culture of life

Islam: Who Are We to Judge?

Anecdotal evidence doesn’t carry as much weight as statistical evidence, but sometimes it speaks volumes. That’s especially the case when the anecdote concerns a representative of society or when it illustrates taken-for-granted behavior. What follows are some vignettes taken from various Islamic communities which serve to illustrate the deep gulf separating acceptable behavior in the [...]

John the Baptist and Humanae Vitae

2018 is one of those years when June 24 falls on a Sunday and, therefore, one of the rare occasions when the Sunday liturgy is preempted by a Solemnity: the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. 2018 is also the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, the papal encyclical that became the lightning rod for much dissent [...]

Of Mice and Men Without Chests

At first glance one might surmise that the title of this article alludes to the characters in John Steinbeck’s classic. Truthfully, while reading Of Mice and Men I grew to like the characters and found myself empathizing with some of their hardships. A good author is able to pull his readers into the world of [...]

Moments of Moral Clarity

Probably each of us has had an experience that awakened our conscience, one that changed the way we looked at the world and ourselves, a moment of moral clarity that made us reflect, “I was blind, but now I see.” As a young boy growing up in the rural south, water fountains labeled “White” and [...]

On Prioritizing the Values Taught to Children

“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 [...]

Catholics Agree: It’s a Wonderful Life

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Frank Capra’s beloved Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. It debuted December 20, 1946, just a year after World War II ended. (Remember, the film begins and ends with the expected return of war hero Harry Bailey.) The film offers several Catholic perspectives. How many movies today would [...]

To Restore a Culture of Life, Reclaim the Body

New York Times columnist David Brooks recently noted the visceral kind of cringe we experience when we hear that ISIS jihadis have decapitated yet another person. Brooks adeptly explained that the thought of a person’s head torn away from the rest of him triggers horror precisely because of its bold irreverence toward the human form. [...]

Mary’s Witness to the Gospel of Life

Saint John Paul II taught that Mary is a singular witness to the Gospel of Life. Having recently celebrated the feast day of John Paul the Great and recalling that, according to the liturgical calendar, Mary is some eight months pregnant (Christ's birth hastens!), it seems appropriate to consider Our Lady's witness to the joyous [...]

You Can’t Have a Culture of Life if You Have No Culture at All

It should be obvious to anyone who thinks about it for a moment that it is always far easier to destroy than to create.  One bomb or wrecking ball can shatter in an instant the cathedral that it took human hands and minds fifty years to build. What is true of buildings is true of [...]

Pope Francis and the Gospel of Life

Though the world barely knows Pope Francis, it has rushed to judge him. As Caitlin Bootsma has lamented, “Catholics, of all stripes, immediately sought to measure Pope Francis against their own goals for the papacy.” Rather than measuring him according to our interests and wants, we should make haste to pray for him. We should, further, [...]

The Cultures of Life and Death in Poetry

The Culture of Death in Poetry We are all familiar with Blessed John Paul II’s description of the Culture of Death in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.  The good Pope, of course, was not the first to notice and give expression to this phenomenon. In 1922, T. S. Eliot released to the world his account [...]

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