Catholic Living

pieta-1876 William-Adolphe Bouguereau

As Christians prepare to celebrate the Paschal Feast of the Lord’s Resurrection, we will hear a lot about the “empty tomb.” Indeed, this year—in which the Lectionary focuses on St. Mark—will be particularly stark: the women encounter the empty tomb and the “young man” and are “utterly amazed” (Mk 16: 1-7). As we celebrate the [...]

As Christians prepare to celebrate the Paschal Feast of the Lord’s Resurrection, we will hear a lot about the “empty tomb.” Indeed, this year—in which the Lectionary focuses on St. Mark—will be particularly stark: the women encounter the empty tomb and the “young man” and are “utterly amazed” (Mk 16: 1-7). As we celebrate the [...]

Remembering Brent

I was still an undergraduate when, in the summer of 1970, I first laid eyes on Spain, spending seven or so heady weeks in the bright shadow of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, an immense, intimidating pile built by Philip II in the shape of a huge gridiron on which its patron, St. Lawrence, had [...]

“Human beings procreate male-female, but human sexuality isn’t just about that. It’s about so much more, which is self-evident.” So says Fr. Patrick Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, at the outset of a recently released short film promoting the normalization of LGBT lifestyles within the Catholic Church. The film is entitled “Owning [...]

Vatican II ended in December 1965 with an outpouring of enthusiasm and hope. The Council's hope was grounded in two things: a renewed Catholic faith; and confidence in the skill and goodness of human reason. Half a century has passed since then. A lot has happened. The world today is a very different place from [...]

One of the most important documents for understanding the role of Catholic education in the modern world is Vatican II’s Declaration on Christian Education. This document explains and defends the various ways in which students should be formed in Catholic schools, seminaries, colleges, and universities. The Declaration affirms that Catholic colleges are an extension of [...]

“These days I go back and forth on how well I think I grasp the theology behind the Church’s sexual ethic.” —Eve Tushnet Eve Tushnet, author of Gay & Catholic, gives this candid self-appraisal early in her recent post at the Life Teen youth-ministry apostolate blog. I’d like to hope that the following commentary, sincerely, will [...]

Teenage boys will not be freed from the bog they are immured in by new-fangled modifications and medications, but by old-fashioned reason and remedies. Boys today suffer from despondency, lack of direction, and a masculine identity crisis, overwhelmed as they are by widespread feminization, relativism, pornography, and cultural collapse. The quandary is rooted in a [...]

Despite the recent upward trend in charitable giving, history suggests giving over the next several months will be comparatively low. According to the Blackbaud Index, almost one-fifth of all charitable giving is done during the month of December. This increased emphasis on charity during the latter part of the year, as well as its corresponding [...]

Bigotry looms ever larger as a public concern today. Among the educated, articulate, and well-placed, it’s considered an intolerable moral flaw, a revolting psychological deformity, and a totally unnecessary pathology responsible for most of the world’s evils—war, crime, poverty, suicide—you name it. As bigotry has grown in prominence as an issue, what counts as such [...]

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 [...]

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