Annulments, Divorce, Remarriage: We’ve Got it All Backwards

The Synod for the Family is coming up, and one of the vexing problems it hopes to address is the situation of Catholic bigamists and polygamists.Vocabulary review:Digamy is the act of marrying again after one's spouse has died, and is a topic that comes up among the early Church Fathers with respect to clergy marriage.  It's a non-issue for the laity (us normal people who aren't ordained), but it's fun to say out loud, so everyone should know what it means. Bigamy is the act of m … [Read more...]

Catholic Education: You Can’t Serve Two Masters

One of the reigning errors of our insecure, perpetually-offended culture is the Approval One is the Rejection of All Others fallacy.  So allow me to be perfectly clear: My love of homeschooling is in no way a rejection of our Catholic schools.Not for a moment.  Those who pay attention in real life know that I put quite a lot of effort into steering families towards their local Catholic schools whenever I can.*Thus in the busyness of getting the new school year going, I was dismayed to ha … [Read more...]

Get Young Adults to Join Your Parish in Two Easy Steps, Guaranteed.

The question came up at Sherry Weddell's Intentional Disciples discussion forum: How does one attract and keep "young adults" in the parish?  I've been that young adult and I've spent a fair bit of time talking with the faithful Catholic young adults who don't show up at the St. Moribund's of this world, so I've got a pretty good grasp on the dynamic.  I'm sorry to report the answer is exceedingly simple:1. Be serious about following Jesus.2. Get out of the way.Don't believe me?   … [Read more...]

Biblical Catholics are So Childish – today in the Gospel

Today's pre-prayed Gospel at is the "Let the children come to me" passage in Matthew.  Couldn't have been more timely, I'm perpetually devolving into rehashed childishness.   You know this Gospel so well you're probably ready to throw promotional trinkets at the wicked DRE who tricked you into volunteering for VBS this year:Is there something new to be found in this reading? No.  There is something very old.  Just don't even start with me about how this passage is your ex … [Read more...]

Something Fun & Good: Secret Prayer Friends

PSA for those who don't already know this tip:  Pick someone and pray for them a little bit every day.  Indefinitely. You can't pray for everyone. You can pray for the whole world in a general way, of course.  But you can't pray specifically for every person in the whole world, because there aren't that many seconds in the day.  You probably don't even have time to say a Glory Be for each person you personally know, unless maybe you are a hermit.  Most of the people that you pray for are going … [Read more...]

God is on the Altar, but He isn’t the Guy in Vestments

Round about the moment of the consecration, there's a massive case of identity confusion going on in the minds of many of the faithful.  The Holy Spirit descends upon the altar, and something at the front of the church turns into the Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus Christ.Hint: It isn't the guy who was there the minute before.  It's the one who just showed up.(I mean okay, yes, God was hanging around the whole time.  It's what He does.  But at the consecration He becomes pr … [Read more...]

Tax Collectors and Other Sinners: Family Life & the Place of Wayward Catholics in the Parish

Rebecca Hamilton has written a beautiful and moving testimony on the nature of family life, and I think it gives us exactly the answer to the problem of Catholics who struggle with the Catholic faith.  What's the right thing to do with our fellow Catholics who don't quite have it all together?  People who are egregiously mistaken in their understanding of serious matters?Our Lord answers the question quite plainly: Treat them as you would the pagans and tax collectors.Before you sharpen t … [Read more...]