Catholic Living

“The glorious City of God is my theme in this work,” says Augustine in the opening of his masterpiece by that name, a masterpiece of theological historiography, for the pagan Romans had cried out, “The Christians have come into our inheritance!” Therefore, they said, the gods had abandoned the old and venerable city—queen of the [...]

“The glorious City of God is my theme in this work,” says Augustine in the opening of his masterpiece by that name, a masterpiece of theological historiography, for the pagan Romans had cried out, “The Christians have come into our inheritance!” Therefore, they said, the gods had abandoned the old and venerable city—queen of the [...]

What if just ten percent of Christians actually lived the way Jesus calls us to live? What would that world look like? Can we even imagine it? The historian and theologian Ronald J. Sider writes, “I have no doubt that if 10 percent of the Christians today would really live the way Jesus called us [...]

It has become a known fact of modern life that nearly all cultural institutions are crumbling. Fewer people are involved in local organizations, clubs, and churches, and more spend the majority of their time online. Among the younger generations, this phenomenon is far more pronounced; far more youth seek their 15 minutes of fame on [...]

On the night of October 29, 2019, Meghan Murphy, a freelance writer, spoke at a Toronto library to an audience of roughly 100 people, mostly women. Her topic, entirely unwarranted just a few years ago, was “Gender Identity: What Does It Mean for Society, The Law, and Women?” Her main point was that “allowing men [...]

In 1577, St. John of the Cross was taken prisoner by a group of Carmelites from Toledo who were opposed to the reforms of the Order he was undertaking with St. Teresa of Ávila. For eight or nine months, he was held in a six-by-ten-foot cell. The ceiling was so low that John (not a [...]

This column is about selfish regret.   In 1997, we founded C-Fam to lobby U.N. delegations on life issues. One of the first phone calls I made was to a man named George Marlin, who happened to be one of my proudest political votes ever. George lost to Rudy Giuliani on the Conservative Party line for [...]

Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church is supposed to have said, “A Church that does not fast is not an apostolic Church.” These words, real or imagined, stand as an apt critique of the current Roman Catholic Church. Catholics no longer practice fasting or abstaining in a meaningful way. Over the past fifty [...]

Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has warned of the return of the ancient heresy of Pelagianism. Pelagius was a fourth-century monk who believed that the human will is capable of attaining perfection apart from God’s grace. In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis writes of the “self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagianism of those who ultimately trust in their own [...]

When godlessness reigns, it’s not surprising to see false gods rise in response to the human hunger for spiritual fulfillment. It is surprising, however, to see people turn to death to fulfill their lives. In recent decades, a cult has risen out of Mexico with an unholy rival to the Virgin of Guadalupe: Nuestra Señora [...]

Editor’s note: in this far-ranging and prophetic interview with Crisis Magazine, Josef Pieper discusses the vocations crisis, the failure of catechesis, liberation theology, feminism, and something very much like the Benedict Option. The interview originally appeared in the March 1990 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. Crisis: Some people claim that St. Thomas is [...]

“I am so for this!” exclaimed a Facebook friend, linking to a headline about the Los Angeles City Council’s vote to replace Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” On its face, this may seem like an innocent change. Who would be against celebrating the indigenous peoples of the Americas? Alas, the movement to strip our [...]

I have an elderly clerical friend who describes himself as a “martyr to his stomach.” Now, there are many reasons why one might become a martyr, but to bear witness to the needs of the colon seems fairly low on the list. He also goes to the pub and orders his beer in half-pint glasses, [...]

Bishop Robert Barron, the auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and a pioneer of online evangelism, is hardly prone to controversy. Yet the telegenic prelate stirred something of a firestorm back in June that continues to spill ink today. In fact, it isn’t a new debate at all. Commenting on the Gospel reading for June 25 [...]

Like most Catholic schoolboys in the 21st century, I grew up saying the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi more than the Our Father. You know the one: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…” Oh, how I hated it. The prayer seemed to encapsulate everything noisome about liberal religion. It was moral pacifism, [...]

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared in the January 1992 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. I shudder when I hear God called “Mother”—and so do many other Catholics along with me. But what is the reason for this reaction? Is it irrational, or is it justified? Is it mere traditionalism, or good [...]

Facebook has just launched a new feature to “connect” us: a dating app. It was inevitable, given Facebook’s apparent desire to become a digital one-stop shop for its almost three billion users. This latest feature has drawn immediate criticism over data manipulation and hacking risks. Not only does the app play matchmaker, but users can [...]

A dozen or so years ago, a colleague gave me a little wooden plaque for my office. I’ve had it on my bookshelf ever since. On it are carved these words: “It is as bad as you think, and they are out to get you.” The colleague who gave it to me is a Capuchin [...]

A Crisis of Curiositas

“Whenever I feel bad,” Binx Bolling confesses, “I go to the library and read controversial periodicals.” Walker Percy’s professional moviegoer hasn’t concluded whether he’s a liberal or a conservative; nevertheless, he confesses to being “enlivened by the hatred which one bears the other.” Binx, who fancies himself as being on an existential “search,” is plagued [...]

Like most children born to Mexican-American families, I was baptized in the Catholic Church. And yet, by the time I was 12 years old, I’d left her to become a “born-again” evangelical Protestant. Until my reversion as an adult, my three siblings and I had abandoned the faith of our fathers for more “entertaining” religious [...]

First Things has been running a fascinating and provocative series of articles that question the principles and beliefs of most of its readers. In May, it published “Why I Became Muslim” by one Jacob Williams, a Brit who grew up Anglican and then converted to Islam. More recently, the magazine published “Catholicism Made Me Protestant,” [...]

Who is My Enemy?

We are trying to live the faith in a bad time. The engines of the mass phenomena are all ranged against us: schools and colleges, television, newspapers, Hollywood, and government. Our leaders bring to mind the state of affairs that Donne describes in his plea to God to take him by storm: Reason, your viceroy [...]

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