Life

Beware of False (Political) Prophets

In Acts 5, we read that Peter and the Apostles have been brought before the Sanhedrin, whose high priest chastises them for preaching in the name of Jesus, which they had been forbidden to do. Peter and the other Apostles respond that “We must obey God, not men” (v. 29). The Sanhedrin, furious, want to [...]

The Pope Gets Political

Evangelium Vitae - the "Gospel of Life" - is a warning and a plea to the people of the United States and other developed nations. The warning is that ours is fast becoming a culture of death. The plea is for us to join together in building a new culture of life. Pope John Paul [...]

Remembering the Jesus Seminar

Three major news magazines did it this past Easter season. One should feel guilty about letting these journals set the agenda for theological discourse, or for any discourse, for that matter. C. S. Lewis thought that the reading of any magazine was bad for one's English (he died before the advent of Crisis). It cannot [...]

Christmas Books

  The joys of Christmas do not include coping with crowds at shopping malls or wracking your brains trying to figure out what to get as a gift for someone who already seems to have everything. Books are a way out of both situations. You don't even have to go to a bookstore, with books [...]

The Reel Jesus

The image of Christ in the visual arts is a history of reverence, wonder, and controversy. Art historically, one can trace the depiction of Christ from an icon of power and transcendental remoteness to a depiction -- especially prevalent in modern times -- of Christ as a man of flesh and blood, seemingly more human [...]

Good Things

Life has many good things. The problem is that most of these good things can be gotten only by sacrificing other good things. We all recognize this in our daily lives. It is only in politics that this simple, common sense fact is routinely ignored. In politics, there are not simply good things but some [...]

The Price Is Right

Last week I outlined just how complicated the economy really is. Society is confronted with the almost incalculable problem of how to meet the indefinite needs of a massive and diverse population. Anyone who has raised a decent-sized family knows just how hard it is to satisfy even a small group of people whom you [...]

Exposing Euthanasia through the Arts

"I killed my brother. But it wasn't murder. I did what I had to, to stop his pain." -- Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley, House "Can you not read the signs of the times?" Perhaps Christ's most ominous warning, it echoes down the centuries as an admonishment to every generation of believers. Why are we always [...]

Life Imitating Art

As Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” Evidence in support of his statement can be found in this mind-boggling article, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal: Life isn't easy for the self-proclaimed superhero who calls himself "Phoenix Jones, Guardian of Seattle." A 22-year-old day-care worker by day, he dons [...]

Inside the Abortion Machine

As a 30-year veteran fighting in the trenches of the abortion war, I found Abby Johnson's book unPlanned -- a story published only 18 months after she quit her job as head of a Bryan, Texas, Planned Parenthood abortion clinic -- remarkable. The book is commendable on a number of levels. First, Johnson's conversion from [...]

Liberating Motherhood

The feminist slogan of the sixties, "sisterhood is powerful," was not in itself a falsehood, but insofar as it led to an eclipse or a denial of the value of motherhood, it created a great deal of confusion and unhappiness for young women. Whereas the late John Paul II saw motherhood as a fulfillment of [...]

The Prophet of Hyde Park: Secrets of a Street-Corner Evangelist

One brisk, gray afternoon in London, I stood on a corner of Hyde Park with one of Frank Sheed's old friends. "That's the spot where he used to stand and preach," she said with a wistful smile. Now an elderly widow, in the 1940s and 1950s she had worked in the London Catholic Evidence Guild [...]

VIDEO: March for Life

Here's a video of the March for Life making its way around the blogosphere today. Lots of shiny, happy faces -- especially young sisters and priests. The pro-life movement is young, and that makes the future a little brighter. [video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_0UIxsMdQ4&feature=player_embedded 635x355]

A Christian Ironist

Reviewing a novel by Martin Amis recently in the pages of The Weekly Standard, David Gelernter spoke of irony as a "glacier that has pinned modern culture under its massive arrogance." A nifty turn of phrase, certainly. But surely it applies to irony as it is currently known and practiced, not to the irony of [...]

Christopher Dawson: Christ in History

As one of the premier Catholic historians in this century, Christopher Dawson sought to rehabilitate both the history of salvation and religion in Europe. Strongly embraced by conservatives today, Dawson was considered an innovative scholar among his peers. Even after Dawson's conversion in 1919, his interdisciplinary approach to history stirred controversy among Catholic scholars. Dawson [...]

Life in the Late Republic: The Catholic Role in America After Virtue

Exactly 70 years ago, in 1940, Rev. John Courtney Murray gave a series of three college talks. For his theme, he chose the "concept of a Christian culture." After his death, his Jesuit brothers fused the talks into a single essay called "The Construction of a Christian Culture." It's a modest word change. But that [...]

White House Still Claiming No Abortion Funding in Health Care Bill

A new Obama administration web site was launched late last night called "Health Reform in Action."  In the section "Myths & Facts," the first so-called myth is, "Health insurance reform will use my tax dollars to fund abortions." How does the Obama administration refute this assertion, supported by the Catholic bishops, National Right to Life, [...]

Why Is the Archdiocese of Chicago Funding Protests Against the Arizona Diamondbacks?

This blog post from the always fluent Lisa Graas got my attention today, given that I've been trying lately to make sense how the CCHD decides to give away our money.   The Chicago Worker's Collaborative (CWC) receives CCHD funding through the Chicago Archdiocese.  As a part of their "Boycott Arizona" campaign, the CWC has targeted [...]

Speaker Pelosi Won’t Say When Jesus Got Right to Life

 A few months ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), speaking to a Catholic audience, said that her favorite word was The Word, as in the Incarnate Jesus Christ, and that she wanted to pass laws "in keeping with the values" of that Word. More recently, Speaker Pelosi was doing an interview where a Catholic News [...]

The Hook: A Week in the Life of a Catholic Preacher

It's Thursday night, and Rev. Bill Parent, a Roman Catholic priest, is still struggling with the opening of his Sunday homily. His fingers sit unmoving on his computer keyboard. He has had several ideas, but none has taken hold. He writes two sentences, stops, and rubs his chin. Then he quickly highlights them and presses [...]

The Gift

"You're a married priest? I didn't know we had married priests. I think the Church should let all her priests marry."   Words like these have greeted me frequently since my ordination to the priesthood in 1983, with dispensation from the rule of celibacy. I always assure those who favor optional celibacy that both my [...]

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