Catholic Living

Gnostic philosophy, like a noxious weed, thrives in the barren soil of our post-Christian culture. It also emits a foul odor akin to the smoke of Satan, filtering through the doors of the Church and influencing our anthropology, as well as severely compromising the integrity of our worship of Christ in the Eucharist. Catholicism is [...]

Gnostic philosophy, like a noxious weed, thrives in the barren soil of our post-Christian culture. It also emits a foul odor akin to the smoke of Satan, filtering through the doors of the Church and influencing our anthropology, as well as severely compromising the integrity of our worship of Christ in the Eucharist. Catholicism is [...]

“I welcome you on the eve of a great battle.” So began General Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 15, 1944, solemnly addressing the admirals and generals and officers of the Allied Expeditionary Force, announcing the proposed strategy for Operation Overlord, codename for the Normandy invasion. Underestimated as an orator, Eisenhower’s speech riveted the attention of [...]

It’s all just so darn clear. Every day, pundits, politicians, and plebeians the world over make arguments about what is “clearly” the case. Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw declares that Ilhan Omar's 9/11 comments were “clearly ... not taken out of context.” California Senator Kamala Harris asserts that Attorney General William Barr “clearly” intended to mislead [...]

With the death of Jean Vanier at age 90 on May 7 we are again reminded of his blessed vocation to the disabled. It was a visit to a psychiatric hospital that led him to give up his career both as a Naval officer and as a philosophy professor to take on the challenge of [...]

How ought we to approach our family members and friends who have fallen away from the faith in the hopes of bringing them back? New survey data reports that, for the first time in our history, there are as many Americans with no religious affiliation as there are Catholics and Evangelicals. More significantly, of these [...]

By all immediate measures, Jesus’s ministry was a total failure. But it wasn’t for lack of effort or commitment. At the prime of life, Jesus left his carpentry bench in Nazareth for the dusty roads of Palestine. For three years he promoted his brand, wowing crowds with miracles and captivating them with his teaching. On [...]

There have been plenty of examples of our secular culture’s antagonism toward Catholic education: from the Covington School-Nick Sandmann debacle, to activism against the admissions policies of Kansas City’s Catholic schools, and to numerous lawsuits by employees fired from Catholic schools for moral indiscretions. The greatest danger in these situations is not the secularist’s desire [...]

The cross. No doctrine is more central to the Christian faith and, yet, more of an offense to our human sensibilities. For the unbeliever, it represents everything that is wrong with Christianity. A wrathful God who must be appeased by the brutal murder of his own son is deserving of contempt not worship; any religion [...]

I got to Geneva too late. I should have gone ten years earlier, back when I was what is called in the Calvinist world “TR”—“Totally Reformed”—meaning a diehard, uncompromising Calvinist. I was once a student at a prominent Reformed seminary, reading the brightest lights in the Calvinist world, including, of course, the great Genevan theologian [...]

In an earlier Crisis essay, I recalled the dismay at a social gathering when the host, a graduate of a Jesuit university, learned that his guest was a “bead counter.” Liberal Christians approve, and are even known to practice, the social gospel; however, they suspect a conflict between corporal works and spiritual devotions such as [...]

The orthodox Catholic blogosphere has duly noted the mostly same-sex nature of the scandals plaguing the Catholic Church. Writing for the Catholic Thing, David Carlin expressed the thoughts and pleas of many scandalized Catholics when he declared an “urgent need” for a papal encyclical specifically addressing homosexuality. An affirmative response to these pleas, however, would [...]

Baptism is often relegated to the back of our thoughts. For most Catholics, it occurred in infancy and is, therefore, not a personal memory. For still too many parishes, baptism remains a quasi-private event sequestered someplace after Mass on the occasional Sunday, rather than an integral part of the regular Sunday Mass. The truth is [...]

As he stood before the rain-soaked crowd estimated to be as great as 20,000, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn—with that truly Russian sense of solemn sincerity and conviction—suggested to the 1978 graduating class of Harvard University that what the West lacked above all else—and in his view the West lacked quite a good bit—was courage. Said Solzhenitsyn: A decline in [...]

The Baltimore Catechism reliably provides a catechesis on the Holy Eucharist: “The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament which contains the body and blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine.” Furthermore, “Jesus Christ is present whole and entire in the smallest portion of the Holy Eucharist under the form [...]

There was a time when it was nigh impossible not to believe in God—not because of man’s irrational superstitions, as atheist popularizers tell it, but because of nature’s rational design. To early thinkers, the intelligibility of nature pointed to an ineluctable fact: a prime, non-contingent source of reality (i.e., the uncaused Cause, the One, Apeiron, [...]

“They count rosaries…. Please don’t laugh.”  ∼ Pope Francis Thomas De Quincy’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, by turns glamorizing and ruing his dependence, was first printed anonymously in 1821. Its succès de scandale emboldened the father of addiction literature to acknowledge paternity in an official edition the following year. Literary cachet notwithstanding, quotidian journals didn’t approve. [...]

With the bustle associated with Valentine’s Day we often forget that February 14 is about love. True love, that is. We also forget that it is the celebration of the martyrdom of a saint who points the way to true love. Yes, Valentinus (anglicized, Valentine) was a priest of the third century Roman empire. Heavy [...]

Later this month, the Vatican is hosting an international summit of bishops to address the clerical sex-abuse crisis. Based on comments Pope Francis has made to the press, the gathering will focus its attention on prayer and penance, but also educating the Church’s shepherds on what the issue is all about. As if the US [...]

“Let the children be, do not keep them back from me; the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19-14) Recently in these pages, I wrote about a local traditional Latin Mass parish and a modern parish renewal program called “Rebuilt,” which was developed by a suburban parish outside of Baltimore. I noted [...]

The other day Dan Levin, a reporter for The New York Times, went trawling online for stories from “survivors” of Christian schools. Word got out, people were appalled, and Levin ended up publishing a miserable and meaningless little piece, in which a couple of tributes from grateful students—see, even in the Sahara you can find an [...]

Pope Francis wants to change the wording of the “Our Father” or “Pater Noster.” I wonder, though, why he should stop there. Isn’t it time to update the “Hail, Mary”? Although there have been a number of attempts to change this beautiful Marian prayer to make it more contemporary, the time may now have come [...]

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