Catholic Living

They prayed without ceasing. For years their supplications were brought before the altar of God in far-flung cities like Karachi and Bangkok. In the darkness of the night their pious petitions were wedded to bitter weeping. And then, after many trials and tears, when their story seemed all-but-forgotten, God answered. As “deep calls to deep [...]

They prayed without ceasing. For years their supplications were brought before the altar of God in far-flung cities like Karachi and Bangkok. In the darkness of the night their pious petitions were wedded to bitter weeping. And then, after many trials and tears, when their story seemed all-but-forgotten, God answered. As “deep calls to deep [...]

As many believers can attest, Christianity is the ideal program for life. Its moral code empowers the individual and brings order to a society. Its liturgy allows for people of different backgrounds to come together as a real community. Its message of divine charity humbles the proud, lifts the poor, and heals all wounds, while [...]

I recall how intimidated I was when, as a seminarian at the Pontifical North American College in the 1990s, the Swiss Guard took the pitch for our “friendly” game of soccer. Our team was dubbed “The North American Martyrs”—a funny nickname that stuck in those days because, more often than not, we were killed (sometimes [...]

“Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” In the Church calendar, the days of holy feasts and solemnities go by with dizzying speed. And sometimes the chronology seems disordered. We might wonder, for example, why the Slaughter of the Innocents on December 28th comes before the Epiphany on January 6th. The short [...]

Thanksgiving is an occasion for gratitude. That being the case, Thanksgiving essays commonly exhort readers to look past the food and lift their minds to higher things. Properly understood, the turkey is not the main course, so much as a delightful side dish that can fuel warm reflections on family, home, nature, and creation as a [...]

Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951), famous in his time but hardly ever read and nearly forgotten today, wrote two brilliant satirical novels (Main Street and Babbitt) and one gentle, bittersweet, and genuinely moving one (Dodsworth, about an uncultured Midwestern automobile executive who takes his socially and culturally ambitious wife to Europe, where she betrays him with another [...]

“Jesus has now many lovers of His Heavenly Kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. He has many desirous of His consolation, but few of His tribulation. He finds plenty of companions of His table, but few of His abstinence. All wish to rejoice with Christ, but few wish to bear anything for His sake. [...]

“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, [...]

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