Catholic Living

A writer can learn a lot from people who comment on his writings. My Thanksgiving Day piece on the “Secular Puritan Covenant” elicited one reader’s opinion that we should celebrate a “Native Americans’ Day” to celebrate the contributions they made and the experiences they suffered during the settlement of North America. I initially demurred, noting that [...]

A writer can learn a lot from people who comment on his writings. My Thanksgiving Day piece on the “Secular Puritan Covenant” elicited one reader’s opinion that we should celebrate a “Native Americans’ Day” to celebrate the contributions they made and the experiences they suffered during the settlement of North America. I initially demurred, noting that [...]

Question: What do the push to admit those with irregular marriages to communion, the effort by Fr. James Martin to bless same-sex relationships, and the movie Silence have in common? Answer: They all assume that the demands of Christianity are too hard for ordinary people to live out. In the movie Silence, which is based [...]

After Polish Catholics lined the country’s 2,000-mile border to pray the “Rosary to the Borders,” Poland made another headline last week: Poland’s Sejm (lower house of Poland’s parliament) voted last week to phase out shopping on Sundays by 2020. The idea behind the bill is to allow Poles to spend more time with their families [...]

All God Asks

Ronald Knox once said, “He who travels in the barque of St. Peter had better not look too closely into the engine room.” In case you’ve been living under a rock the last five, ten, fifty years, the barque has been going through some heavy seas. Some would say we’re with Columbus sailing to a [...]

Invisible, odorless, and deadly, carbon monoxide clericalism is less a power-trip than a survival mechanism that proves counter-productive. Simply describing it is the first step toward prevention or cure. Then let us all pray for a serious intervention of the Holy Spirit, for without the reform of the priesthood, it is difficult, if not impossible, to renew [...]

Usually I don’t bother with pieces about “the first (y) (x),” where y = special interest group and x = profession. They always drip with a smugness that I, who looked up to the Jafar character as a child, find nauseating. The bien pensant journalist always seems pleasantly surprised their pet minorities have risen to [...]

Our Pining for Home

Downtown, early morning, all alone. Ten stories up, staring across the Hudson River, at nothing. Tears filled my eyes. ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ Looking across the East River from the taxi cab window, I was rapt by the twilight skyline of Manhattan. The sight of the bejeweled city stirred memories of Gershwin melodies, gangster stories, and scenes from [...]

Thanksgiving has become a secular holiday. It is a time for family get-togethers, sports events and shopping trips. There is some, but not enough giving of thanks on Thanksgiving. Moreover, when gratitude is felt, it frequently remains just a feeling that is not directed toward a good and personal God. Then too, when people thank [...]

The answer to the question “What parish do you belong to?” is important where I live. Cincinnati is a town in which until the recent past “parish” was included on real estate listings. It was something most buyers wanted to know. My answer brings responses ranging from “You drive that far?” to “Isn’t that downtown?” [...]

Poor old Philippo Argenti languishes in the fifth circle of his Inferno, among those condemned for the sin of wrath. He treads water in the Styx, jostling with other damned souls to stay afloat; others sink beneath the surface, forever drowning but never dying. A contemporary of Dante’s, Argenti tries to climb aboard the boat [...]

“They have all zeal and no truth, and we have all truth and no zeal.” ∼ Bishop Sheen on the Church’s enemies In The Light of Christ, the fine new book by Father Thomas Joseph White, OP, we read that “[b]elonging to the Church does not give people a blank check so that they can live [...]

Secularized man has succeeded in making himself a shadow. By eschewing every trace of moral absolutes, tradition and, indeed, the very anchor of nature itself, he has made himself a ghost. So etiolated, he can only rely upon the whimsical demands of the gaseous self. In this claustrophobic universe there is no longer need for [...]

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 [...]

Heretical Praxis

Reviewing Correctio filialis, I found that I was in substantial agreement about the theoretical problems related to the exhortation Amoris Laetitia, but I regretted that the contradictions of its pastoral implications were not made more explicit. I have two examples of cases that are to the point here. The first is of a couple I met [...]

Until recently, the word snowflake enjoyed only one meaning: frozen rain in winter. But in the last year or so the word assumed a secondary meaning: students in elite college campuses who fall to pieces at the least offense or contrary opinion to their own. This new youthful brittleness makes perfect sense in the context [...]

“To be ‘Catholic’ means to love your country, and to let nobody surpass us in that love.”   — St. Josemaría Escrivá Josemaría Escrivá was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 6, 2002. I marked the occasion by re-watching There Be Dragons, the epic film about his life during the Spanish Civil War. It’s [...]

Hollywood award shows used to be de rigeur viewing for most Americans. No more. Perhaps because a kind of collective delirium has set upon the artist class. Take the Emmy’s this past Sunday, for instance. One of the celebrity winners, Donald Glover—a black man—snidely remarked, “I want to thank Trump for making black people number [...]

September 11th was my 64th birthday. Yes, 9/11, but we’ll leave that for another time. What I want to explain here is why for most of my life I found birthdays and most occasions for celebration meaningless and maddening, and why that’s no longer true. After drifting away from the Church in my late teens, I was [...]

“You can’t die in every ditch.” It was a favorite saying of Fr. Ed Madden, my pastor and boss, when I was a greenhorn DRE back in Boulder. So many problems, so many complaints, so many challenges crop up in the course of ordinary parish work, and I was motivated (at first) to tackle them [...]

Following Fr. Schall—who nudged me home to the Church some years back—I do a bit of evangelizing by recommending—or when feeling rich, giving—books to people. Hanging around secular universities the past 40 years, I’ve met a lot of left-liberal academics, most of whom are practical if not ideological atheists. Some of these are, like me, [...]

I am in the unusual position—for this century, anyway—of being the mother of a young woman who has seen four of her friends enter a convent in the past two years. Three of those women are postulants in cloistered Carmelite convents. Elizabeth has celebrated more wedding showers for brides of Christ than for brides of [...]

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