bloodless means are sufficient”: The devil of capital punishment is in the details
- Why do Catholics speak so often of “the Church” instead of “Christ”?
- I’d rather be an angel...or would I?
- The road to Hell is paved with Catholic ideals.
- When politics is not local, the antidote is natural law.
- The problem with “human dignity” as a moral argument
- Revelation: Minimal authority, lived in suffering
- The Orchestra Analogy: One Divine symphony, no restarts