In light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family and the recent release of the working document on the Synod, the Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a special symposium on the Catholic vision of marriage and family life and the specific challenges to both living out and promoting that vision. In light of this effort, I wanted to kick off my contribution by looking briefly at why the family matters at all.More Than "'Cause God Said So"Many people know that the Church teaches t … [Read more...]
Why Is the Family So Important Anyway?– The Catholic Channel Symposium on the Extraordinary Synod for the Family.
Servant of God, Fr. Patrick Peyton, is famous for the slogan, "the family that prays together, stays together." In our books, our radio program and counseling practice, we strongly recommend both couple and family prayer as a way of increasing intimacy and responding to the differences that can divide. Of course, this isn't just true for families. Prayer is the means by which Jesus' own wish that all might be one in him (John 17:21) will be fulfilled. As Pope Francis has demonstrated rep … [Read more...]
We have a tendency to think that faith is faith. But we all recognize that faith grows and changes with time. What if faith evolved over specifically definable stages? What stage of faith would you be in? What stage of faith are you called to be moving toward?Universal Stages of FaithIn his classic book, Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning, Dr. James Fowler looks at how faith evolves over time. He identifies 6 Stages of Faith Development. I … [Read more...]
Conventionally, we tend to use words like, "faith", "spirituality", "belief" and "religion" interchangeably and, generally speaking, there isn't anything wrong with that. But it may interest you to know that for those who study the psychology of religion, these words do have different meanings. More than just an academic distinction, these differences can actually be quite enlightening and helpful for you in making clearer sense out of the different aspects of your own faith journey. Let's l … [Read more...]
It surprises many people that the Church will be canonizing both Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II this Sunday, April 4/27. Most of the commentary I've read sees this in political terms. That is to say, the perception by many secular observers seems to be that the Church is throwing a bone to liberals by canonizing their guy while the Church throws a bone to conservatives by canonizing their guy. I doubt there is much to this political angle, but I think there is a deeper, much more si … [Read more...]
This week, Pope Francis raised some eyebrows when, in an interview, he discussed the possibility of the Church endorsing "civil unions" for homosexual partners. He asserted that marriage was indeed for men and women only, but seemed to propose a more open minded and pastoral approach to the question of homosexual relationships than some would expect from the Church. His comments, as they often do, have caused some degree of consternation among many faithful Catholics who are fearful that Pope F … [Read more...]