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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, [...]

Every so often we’re witness to a splurge of commentary about Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, as if the general populace is suddenly reminded that the man who resigned the Chair of Peter is in fact still alive. Most recently, reactions to a letter he sent to Massimo Franco of Corriere della Serra, in which the [...]

Considering how much emphasis modern churchmen put on trust, it’s worth noting that the Bible does not have much to say about trusting others. Of course, the Bible tells us to trust in God, but there is no corresponding command to trust our fellow men. Of the six references to “trust” in the RSV Reader’s [...]

The gun control debate has reignited with the recent Florida shooting. Despite the passionate commentaries on all sides, no one seems to be able to answer the question of when the shootings will stop. As much as liberal media want to blame guns, police or government, this is a moral problem. It involves the acts [...]

Just a few short weeks after the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, spoke about Amoris Laetitia as a paradigm shift for the Church, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago has reiterated the same portentous message. In a lengthy address given to the Von Hügel Institute of St. Edmund’s College on February 9, Cupich describes Pope [...]

This year Ireland will hold a referendum on the issue of abortion. The date has not yet been set but the vote will probably take place in May. Since 1983, enshrined in Article 8 of the Irish Constitution, there has been a constitutional ban on abortions taking place in the Irish Republic. This prohibition was [...]

The accusation of modernism gets thrown around a lot, especially in traditional circles. As a descriptor of heresy, modernism is a vague term. Modernism can refer to a movement of art and architecture, as well as to the general spirit of modern thought as a rejection of the past. These are genuine usages of the [...]

“The devil also exists in the twenty-first century, and we need to learn from the Gospel how to battle against him,” Pope Francis preached in a homily on April 11, 2014. Many are the weapons in our struggle against evil. In Ephesians, St. Paul urges us to put on the whole armor of God, including [...]

Within the last year and half I have traveled four times to Poland. I have by no means covered the broad expanse of this great country, but I have managed to visit Warsaw, Sulwalki, Lublin, Kraków, Oswęciem, Wadowice; I have spent much time in Katowice in Upper Silesia, and its surrounding towns such as Tychy, [...]

Divine Mercy Sunday is April 8, 2018, the Octave Day of Easter. Devotion to Divine Mercy has been growing worldwide for many years and was added to the calendar of the universal Church in 2000, the year St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina Kowalska. St. Faustina Kowalska was a nun who, in the 1930s, [...]

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago is all for clarity. It has been a consistent theme, as when in September of 2017 he issued a decree banning guns in all parishes, schools and other facilities across the archdiocese “so there would be absolute clarity on our position.” His official statement put “clarity” in italics. When he [...]

While reading a recent Wall Street Journal column by Peggy Noonan calling for a revival of the American gentleman, I remembered an old episode of The Simpsons. They’re on the couch watching a public television fundraiser. Garrison Keillor reads a bit of Prairie Home Companion to the obliging laughter and applause from the studio audience. [...]

Lent, the penitential season of prayer, self-examination, and repentance prepares us for the celebration of Easter and our heart’s deepest desire: an encounter with the risen Lord. Few songs convey that longing like Paul Baloche’s Open the Eyes of My Heart. Over half of the lyrics consist of the title appeal, followed by the reason: [...]

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Protestants are spending their Sunday mornings in football size stadiums. Not for sports, but to listen to their ministers preach the “Gospel of Success.” This new twist on the holy gospels renders the revelation of Our Lord as a guarantee of prosperity, good fortune, and freedom from pain [...]

Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty was a hero of the Cold War, persecuted by communists and ultimately abandoned by his Church. Beginning in 1956, after Red Army tanks rolled into Hungary, Mindszenty spent 15 years in voluntary confinement at the U.S. embassy in Budapest. He spurned repeated requests to leave Hungary and his flock. In 1971, he [...]

When I was a kid, my siblings and I always felt short-changed on Fat Tuesday. Lent loomed on the horizon, with no sweets for forty days until we got a motherlode of chocolate eggs for Easter. It seemed like we should be able to pig out on Fat Tuesday, since, obviously, it was our last [...]

Back in my New York days, when I was the greenest of greenhorns, I used to watch the three card monte players around Times Square. These are the guys who flip three playing cards around on an upturned box and goad the audience to “pick the red, pick the red, pick the red.” And they [...]

On November 9, 2017, the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church—Ohrid Archbishopric sent a letter to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church with three requests: 1) recognition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church by other Eastern Orthodox Churches; 2) recognition of Macedonian Orthodox Church autocephalous status (canonical independence); and 3) readiness to recognize the Bulgarian Orthodox Church [...]

Often, in comboxes on different sites around the web, I have witnessed the fury of self-avowed atheists whose favorite piece-de-resistance against Catholic presentations of the Gospel and morality consists of the ritual invocation of the clerical sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Church as a rhetorical mace with which to slam Catholics. Their aim, if [...]

The bestselling book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, is dangerous for Catholics of little faith. Rarely do you see a book that is so cunningly written to shake certainties and present as inevitable a stark and Godless future now being planned. The value of the book is not found in reading it. In [...]

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