Catholic Living

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If you live in a state that has not taken up legislation on physician-assisted suicide (PAS), beware. It is coming. PAS has become a volatile issue in state legislatures and the media. Advocates for PAS typically present three arguments to promote its legalization: (1) to relieve the suffering patient of pain, (2) to relieve the [...]

If you live in a state that has not taken up legislation on physician-assisted suicide (PAS), beware. It is coming. PAS has become a volatile issue in state legislatures and the media. Advocates for PAS typically present three arguments to promote its legalization: (1) to relieve the suffering patient of pain, (2) to relieve the [...]

There was a time, and perhaps there still is in some settings, which the English call, as compliment and not as a pejorative, “homely, ” when families would gather around a piano to sing. Therapists and family counselors would be less in demand if that were more a part of our domestic vernacular. Enough of [...]

Thanksgiving is rapidly becoming runner-up to Christmas as poster child in the “holiday wars.” Christmas remains the feast that dare not speak its name, re-(de)christened as “winter holiday.” (What do politically correct Aussies call it?) Thanksgiving has kept its name but been hollowed out. Do we have any communal answer to the question “to whom/what [...]

A friend shared a story with me about shopping for a birthday present for his wife. He wasn’t sure what to buy for her. She dropped some subtle hints a few weeks before her birthday that failed to bring much clarity. Then she dropped some not so subtle hints and he ended up getting her [...]

Sometimes you hear stories too good to be true. This was just such a story. It returned to my mind this month as it involves a spiritual work of mercy—praying for the dead. Indeed, as I was to discover, the reported tale was even better than I had been told. We all know what we [...]

Among the many stories buried in the avalanche of political news in the weeks prior to Election Day was a minor brouhaha in Santa Fe, N.M., where a parish priest had the temerity to encourage his flock to vote pro-life. “We have to insist that any of our representatives (whether Democrat, Republican or Third Party) [...]

The Jesuit retirement home where I have lived almost four years now usually has some seventy or eighty residents, all over seventy, all having already been blessed with many days on this green earth. We have one man over a hundred, a couple of others nearing it. During the time of my residence here, some [...]

“An essential dimension of authentic pastoral care is the identification of causes of confusion regarding the Church's teaching.” Thus begins an early paragraph (no. 4) of the pivotal 1986 CDF “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.” Said another way, authentic love and authentic freedom can only [...]

Faced with a declining population, decreasing tax revenues, underfunded schools, and no money to clean up a toxic environmental hazard, the town of Black Hawk, Colorado, voted to legalize gambling. As Newsweek reported back in 1994, the citizens of Black Hawk thought the legalization of gambling would solve their problems. Alderman Herb Bowle, for example, [...]

Editor’s note: The following address by Bishop James Conley of the Diocese of Lincoln was delivered at the Spirit Catholic Radio/Catholic Answers Evangelization Conference in Omaha on October 29, 2016. This version has been slightly shortened. ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤ Dear friends in Christ, I am very glad to be here with you for [...]

Love, mercy, and human dignity are all wonderful things, and it's right for the Church to emphasize them. It's also right to take them seriously, and try to understand what they are, what's behind them, and where they point. To do that we need to remember that on the Christian view—indeed, on any sane view—we [...]

The Jesuit magazine America carries an editorial in its current issue titled “Unjust Discrimination.” The editorial refers to the alleged injustice committed by church officials when they dismiss employees who formally enter into same-gender civil "marriages." The editorial argues that the Church should not automatically dismiss but rather dismiss only when there was an instance [...]

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Instruction on the Burial of the Deceased (Ad resurgendum cum Christo), released October 25, is a welcome restatement of the Church’s preference for earth burial over cremation. It is essential to seize the “teaching moment” this document affords: rather than just focus on the “do’s” (do bury [...]

The days are long and lonely for millennial moms who are often living outside of Catholic community simply because there are so few of us going to Mass and even fewer having babies. In a society that claims children as the heaviest burden we 20-somethings can undertake, we ache for the companionship of other mothers with [...]

Some years ago our pastor retired and our parish was given over to the care of the Vocationist Fathers, also known as the Society of Divine Vocations. I’d thought I’d heard of most major (and minor) religious societies, congregations and orders, but this was a new one—to me at least. Turns out that the Society [...]

Earlier this year I completed another silent retreat at a Trappist monastery. Such is the monastic emphasis on respecting silence that retreatants are surrounded by signs that read “Silence spoken here.” Even the refrigerator magnet I bought at the gift shop is emblazoned with this declaration. My mother remains astonished that her talkative son was [...]

Peace In Dark Times

America is facing dark times. The family has been redefined and is collapsing; nearly 60 million children have been aborted since 1973; urban violence, after a steady decrease, is rising rapidly; the national debt has doubled in eight years; the labor participation rate is at its lowest in nearly four decades; record numbers of people [...]

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 [...]

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