Catholic Living

Twilight Zone

I am fairly confident that a deep theological reflection could be written about nearly every episode of The Twilight Zone (and I may make it a life project to do so). Rod Serling was known for his strong convictions, and that core was manifested in the morality plays he put on in that series. Here [...]

I am fairly confident that a deep theological reflection could be written about nearly every episode of The Twilight Zone (and I may make it a life project to do so). Rod Serling was known for his strong convictions, and that core was manifested in the morality plays he put on in that series. Here [...]

The Lenten and Easter seasons call each of us to renewed reflection on our journey through life. Prayerful reading of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection is a sure way to strive for something Father George Rutler expressed so well—we are to let Jesus “make of our graves what he made of his own borrowed tomb: [...]

“Something strange is happening….”  ~ Bp. Melito of Sardis This past Holy Saturday I had the privilege of sponsoring my friend Chris as he made a profession of faith and became a Catholic—Deo gratias! What a joy to stand with him, attest to his readiness, announce his new name—“Monsignor, this is Thomas Aquinas”—and then celebrate [...]

Sad and rejoiced she’s seen at once, and seen At almost fifty and at scarce fifteen; At once a Son is promised her, and gone; Gabriel gives Christ to her, He her to John… ∼ John Donne, Upon The Annunciation and Passion Falling Upon One Day (March 25, 1608) There is a charming and instructive tradition [...]

In the midst of Trumpmania and the swooning over Bernie Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Socialism, we see, if not blatant calls for political salvation, at least the expectation of it. This is nothing new nor is it peculiar to the United States. But the advanced case of Carteresque malaise from which the country now seems to [...]

From the very beginning of his existence, man is orientated to love and desires love. In fact, St. John Paul II says in Redemptoris Hominis that “man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible in himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not [...]

It’s an especially happy Easter for the Lu family this year, since a near and dear relative of mine came into the Church at the Easter Vigil. Eleven years into my Catholic life, I am no longer the only Catholic in my natal family. God is good. In light of that, I’ve been reflecting on [...]

In the Poetics of Aristotle, that wonder of brevity and wit on the art of making (poiesis), there is a clever little thing called peripety, which is a device deployed by the artist to alert his audience to any sudden or unexpected turn of events in the unfolding of a story. For instance, the awful [...]

I may be something a bit rare in Catholic circles, both a convert and a revert. Between my conversion in 1985 and my reversion in 1993, I lived the life of a non-practicing orthodox Catholic. There really is such a thing; someone who for various reasons is not practicing but who does not question any [...]

The goodness of Good Friday is not supremely evident until Easter Sunday. By that, I mean there is no way we can call a crucifixion good unless and until it is surpassed. And surpassed it is! The Resurrection does not remove Calvary from history. No, what it does is show that evil and sin would [...]

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 [...]

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