Sacrifice

Sharia or Sahara: What’s Behind the Genocide in Nigeria?

Despite its patent absurdity, the meme that terror has nothing to do with Islam never seems to die. A reminder of its tenacity comes from Northern Nigeria where assaults on Christians by Muslims are routinely referred to by government, media, and the “international community” as “clashes.” “Over 2000 Nigerians killed in Farmers-Herdsmen clashes.” That typical [...]

France Honors a Catholic Soldier Murdered by a Terrorist

Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame (44) has become famous overnight. His family could well have done without his fame, since it came at such a cost—the sacrifice of his own life. He offered himself as a hostage in exchange for a wife and mother who was held captive by the terrorist Radouane Lakdim. Lakdim had taken [...]

Lent and the Great Paradox

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, [...]

Honoring the Fallen with a Place at the Table

Forced by circumstances to get a bite to eat at a “fast food” place, I expected to find that frenetic, machine-like service, centered on maximum efficiency and the worship of speed. Fast food facilities are designed to move people in and out quickly, with little concern for the pondering of anything. They are strictly focused [...]

The Wisdom Of Saint Mary Of Bethany

Six days before the Passover, one day before Palm Sunday, and not long before Holy Week, Jesus came to Bethany to where Lazarus was with his siblings, Martha and Mary (John 12:1-8). Parallel accounts in Matthew (26:6-13) and Mark (14:3-9) tell us that they were at the house of Simon the leper. While Martha served [...]

Some Marriage Advice for Engaged Couples

Recently a friend of mine and practicing Catholic asked me to be a groomsman in his wedding that will take place in December 2016. I felt honored but immediately the former pastor in me began to think about the question, “If I had half an hour with an engaged couple who were orthodox Christians, what [...]

The Infantilization of Parenting

British author Alexander Pope was perhaps the first writer to turn a "bad hair day" into a poem—really, a satirical tragedy.  Modern Americans, bereft of a sense of humor and inclined to view reality through the lens of a selfie, turn their bad hair days into epic farces. On the way to work in Washington [...]

The Catholic Response to Feel-Good Religion

You’re sitting in the dentist office and the hygienist you’re scheduled to see is running late so you pick up the latest issue of People magazine. You leaf through what feels like an endless stream of pop culture ephemera but then come to an article about an actress whose work you’ve come to respect. The [...]

The Call to Sacrifice Everything for God

“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”  ∼ Oscar Wilde Let me tell you about my least favorite scripture passage. Perhaps it is yours, too, so I needn’t be overly shy about sharing it with you. In fact, I rather suspect we’re in this together, which means, dear reader, [...]

Contra Rand

“The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.”  ∼ G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy What good will another hatchet job do? It’s easy, I’ve discovered, to invite criticisms ranging from the condescending (“Are you a bad writer, or just poorly educated?”) to the [...]

The Gift of Love is Not a Sacrifice

Love is not sacrifice. Love is gift. Without clearly seeing the difference between gift and sacrifice, the Christian message can only be muddled in a modern world where one man's sacrifice merely signifies his subjection to another man. In such a world the purpose of society is not to encourage the free exchange of gifts [...]

On Being and Staying Catholic in the Modern World

Editor’s note: The following is an address delivered June 7, 2014 to the graduating class of St. Michael the Archangel High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I love being here at this school. I love what you are trying to do. I am moved by the faith of your parents, and the generosity of your families, [...]

Chiara Corbella: A Witness to Joy

In worldly terms, Chiara Corbella’s life was not a success story: two children dying shortly after birth, herself ravaged by an aggressive cancer, which killed her at the young age of 28, leaving a beloved husband and a small son behind. This is not the kind of material dreams are made of. Yet when one [...]

Why Do We Honor Self-Sacrifice?

Memorial Day marks one of several days Americans celebrate the many great blessings that we have as a nation.  We traditionally do this by taking trips to the lake, playing baseball, and racing.  At these events, there is also always a moment in which we pause in silence to reflect.  On what are we collectively [...]

Until Abortion Ends

"What's the secret to comedy? Timing!" My director told me this again and again during rehearsals for a comedic play. It's true. All comedians know this rule, whether intuitively or because they have the same director as I had. Daniel Tosh is no exception. He recently had a young lady named Marion Jones on his show Tosh.O. [...]

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