Catholic Living

The Good Samaritan 1890 Vincent van Gogh

“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 [...]

“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 [...]

Summer is ripe with possibilities for activity. More daylight, warm temperatures, and, at least for those who benefit from the break afforded by the academic calendar, more free time. This is an opportunity for many good things, but also can be a perfect petri dish for the germination and growth of sloth in our lives. [...]

The modern day LGBT movement wants you to believe that the people featured in the new documentary “Desire of the Everlasting Hills” really don’t exist. They are figments of the fevered imaginations of the Christian right. Meet Dan, Rilene and Paul, all refugees from deep enmeshment in the LGBT life, each finding a home in [...]

The newly published preparatory document for the rapidly approaching synod on “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” observes that “knowledge of conciliar and post-conciliar documents on … the family … seems to be rather wanting.” Church teachings regarding marriage, sexuality, and family “do not seem to have taken a foothold in [...]

A church friend of mine has a daughter going off to college in the fall. When I ran into him recently, I asked how the summertime preparations were going. I expected him to tell me they’d spent an afternoon trying to help her register for classes or a day at Target looking at tiny fridges [...]

A major Catholic university is scheduled to consider this year whether it will cut its meager two-course requirements in Philosophy and Theology to one or none. Why, you may ask, would a Catholic institution be inclined to cut the two disciplines that have traditionally been entrusted with the task of imparting the specifically Catholic elements [...]

MENU