elderly

Trump Still Wins the Personality Contest

At the end of September, Public Discourse published a series of columns about voting for Trump. Or not. Mostly not. Mostly ewww. Brandon McGinley argues the usual yadda-yadda that Christians have no home in either political party. I don’t know about you, but my home is where my family lives. I don’t look for a [...]

Party with the Old, Play with the Young

An unfortunate occurrence in our era is the isolation of age groups, the idealization of youth, and the neglect of both the elderly and the very young. By isolating the age groups, gratitude and sacrificial love fall out of practice. But when generations live together, life falls into proper perspective, which fosters receptivity to the [...]

God is in the Details

Elderly people often think that some of their recollections are unimportant in the grand scheme of things. With the recent Titanic centenary still vivid this season, there are recorded eyewitness accounts of three priests giving general absolution: Juozas Montvila of Lithuania, hoping to minister to his compatriots who had fled to America from Czarist persecution,  [...]

Obama and His Rivals Duck the Entitlement Crisis

Some of society's most intractable problems come not from its failures but from its successes. Often you can't get a good thing without paying a bad price. A prime example is our public old-age pension system, Social Security. It has been completely successful in wiping out poverty among the elderly. Old ladies no longer have [...]

Protect Animals, but Don’t Forget about People

  The Australian government has halted all exports of live animals to Indonesia. This means that Indonesian abattoirs will have to find other sources of beef and Australian Aborigines will have to find other jobs. The ban was a hasty response to images of appalling brutality in a few Indonesian abattoirs. Animal welfare activists and [...]

Boehner’s Critics Misrepresent Catholic Social Teaching

  Earlier this month, over 80 Catholic scholars -- mostly professors -- sent an open letter to Rep. John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, on the occasion of his presenting the commencement address at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. They accused him of being out of line with the [...]

VIDEO: The Lost Children of Moldova

I don't know much about Moldova, except that it's sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine and is the poorest country in Europe. Massive economic migration is creating an entire generation of parentless children. Thousands of working-age adults have fled the country to find work, leaving their children with older relatives or in shelters. In some villages [...]

Bearing Witness: François Mauriac and Elie Wiesel

No one will bear witness for the witness. -- Paul Celan, poet and Holocaust survivor "To believe" has thus a twofold reference: to the person, and to the truth: to the truth, by trust in the person who bears witness to it. -- The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 177   Elie Wiesel survived Auschwitz [...]

Newsflash: Benedict isn’t the angry, aloof pope we keep insisting he is.

Deacon Greg linked to an article in the Vancouver Sun this morning that wrapped up the pope's UK visit, and I'm exasperated just from the title: Pope sheds 'Vatican Rottweiler' image on Britain trip Really? Are we still acting surprised when, once again, Pope Benedict turns out to be nothing like the angry caricature so [...]

DIYstributism

Commenter H.D.W.  (7th comment down) wisely suggested a "Do It Yourself" approach to Distributism: To make economies more centered on individuals and families, work to make your household a place of value creation. This is both powerful and satisfying. Gardening, homeschooling, raising chickens, caring for elderly parents, shopping at the farmers market, fixing your own [...]

Is it Time to Rethink Confession for Minors?

In confronting the present crisis, measures to deal justly with individual crimes are essential, yet on their own they are not enough: a new vision is needed, to inspire present and future generations to treasure the gift of our common faith. -- Pope Benedict XVI, "Letter to the Irish People" "Tell me the details," I [...]

The real cause of the recession: not enough babies

A Vatican economist has a very different suggestion for stimulating the economy: have more babies. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi explains:   "The true cause of the crisis is the decline in the birth rate,” Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, said in an interview on Vatican Television's "Octava Dies."He noted the Western world's population growth rate is at 0% [...]

Lilies that Fester: Spiritualized Envy

If you haven't read The Screwtape Letters, you should. In fact, click over there right now and buy it. C. S. Lewis's harrowing look inside of the mind of a "designated tempter" (he's just like a guardian angel, except . . . the opposite) isn't just insightful entertainment; it's more like reading an intercepted copy [...]

A Catholic Writer Who Does Not Turn Away

In recent years, the phrase "Catholic writer" has become highly problematic. Some bestow it like a laurel on the brow of anyone who writes about pious Catholics who manage, through thick and thin, to follow all the rules. Others use the label in a nostalgic (and laudable) quest to find the next O'Connor, Percy, or [...]

An Epiphany

In most years, Epiphany marks the real beginning of winter here in northern Illinois. November and December roll along, as temperatures drop and the days grow shorter, but the weather that we normally associate with the Upper Midwest -- days-long snowstorms, blowing winds, bitter temperatures -- make their appearance about the same time as the [...]

Acting Pro-Life

  There is an elderly man in our parish whose self-appointed mission during Mass is to angrily harass any parent who dares to linger in the apse of the church for a second after his or her child begins to fuss. It's discouraging to see this sort of behavior in a parish with so many [...]

Taking Up Arms

Rebellion has long been a popular theme in film -- particularly that which arises out of the struggle between the working classes and the elites. Unfortunately, the specific details of these stories often lead one straight to controversy. Take, for example, the recently acclaimed Pan's Labyrinth: Guillermo del Toro's fairytale is overwhelmed by the struggle [...]

Spiritual Rehab

"Mademoiselle, please help me!" The old woman's hand trembles above the arm of the wheelchair. I glance around the bustling hallway, noting all the nurses, technicians, and nurses' aides. Nobody appears to have heard the plaintive cry. "I beg you, take me to my room!" "Where is your room?" I ask briskly, since I am [...]

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