Catholic Living

Luca_signorelli,_Communion of the Apostles 1512

For years, I thought I was called to be an Anglican priest. My wife and I wanted to plant an Anglican church in Minneapolis. To that end, I attended a beautiful Anglican seminary couched in the forests of Wisconsin. There, surrounded by men and women much holier than myself, I was challenged to grow up [...]

For years, I thought I was called to be an Anglican priest. My wife and I wanted to plant an Anglican church in Minneapolis. To that end, I attended a beautiful Anglican seminary couched in the forests of Wisconsin. There, surrounded by men and women much holier than myself, I was challenged to grow up [...]

Who Am I to Judge?

I am sick and tired of this "who am I to judge?" silliness. Only God can judge the state of the human soul. But it is pure humbug to suggest we cannot and should not judge human behavior. Reluctance to judge moral behavior is the inevitable consequence of moral relativism and moral subjectivism that has [...]

Last week I wrote a piece here on Crisis about good liturgy and its effect on the minds of children. It provoked a number of strong reactions, with some positive and others very critical. This is unsurprising. All liturgy-lovers have heard these critiques before, because they arise as a matter of course whenever liturgical practice [...]

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.  Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith (Heb. 13.7). There’s a scene in Robert Duvall’s film The Apostle where the renegade evangelist, Sonny Dewey, comes upon a boat blessing ceremony on the river. “You do it your way, I’ll do [...]

In the current debate about the wisdom of the proposals being made by those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians,” many find a problem with their self-identification as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer or anything other than their God given male or female natures. The usual response they give to their critics is that those [...]

I was in Oklahoma City last fall, sitting in a restaurant with my host, Father Nathan Carr, an Anglican priest and the principal of The Academy of Classical Christian Studies. That is a new and most heartening educational initiative—a school now comprising three campuses in and near the city. The Academy is the result of [...]

This past Yuletide, my husband and I decided to escape the Minnesota winter by taking our family to South Texas. We had a joyfully green Christmas, with our children running wild on the beach while the Gulf of Mexico lapped at our toes. We didn’t miss the snow. Of course, there are always drawbacks to [...]

In recent days a controversy has arisen over whether parents should be required to vaccinate their children. Some politicians with presidential aspirations were criticized for defending the rights of parents to make that decision. As an internal medicine doctor, I believe strongly in the efficacy of vaccines. I also believe strongly that our vaccines (and all [...]

Those who have read Kristin Lavransdatter, the epic trilogy by Catholic convert and Norwegian Nobel Prize winner Sigrid Undset, have read it at least twice. This formidable tale of farming and holy pilgrimages and family in the shadow of white-peaked mountains hurtles the reader into all the pain and love and last rites of death—death, [...]

There is no way to end abortion short of changing the way we love and live. Without addressing abortion as a corruption of how we love, the greatest legal victory is a sand castle on a beach before the tide comes in. The tide will win no matter how large the sand castle, or how [...]

"Where shall the word be found, where will the word Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence…" ∼  T.S. Eliot, Ash-Wednesday One of the truly awful torments of modern life, from whose myriad aggressions no one is entirely safe, is noise. More and more, it fills the space that was once marked by that silence [...]

Someone presumptuous enough to recommend some readings for those attending the 2015 Synod on the Family could undoubtedly put together an impressive list of books on marriage and sexual morality. Arguably, at the top of any such list belongs Karol Wojtyla’s classic work called Love and Responsibility. An appreciation of marriage as an indissoluble conjugal [...]

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 [...]

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