Catholic Living

Gerrit van Honthorst_St. Peter Penitent

On Palm Sunday, and again on Good Friday, we will hear and take part in one of the most infamous scenes in Christian history. We will read the Gospel account (from the synoptics on Palm Sunday, this year from the Gospel according to Luke, and from the Gospel according to John, as always, on Good [...]

On Palm Sunday, and again on Good Friday, we will hear and take part in one of the most infamous scenes in Christian history. We will read the Gospel account (from the synoptics on Palm Sunday, this year from the Gospel according to Luke, and from the Gospel according to John, as always, on Good [...]

These richly destined souls, more than all others, escape every kind of determinism: they radiate, they shine with a dazzling freedom.  ∼ George Bernanos, “Our Friends the Saints” It is no easy thing to write about sanctity. Nor should anyone wish it to be so, since glibness is the last thing we need when confronting the [...]

Much has already been written about Pope Francis’s controversial comments during his in-flight press conference traveling back to Rome from Mexico where he seemed to suggest that recourse to contraception could be a morally licit way to prevent the transmission of the Zika virus—with its possible yet still unproven link to microcephaly. He even tried to support [...]

For years to come, a range of experts and armchair analysts will likely argue about the origins of same-sex attraction and “gender” confusion and to what extent either counts as a psychological disorder. But there is one aspect of the LGBTQ(etc.) phenomenon that, it seems to me, is beyond dispute: basing identity on attractions and [...]

Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

“These fragments I have shored against my ruins.” ∼  T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land One of the happy discoveries I’ve made while traveling around Europe is that Cervantes was surely right: The road is better than the inn. The way along which the Mystery would have us go—i.e., the circumstances that color and condition the journey—is [...]

The third anniversary of the election of Pope Francis seems an apt time to take stock of the state of the Traditionalist movement within the Church. While the term may encompass various goals for the Church, I focus here on its essential aim, namely the restoration and promotion of the Tridentine liturgy. The reign of [...]

In a hyper-sexual society, once-traditional morals have eroded even in our Catholic institutions—and especially on many Catholic college campuses. Research shows that the pervasive “hook up” culture on the typical American campus is found even at many Catholic colleges, a fact that will not surprise most Crisis readers. Given the documented consequences of the Sexual [...]

Editor’s note: The following address by Bishop James Conley was delivered to teachers of the Diocese of Lincoln, at a day of prayer and formation, on February 15, 2016. This morning, I’d like to talk with you about the virtue of friendship, as it relates to the mission of Catholic schools, and especially your work [...]

“Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still Even among these rocks…” ∼  Ash Wednesday T.S. Eliot Can you believe it? It’s only the first week of Lent, and I’m already tired of it. When will this ordeal end? Surely there’s a door somewhere leading out of this desert. Does [...]

Lent All Year Round?

For several years, every Ash Wednesday, I witnessed a curious spectacle: an openly dissenting Catholic lesbian teacher I worked with attended her only Mass of the year, early in the morning, and sported her ashes on her forehead all day, in front of her classes. She fasted and abstained, and we noticed, totally confused but [...]

The Gospel of the First Sunday of Lent always features one of the Synoptics on the temptation of Jesus in the desert. This year, we read from Luke. Spiritual writers have long reflected on the meaning of the temptations—for bread, for goods, for worship—that those temptations embody. The temptations Jesus faced are temptations we all [...]

A father's prodigal love and approval fill the space carved into our being by the finger of our Creator. Boy or girl, man or woman, all, and no matter the age, thirst for it. Our household knows this well. After a period of infertility, physical deterioration, and loss, when we were told never to expect [...]

At first glance, it may not seem that the nature of public discourse—particularly on faith and morals—has changed all that much since the days of Jesus’ engagement and entanglement with so many different groups during his public ministry. Don’t we still have all the usual suspects today? Over there we have the religious zealots; over [...]

Friendship with God

I have an Evangelical friend (I’ll call him Tom) with whom I regularly meet for coffee to engage in friendly “debate” over our differing theological views. In one of our earlier meetings, beginning to explain the Catholic understanding of predestination against his more-or-less Calvinist view, I premised that God created man for friendship with him. [...]

With hopes that I’m not falling into some heresy, I find myself persuaded by mainstream libertarian economists. Their general positions include: economic law of free markets with limited or no government interference; the law of supply and demand; the responsibility of central governments to collect taxes only for those activities the private sector can’t or [...]

“Why do you think we haven’t had a woman as president yet?” First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton asked her guest over their lunch at the White House. The little woman sitting at table with Mrs. Clinton did not hesitate in her reply. “Because she has probably been aborted,” said Mother Teresa. ¤   ¤   ¤ This [...]

Experience shows that acquiring a large sum of money can be a problem. But, especially today, it is easy to miss or forget problems associated with money. Unless we have a rare level of virtue, we are prone to the magnetic pull of precious metals. Money has a uniquely powerful hold on our imaginations and desires. [...]

Letter to a Priest

“The synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulas but the free availability of God’s love and forgiveness.” ∼ Pope Francis I do want to love this pope, the sure desire of any Catholic heart. [...]

With the New Year and the Year of Mercy begun, last year's Synod of the Family seems like old news. In a way, it's business as usual for the Church. No new teaching was proclaimed (as if a Synod even had the authority to do that!), no radical changes to Church discipline were announced concerning [...]

When my mother-in-law died, following a long and unhappy illness, her passing was seen by all as a blessed and merciful release. Free at last—that was the universal refrain among family and friends. It was not just the burden of old age, whose cumulative debilities wore her down, but the ravages of Alzheimer’s, which left [...]

We are beginning the Year of the Lord 2016. The marking of the dawn of a new year is no secular holiday, because time and history have been drawn into the coming of God into the world. We keep track of our time as either BC (Before Christ) or AD (Anno Domini) to demonstrate that [...]

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