Catholic Living

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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 [...]

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 [...]

I was all alone, and the pain was coming back. "Oh gosh. Oh dear God." Quickly it escalated to an electric pitch. Sudden and unexpected these words gasped out: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you, save souls." More like a scream this time: “JESUS MARY JOSEPH! I love you, save souls!" The pain abated [...]

Is Sexual Desire Holy?

At a recent conference, I had the privilege of listening to an excellent presentation on the topic of charity by a very well known Catholic apologist, who will remain nameless. At some point, his talk on Christian love shifted from a discussion of caritas to eros, and the presenter moved into the subject of sexual [...]

“All the way to heaven is heaven.”  ~ Catherine of Siena “You got any change, man?” I’d only made it a few blocks from the Denver Sheraton, and I’d already heard that request three times. “Sorry, I’m tapped out,” I mumbled. “That’s OK,” he replied with a smile as bright as his big orange Broncos [...]

There seems to be a lot of overlap between people who don’t believe in spanking, and people who don’t believe in sin. This is a long-standing theory of mine, but it was especially confirmed in recent weeks following the kerfuffle over NFL superstar Adrian Peterson’s severe spanking of his 4-year-old son. To be clear, I [...]

Growing up Catholic at a time when everything you needed to know to save your soul was presumptively understood by everybody, there was never any excuse for those of us who fell short or missed the mark.  Having been carefully coached by legions of dedicated priests and nuns, where would the wiggle room be when [...]

An article by demographers at the University of Minnesota published in March 2014 revealed that the current divorce rate is much higher than previously thought, especially among those thirty-five and older. This news suggests that two generations of no-fault divorce (among other things) have altered the general concept of marriage and have severely eroded our [...]

It’s one of those gorgeous September afternoons when Minnesota seems like a slice of paradise, rather than a stage of Purgatory. I’m sitting on a park bench watching small boys (my own three, plus a few they just met on the playground) pretend to kill one another. It’s truly a beautiful sight. “I shall slay [...]

The Catholic Church in the United States is enduring a protracted vocation crisis. Numbers of priests dwindle even as the Catholic population increases. Many clergy as well as lay apostolates such as the SERRA Club and parish vocations committees have done much to stem the tide in an effort to encourage young men to discern [...]

I am 58 and have lived in small towns, big cities, our nation’s capital, New York City, and university campuses. I have traveled all over the country and a few dozen foreign countries. I have worked in big companies and tiny NGOs. For the life of me, I have never come across what First Things [...]

It seems only yesterday that the Supreme Court, in the Hobby Lobby case, held that the federal government cannot force Christian owners of closely held corporations to pay for employee health insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs. After that case, some commentators predicted greater government respect for the rights of religious believers to refuse their [...]

When U.S. photojournalist Jim Foley, following nearly two years of close captivity by the terrorist thugs of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was finally and gruesomely decapitated—a video of his execution having been posted online—the bereaved family received the usual outpouring of sympathy and support from a civilized world outraged by this [...]

The Gift of Purgatory

The room is air conditioned, and cold. Admittedly, the heat outside is uncomfortable, but the chill inside manages to be worse. Unnatural. Sterile. Like the air churning out of the vents, the atmosphere feels forced. Two greeters, with expressions and attitudes to match the manufactured climate, greet my parents and me as we enter. One [...]

One of the major tenets of the Wittenberg Reforms implemented by Martin Luther in the early 1520s was his insistence on the equality of all men before God. A recognition of the “priesthood of all believers” was essential, according to Luther, to ensure proper respect for the rights of each individual person in regards to [...]

In one of her last stories, “Why Do the Heathen Rage?” Flannery O’Connor told a story of miscomprehension between mother and son. The story retells communication problems between generations by contrasting two valuations of life. Walter and his mother are at odds for reasons which are perfectly comprehensible within the mental world of each but [...]

Ordinarily Providence works through men and women—through St. Gregory, through St. Joan. Saints and martyrs will be raised up within this land of ours during the next hundred years, men and women not swept away by the running tide of our prosperity and our triviality. Even you and I, putting aside our vanity, may essay [...]

Shortly before taking leave of this world, Sir Winston Churchill, who had lived a very long and illustrious life, was reportedly asked about the state of his soul: “I am perfectly ready,” he said, “to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Only someone of [...]

The recent siege of systematic targeting of Christians in the Middle East should spur us to action in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. While separated from them geographically, we are called to unite ourselves with them in spirit: praying for their safety and an end to the widespread anti-Christian violence in that [...]

Another day, another dust-up about sex. This one is a little unusual, however, in that the controversy involves sex between married people. Here’s what happened. A woman, two years married, went on a business trip. At the airport, she received an email from her husband containing a sarcastic note saying how little he would miss [...]

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