Catholic Living

School is Out by Elizabeth Forbes 1889

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s the 41st annual National Catholic Schools Week. Sponsored by the National Catholic Education Association, Catholic Schools Week typically consists of open houses, themed logos, regional “all schools” Masses, and a host of other activities for families and parishes involved with Catholic schools. Harmless enough, right? Fun for students, good for [...]

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s the 41st annual National Catholic Schools Week. Sponsored by the National Catholic Education Association, Catholic Schools Week typically consists of open houses, themed logos, regional “all schools” Masses, and a host of other activities for families and parishes involved with Catholic schools. Harmless enough, right? Fun for students, good for [...]

Marching Orders

I want people to go out! I want the Church to go out to the street!   ~ Pope Francis What is the most important moment in the Mass? The Anaphora and the Institution Narrative? Yes, of course, from a liturgical and sacramental perspective. If you had to choose just one, what could be more important [...]

We didn’t dance. It was an ironclad rule of the schools and religious communities of my youth that dancing was forbidden, a prohibition enforced with the same rigor as the edict to not “drink, smoke, or chew. Or go with girls who do.” Consequently, I first danced during my graduate school days at Boston College, [...]

In any decent education there should be a place for the indecent. Students should read stories like “The Miller’s Tale,” see plays like Romeo and Juliet, and learn songs like “Drunken Sailor.” The inclusion of low, lewd themes sometimes attracts curiosity and criticism in the realm of classical education, and especially Catholic classical education: How [...]

“In my beginning is my end.”   ∼ T.S. Eliot In a passage often cited from the Pensees, which the author sets down in grim and graphic detail, Pascal summons the reader to reflect on the awful finality of death.   “The last act is bloody,” he tells us, “however fine the rest of the play. [...]

There is a group of Catholics who experience same-sex attraction. They accept the teachings of the Church on sexual morality. They do not act on their same-sex desires. They are chaste. They live lives of prayer, brotherhood and friendship, along with a sexual chastity that is proper to their station in life. You might think [...]

"Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it."  ∼ A Muppet Christmas Carol The Christian life has often been described as a pilgrimage. For the purpose of self-description, the Catholic Church has used this word in her sacred liturgy and in her Catechism. There is abundant basis for the concept of [...]

It’s the day after Christmas and amidst the cheery family Christmas photos showing up on my social media feed, a post catches my eye. A friend of a friend was diagnosed with aggressive cancer the day before Christmas. Clicking to read more, I found out that the man has a family, struggled with some financial [...]

Shepherd and king are two of the loneliest professions. Shepherds are heirs of Abel whose offering was favored by God and whose blood still cries from the ground. Kings possess what we strive for, but pay the price of distance and objectification. But it was shepherds and kings who were invited guests at the first [...]

It was all but inevitable. The New Homophiles have finally made the big time, the front page of the Washington Post Style Section, above the fold no less. Eve and Josh sit fetchingly on a couch, Josh’s legs crossed exactly precisely just so, Eve’s bare feet, Josh’s dirty socks, lips pursed, college text books prominently [...]

A Herd of Hookers

That’s what you do in a herd: you look out for each other.  ~ Manny the mammoth “Did he just say what I think he said?” The radio was on as background noise—I can’t remember if I was at my desk or driving somewhere. NPR’s Frank Langfitt was talking about money laundering in Macau, and [...]

“Legislation is helpless against the wild prayer of longing.”   ∼ L. H. Auden “I did not know my longing until I encountered You.”    ∼ CL Hymn The desire for God is a drive as deep as it is indestructible. There can be no other longing as profound or pervasive. And on the strength of [...]

The proliferation of research and literature about the sexual and marital habits of "Millennials" is staggering. Research indicates a casual or cavalier approach to sexual intimacy and of marriage. Marriage is increasingly postponed or rejected in favor of transitional "trial marriages" or temporary live-in situations glamorized today in popular media as "the next step" in [...]

Modern philosophy is full of all sorts of absurd theories about the illusory nature of existence and the unreliability of everything we know to be true. But the boots on the ground, living, breathing, day to day philosophy of even the most angst-ridden German nihilist or the most wild-eyed French existentialist has to be common [...]

On April 6, 1957, finding the defendant guilty of murder, the court passed its sentence, and with that, the fate of Jacques Fesch was sealed: he was to die. The legal process had come to its inevitable conclusion, and, thereafter, preparations began in earnest for an execution. But, as the clock ticked ever onwards to [...]

Saint John Paul II taught that Mary is a singular witness to the Gospel of Life. Having recently celebrated the feast day of John Paul the Great and recalling that, according to the liturgical calendar, Mary is some eight months pregnant (Christ's birth hastens!), it seems appropriate to consider Our Lady's witness to the joyous [...]

A couple of years ago, a fellow professor at my school, not indicative of the quality of the education we provide, began her course by informing the students that if they were white, they should be ashamed of themselves, if they were male, they should be ashamed of themselves, and if they were American, they [...]

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus used to call it “the parish paper,” a gentle barb at the pretensions of the self-described “paper of record,” but also, I think, a subtle pastoral hand extended to those who think they get all the advice they need when they look in the mirror. Yes, I’m talking about the New [...]

Editor’s note: The following speech by Rabbi Sacks on the history of marriage was delivered at the International Colloquium on “The Complementarity of Man and Woman” held at the Vatican under the auspices of Pope Francis. The speech was obtained from Rabbi Sacks’ website and reprinted under a Creative Commons license. I want this morning [...]

Samuel Gregg recently recapped an ongoing debate among conservatives and Catholics in America concerning how best to evangelize the contemporary culture. Gregg (whose work I admire) contends that the so-called “Benedict Option,” i.e., imitating St. Benedict by withdrawing from a perverted society to preserve civilization, “isn’t open to … American conservatives … who take natural [...]

The concept of waiting is central to Christianity, but only a few have devoted much thought to it, most notably the French philosopher Simone Weil. In the famous Gospel parable, the servants are judged on whether or not they have waited through the night for the arrival of their Master. It shouldn’t be so very [...]

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