Catholic Living

When looking at the American Catholic Church and the surrounding culture, the honest, orthodox Catholic is left with at least two sobering conclusions: we are losing the culture war both outside the American Catholic Church and inside its precincts. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision (same-sex “marriage”) by the SCOTUS put an exclamation point on the [...]

When looking at the American Catholic Church and the surrounding culture, the honest, orthodox Catholic is left with at least two sobering conclusions: we are losing the culture war both outside the American Catholic Church and inside its precincts. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision (same-sex “marriage”) by the SCOTUS put an exclamation point on the [...]

The July 9 New York Times Sunday Review contained a feature by Richard Conniff. Driven by his research on English moles, he visited the grave of Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows. What impressed Conniff, and inspired his op-ed, was that Grahame’s grave was in both “a graveyard and a wildlife refuge. [...]

A few days ago, I was at a graduation party for the son of a good friend. We were there to celebrate a fine young man raised by thoughtful and serious Catholics, and most of the other parents at the party were also intelligent and devout Catholics. While no graduation party of this sort is [...]

Bill Buckner played professional baseball for 22 years, won a major league batting title, and was elected to the All-Star team. Unfortunately, he is probably best remembered, though, for letting one ground ball go between his legs in the 1986 World Series and costing the Boston Red Sox their first championship since 1918. Life is [...]

God created the world not out of necessity but out of generosity. Eternally blessed and perfect in himself, God had no need to create and no need of creation. Instead, in freedom he created in wisdom and in love. Each creature God endowed with gifts proportionate to its role, but he crowned man with a [...]

Should a Catholic School admit LGBTQ students or refuse the benefit of a Catholic education to this particularly vulnerable subset of children? Such is the choice with which those responsible for Catholic education seem to be presented, and, increasingly, they will opt for the former. Apparently, this is the path chosen by Bishop John Gaydos [...]

Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. That descent changed them. It made a difference in their lives. The Upper Room had previously been a chamber of fears. “Surely not I, Lord?” (Mt 26:22) was the question on a certain Thursday night. About 72 hours later, it was a locked room [...]

After 35 years as a liturgical musician, it’s amazing how little I really know about the liturgical music of the Roman Rite. Then again, what should I expect when my earliest memories of music at Mass tend to involve now-forgotten attempts to make Ray Repp tunes, guitar-group versions of Beatles songs, social-justice-pop-folk songs, and patently [...]

As rewarding as it is to study the life of a great saint, it is doubly rewarding to study the influences and connections among saints. Take, for example, Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890): his journey toward the Catholic priesthood in Victorian England was lit by the fire of St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), the exuberant Italian [...]

The Benedict Option isn’t what you think it is. Adorning the cover of Rod Dreher’s much-discussed new book is what appears to be an ancient monastery, clutching a mountaintop. Below is a blue lake, cropped by scraps of land. A mist broods over it. Rising above the mist, the monastery seems aloft, almost cloud-borne, the [...]

The last few years we have seen a lively debate and discussion over how Christian believers should interact with our increasingly secular and hostile culture. These different possibilities have come to be known as “options.” The most famous is certainly the Benedict option popularized by author Rod Dreher. But others have written about the Dominican [...]

"Where sin has abounded, grace has abounded all the more," St. Paul assures us. Felix culpa, as we sing in the Easter Exultet. This "happy fault" refers specifically to Adam's sin, but in Christ's redemptive work, he draws good out of every sin. Accordingly, in our battle against impurity, let us stop trying to bury [...]

A lady recently wrote me with a question about the role of material things in life. She was confounded by apparent contradictions between living a pious life while enjoying material things that are all around us. She had read the stories of the saints and how they often scorned material things. Since we are all [...]

“The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children; its secondary end is mutual help and the allaying of concupiscence.” (Canon 1013, 1917 Code of Canon Law) Anyone familiar with the history of contraception and the Church in the 1960s will know the name of John T. Noonan. His singular 1965 work [...]

St. Gregory's University just concluded its first bi-annual “Leisure and Labor Conference,” which brings academics and professionals together to reflect on the interplay between the liberal arts and the professions. The dialogue between Martha and Jesus in Chapter 10 of Luke’s Gospel captures the essence of this relationship between labor and leisure. Mary sits at Jesus’s [...]

Every year, we are fortunate to hear two accounts in church of the Passion during Holy Week—the first one on Palm Sunday and the second one on Good Friday. The latter account is always from Saint John’s Gospel. On Palm Sunday, we rotate among the Synoptic Gospels according to Cycles A, B, and C. This [...]

I recently took my nine-year-old son, Karol, to the National Gallery of Art here in Washington. I knew that a nine-year-old’s idea of a fun Sunday was not necessarily looking at art, but I thought he needs some exposure to it and we can do it in limited amounts, maybe once a month. Besides, I [...]

“The entire population of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them because they were seized with great fear. So he got into a boat and returned.”  (Luke 8:37) It is amazing. Our Lord has just freed a man from a legion of demons, a man that presumably these folks had, at one [...]

God is the Most Real Being, so our religion is about what we accept as most real. It’s our basic understanding of the world, to which all our other views must accommodate themselves. That’s a problem. To all appearances, Catholics have pretty much the same basic understandings as other people. Otherwise, our thoughts and actions [...]

“Distinguo”—that curious Latin term that reminds us that we need to make essential distinctions between and among similar concepts in order to fully understand them. And now, with the untimely passing of reparative therapy pioneer Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, which in turn met with an inhumane “glad-you’re-dead” response from ‘gay’-affirming ideologues who refer to Nicolosi’s life’s [...]

My friend and former colleague Dr. Jared Staudt recently penned an article “How to Save the Soul of Our Catholic Schools” for Crisis Magazine. Dr. Staudt (as I’ll call him here) made a number of sober and valid points about the need to return to a truly Catholic education. Affirming his belief that “[t]he Catholic [...]

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