Catholic Living

Throughout my Christian life the question that has haunted me more than any other is why there is not a greater difference between Christians and non-Christians. The lack of distinctive Christian behavior and practice has prompted observers like Mohandas Gandhi to conclude, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” It has caused [...]

Throughout my Christian life the question that has haunted me more than any other is why there is not a greater difference between Christians and non-Christians. The lack of distinctive Christian behavior and practice has prompted observers like Mohandas Gandhi to conclude, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” It has caused [...]

A few weeks ago, the Chronicle of Higher Education got all spun up about whether “Catholic U.’s Chaste Brand” was scaring off prospective students. Some anonymous professors were practically gleeful that the reassertion of authentic Catholicism at CUA, begun under Father David O’Connell and continued robustly under current president John Garvey, was finally shown to [...]

Crowns fall fittingly upon the head of the Virgin during this month of May, but it is also fitting that they fall upon the head of every mother. Mothers possess hearts that act like God’s megaphone. It is of the very nature of mothers to be God’s proxy in a world weary of God. Even [...]

The disturbing decades-long decline in church rolls along with the growth of the “nones” and rise of the “dones” has led me to believe that the most urgent business of the Church is not the evangelization of the lost, as important as that is, but the re-evangelization of the “saved.” Why so? It is a [...]

"Every other sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the impure person sins against the body itself." More than any other type of sin, St. Paul is suggesting that impurity is a sin against ourselves. A deep healing of such sins cannot be limited to a correction of external behavior, but must [...]

In "Unpracticed Faith is Functional Atheism," I addressed one error in the Church: heteropraxy—that is, the belief in right doctrine (orthodoxy) without the pursuit right living (orthopraxy). Now I turn to the equal and opposite error—orthopraxy divorced from orthodoxy—which is a reaction to the first. Sadly, heteropraxy has been a problem in the Church from [...]

In “Is Grace Amazing or Appalling,” some readers felt I was advocating the cheap grace of faith without works. Although I should have been more clear, it was not my intent to suggest that human effort has no role in coming to Grace, and afterward. Rather, my point was that our works do not merit [...]

The religion professor asked the students, “Why do you think Jesus was persecuted by the religious establishment of his day?” Their answers: “He healed on the Sabbath,” “He dissed the Jewish leaders,” “He hung out with sinners and tax collectors.” Finally, the daughter of a personal friend replied, It was because of grace. The Jews [...]

It is a well-known element of Christian tradition: early missionaries repurposed or replaced established pagan rituals, artifacts, and places in their effort to convert the local people. There are some very famous instances of this: Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is a beautiful Roman church built upon the ruins of a pagan temple to the goddess [...]

Easter Sunday this year falls on April Fools’ Day. A tradition exists about “Christ the Fool.” It probably originates from when Pilate sent Christ to see Herod. Herod was anxious to see him. See him do what? See him perform. He had heard much about this man and his miracles. So naturally the king wanted [...]

Crossroads, a blues classic performed by Eric Clapton, is a song about a man seeking escape from his desperate existence. Will he find it in a motorcycle ride, a drinking binge, a flight from one destination to the next, or in God’s grace? At the song’s end, we are left to wonder. Nevertheless, the lyrics, [...]

“When God calls you to do something,” the speaker cautioned, “your only response is, yes.” I saw a number of heads nodding in agreement, but I sensed a question stirring in the heads of others: “But how do I know when God is calling?” It's an important question. In fact, there is no question more [...]

Vainly do men of our time seek remedies for the cultural maladies affecting us. Each exertion of the political elite or the bien pensant only seem to deepen their woes. Faced with such existential crisis modern men seek corrupting escapes or the violence of bankrupt political extremism. Indeed, these things assume the kind of devotion [...]

Last week at Providence College, a brave and devout Catholic student I got to know well last year during my own battles with the politically correct has had occasion to live out the words of Jesus: Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely [...]

These reflections are written against the background of the way in which many activities, once treated under the natural law, came to be considered human “rights” under civil law. A couple of decade ago, it became clear that the subversion of natural law would be carried out under the aegis of “human rights” as understood [...]

Some people call me a street preacher. I’m not a street preacher. The label does roll off the tongue, but it also carries a fairly negative connotation. I could be more accurately described as a street questioner. I spend about a dozen Saturday mornings each year, standing on a street corner adjacent to the Farmer’s [...]

Lent is a season that brings us full face with the Great Paradox: To live, I must die. It is a supreme spiritual truth meant not to paralyze us, but to prompt us to ponder: “In dying, how should I live?” In the last few years, the hanging statement, “Before I die I want to [...]

“The crown of the monk is humility.”  ∼ Abba Orr, Desert Father, fourth century. The Lenten season is well underway and it would be difficult to find devotional writings more aligned with the spirit of Lent than the words of the Desert Fathers. Two volumes come to mind: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, translated by [...]

A new front has opened in the Culture War. Now they are targeting prayer. The controversy was triggered by the fact that political leaders traditionally sent messages of condolences offering their “thoughts and prayers” to victims and their families. Such innocent expressions of comfort have enraged liberals who claim the idea of prayer especially in [...]

I see where Cardinal Cupich is planning a series of seminars on Amoris Laetitia. According to a letter obtained by the Catholic News Agency, the “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia,” will “provide formative pastoral programs.” As someone who has listened to many victims of the Sexual Revolution, I am eager to learn about the “pastoral [...]

As eighteenth century English writer Samuel Johnson might have put it, “Nothing concentrates the mind like knowing that I am dust, and to dust I shall return.” And nothing is a more bracing reminder of that reality than the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday. Placed on the forehead in the form of the cross, [...]

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