Catholic Living


In The Superstition of Divorce, G.K. Chesterton notes the absurdities of transfiguring marriage into an “ideal,” a “counsel of perfection” akin to monastic life. “A man might be reverently pointed out in the street as a sort of saint, merely because he was married,” Chesterton says. “A man might wear a medal for monogamy; or [...]

In The Superstition of Divorce, G.K. Chesterton notes the absurdities of transfiguring marriage into an “ideal,” a “counsel of perfection” akin to monastic life. “A man might be reverently pointed out in the street as a sort of saint, merely because he was married,” Chesterton says. “A man might wear a medal for monogamy; or [...]

Editor’s note: The following talk, originally titled “Remembering Who We Are and the Story We Belong To,” was delivered October 19, 2016 at the 2016 Bishops’ Symposium co-sponsored by the USCCB Committee on Doctrine and the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and is published here with permission of the [...]

Recently a friend of mine and practicing Catholic asked me to be a groomsman in his wedding that will take place in December 2016. I felt honored but immediately the former pastor in me began to think about the question, “If I had half an hour with an engaged couple who were orthodox Christians, what [...]

“How do I answer my children’s questions about what they hear on the news?” “How do I parent in a post-Obergefell world?” “My childhood was far from innocent. How do I raise my children?” Parents want answers: I’m writing here to propose a few thoughts on human nature and to suggest some reading that puts [...]

It is puzzling: why do many Catholics receive the Eucharist, the source of all grace and the sign of being in communion with the Catholic Church, and yet support and practice contraception, abortion, and unnatural relationships such as homosexual “marriage,” all of which are in direct contradiction to the Church’s teachings? How can there be [...]

The Look of Logos

Not having seen the recent Ben-Hur, I can only imagine how excruciatingly awful it must have been for audiences to have to sit through this latest box office bust. I say that, not because I possess clairvoyant powers, but because I’ve seen too many reviews predicting the movie would almost certainly go into the tank, [...]

Sure, the best-selling book of all-time is, of course, the Bible. It is also the most widely (and given some of the liberties taken, wildly) translated book of all time, too. But who takes the silver medal in terms of sales? And also in terms of translations? Not the Quran. Not Chairman Mao’s Little Red [...]

As the Year of Mercy nears completion, I find myself bewildered by mercy’s many faces. I have listened to nearly a year’s worth of homilies and proclamations exhorting me to a life of mercy. If mercy is love, as I have heard repeatedly, one would think its renewal should address that which destroys love. But [...]

At the 2004 National Catholic Deacon’s Conference in Baltimore the bishop gave a humorous address to the deacons and their wives about the difference between men and women. “Women,” His Excellency began, “when they are sick but there is still much to do, go into the bathroom, take a couple of aspirin, put a cold [...]

In baseball, there are “unwritten rules.” They cover things like how you react after hitting a home run, what you do after your star player is hit by a pitch, and whether you can bunt in the late innings of a no-hitter. As the name suggests, these “rules” are vaguely defined; fans will debate what [...]

Let me say at the outset that I am aware that people's recollections of Catholic high schools vary—but the following are some of the memories I have of the 1960s, at the cusp of the Conciliar era and my reflections may resonate with some readers. I attended Brigidine Convent school in Randwick in Sydney, Australia, [...]

Forty-eight years ago this past July, our story reached a dramatic climax. But it began in the dawn of Christianity, with a document called the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (or Didache). Written thirty to fifty years after Christ’s death, it gives the earliest evidence of a Christian condemnation of contraception. For the next 1900 years, it was the [...]

In the seventeen years since I was received into the church, I’ve had what might be called an “up and down” relationship with the Rosary. It began with my difficulty with Mary. I had decided to convert to Catholicism before I was completely comfortable with “the whole Mary thing.” (This is the polite term the [...]

“I expect to die in my bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”  ∼ Francis Cardinal George, OMI [...]

You’re sitting in the dentist office and the hygienist you’re scheduled to see is running late so you pick up the latest issue of People magazine. You leaf through what feels like an endless stream of pop culture ephemera but then come to an article about an actress whose work you’ve come to respect. The [...]

Welcome to the Wedding

Then he said to his servants, "The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find." And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was [...]

The Wednesday before last, the liturgical Ordo exsequiarum (Order of Christian Funerals) was celebrated in Staten Island, New York for a Brooklyn Catholic school boy who took his own life last month. Thirteen-year-old Daniel Fitzpatrick was laid to his earthly rest just weeks shy of beginning what would have been this month the start of [...]

A couple weeks ago as my wife and I approached the entry doors to our parish’s “Gathering Space,” which leads to the church proper, the parish social hall, and the parish offices, we couldn’t help but notice the signs that were prominently placed on all the doors: “Please refrain from playing Pokémon Go while inside [...]

Since the promulgation of St. John Paul II’s Mulieris Dignitatem in 1988, Catholics often speak of a “mutual submission” between husbands and wives. Proponents of the idea of mutual submission between spouses, including John Paul himself and Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia, often cite Ephesians chapter 5, and particularly verse 21—“submitting to one another out [...]

“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”  ∼ Oscar Wilde Let me tell you about my least favorite scripture passage. Perhaps it is yours, too, so I needn’t be overly shy about sharing it with you. In fact, I rather suspect we’re in this together, which means, dear reader, [...]

On Royal Pilgrimage

The hour was early and the season summer. In the brightness of the morning air, and with the silence of the city streets all around, I set out. In this Year of Mercy, I was on pilgrimage. The place in question is visited by many, but merely as a curiosity. I was going there for [...]