cremation

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

The Vanishing Body and the Disappearing Cemetery

November is the month the Church especially dedicates to praying for the dead. To encourage this holy practice, the Church offers a daily plenary indulgence for the souls in Purgatory, under the usual conditions (right intention, confession, Communion, prayer for the intentions of the pope) to those who visit a cemetery in the period November [...]

How Do I Want to Be Dead?

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. [...]

Why It Matters How We Are Buried

The Jesuit retirement home where I have lived almost four years now usually has some seventy or eighty residents, all over seventy, all having already been blessed with many days on this green earth. We have one man over a hundred, a couple of others nearing it. During the time of my residence here, some [...]

New Vatican Directive Discourages Cremation

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Instruction on the Burial of the Deceased (Ad resurgendum cum Christo), released October 25, is a welcome restatement of the Church’s preference for earth burial over cremation. It is essential to seize the “teaching moment” this document affords: rather than just focus on the “do’s” (do bury [...]

An Easter Reflection on the Plague of Cremation

As Christians prepare to celebrate the Paschal Feast of the Lord’s Resurrection, we will hear a lot about the “empty tomb.” Indeed, this year—in which the Lectionary focuses on St. Mark—will be particularly stark: the women encounter the empty tomb and the “young man” and are “utterly amazed” (Mk 16: 1-7). As we celebrate the [...]

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