Catholic Living

Norcia Monastery

“When the foundations are destroyed, what can the just do?” (Ps 11:3) Walking up the narrow streets of Norcia, the smell of the local delicacy, wild boar, wafting through the air from hanging limbs in shops and restaurants, three times a year University of Mary students make their way toward the historic basilica of St. [...]

“When the foundations are destroyed, what can the just do?” (Ps 11:3) Walking up the narrow streets of Norcia, the smell of the local delicacy, wild boar, wafting through the air from hanging limbs in shops and restaurants, three times a year University of Mary students make their way toward the historic basilica of St. [...]

“Something had given him leave to live in the present.”  ~ Walker Percy A friend of mine sent me an email with this subject line: “A challenge for your blogging….” She included Elizabeth Scalia’s invitation to Catholics everywhere in the internet cosmos to write about “Why Do YOU Remain a Catholic”—an invitation itself prompted by [...]

It is interesting now to look back at the various reactions when the pope issued his encyclical on contraception. I dug up the following, and I think they pretty much speak for themselves. It is hardly necessary to add any comments at all except to say how little things have changed. A leader from an [...]

Several years ago, a friend of mine told me a story about an interaction he had with his father one night after playing in a high school basketball game. In that game, my friend’s team was losing badly and he committed a lazy foul, scowled at the referee as if he hadn’t done anything, then [...]

Ten years ago, on the Vigil of Pentecost, I received my first three sacraments and became a Roman Catholic. From an eternal standpoint, it was probably the best day of my life. It didn’t feel that way at the time. It was a dark, broody sort of day, which matched my mood. A small group [...]

It’s an oddly timed realization—here in the shadow of the looming Supreme Court decision that could have the effect of redefining marriage (as though that were possible), I’ve come to the conclusion that the New Homophiles seem to be engaging in an effort that would have the effect of redefining family (as though that were [...]

"Above all, it is necessary to recognize the unity that already exists." ~ John Paul II There’s a 7-Eleven across the street and down a couple blocks from where I teach—Bethel College in Mishawaka. I often go there for an afternoon caffeine boost. I could walk, but if I’m pressed for time (or it’s winter), I’ll jump [...]

Love is not sacrifice. Love is gift. Without clearly seeing the difference between gift and sacrifice, the Christian message can only be muddled in a modern world where one man's sacrifice merely signifies his subjection to another man. In such a world the purpose of society is not to encourage the free exchange of gifts [...]

While researching Drinking With the Saints, I was looking for what drinks I could recommend on certain feast days of the liturgical year. What I did not expect to discover was a lesson in how to drink them. That lesson can be distilled into five key points. To drink like a saint—that is, to enjoy [...]

Catholics, it is said, are called to a New Evangelization that involves re-proposing the Faith to a world that is falling away from it. In that effort we are all expected to do our part. But what does that mean for the average believer? We have always dealt with our obligations to those outside the [...]

Let’s face it, there is one route the finance guys have yet to try. You have to pray to a saint! Am I right? We had a problem. A BIG problem! Exactly, it was all about money. We were staring two mortgages in the face. Changing houses is easy if your bank goes along with [...]

We don’t have to go very far to recognize that there are abundant crises in our world today. We find crises of various proportions in every corner of the globe and in virtually all sectors of society. Check the news online, read the various blogs, twitter feeds, social media, or turn on the radio or [...]

In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Col. 1.24). “Hello, Faddah!” I’m guessing it was probably the first time Pope John Paul II heard that one in the Vatican’s audience hall. It was my sister, Adeline, who was visiting Rome with my mom and dad many years ago. None of them were Catholic at [...]

Boswell: "Then, Sir, what is poetry?" Johnson: "Why, Sir, it is much easier to say what it is not. We all know what light is; but it is not easy to tell what it is."  —Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson  Let me begin with an incident that I witnessed in the last year that expresses [...]

“Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.…” When Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick closes the classic film Casablanca with these memorable words, there is no mistaking what he means. Rick and Louie anticipate a mutually respectful—and beneficial—relationship, arising from their past shared experiences and based upon continuing common interests. Perhaps that’s enough [...]

With this week's libertine and slovenly Earth Day celebrations safely behind us, we can now embrace one of our healthiest traditions—supplanting a pagan festival with a Christian one. Conveniently, we don't even have to invent one: Today is the feast of St. George. St. George was one of the most beloved and venerated saints of [...]

The Church recognizes marriage, the priesthood, religious life, and the single lay life as definite states of life. It happens, at times, that in the discussion and discernment of vocations the first three of these four dominate, and the single lay life gets placed on the back burner. Vocation websites have pages dedicated to spouses, [...]

"I’m not a humanitarian. I’m a hell-raiser."  ~ Mother Jones It was a long drive from South Bend to Jefferson City, and I had a van full of cranky, road-weary kids. We were on I-55 heading south through Illinois to visit Aunt Mary Katherine, and the sooner we got there, the better. Then a brown [...]

Easter and Zombies

Zombies have been making the rounds lately. Not real ones, of course, because there are no real ones. It is to their great disadvantage that they do not exist, considering how popular they are. But then, they would have no great advantages in existing, either. While they may experience a certain brute satisfaction, their intellectual [...]

“I Thirst”

“But suppose God didn’t quite finish by closing time of the afternoon of the sixth day? ...Suppose that Creation, the process of replacing chaos with order, were still going on. What would that mean? In the biblical metaphor of the six days of Creation, we would find ourselves somewhere in the middle of Friday afternoon. Man was just created a [...]

Once again, our faith has brought us here to mark what Jesus did on that first Holy Thursday. We solemnly remember that night in the upper room when Christ instituted the Eucharist and the sacramental priesthood, and commanded us to love one another in humble acts of service. Tonight, I would like to reflect with [...]