Catholic Website Advises Parents: Obsession with the Occult is No Big Deal

The recently launched online Catholic magazine Crux has an advice column up, in which a parent is told that her child's obsession with the occult is probably no big deal:How would you feel if she were immersed in the Narnia books, written by the Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis, or in the dark and fantastical worlds imagined by J.R.R. Tolkein – a Catholic — in “The Lord of the Rings” novels? Many children in their pre-teen years find escape in fantasy.Yes, escape into fantasy is lovely.   … [Read more...]

A Right Relationship with Sister Death

The media is gushing over another high-profile suicide, which is of course high-profile precisely because the media chooses to gush over it.  What sane people do, when they learn that someone is contemplating killing themselves, is gently suggest a chat with the doctor about pain management.  Or they come over and help with the laundry. Dear Reporters, You are allowed to use both your brain and your moral sense when choosing how to cover a story.  When someone calls you with a big Suicide Sc … [Read more...]

ISIS and Just Warfare: Is Now the Time for Men of Good Will to Intervene?

 To join the discussion about Rise of ISIS, a Threat We Cannot Ignore, or to order a copy, go here. This month at Patheos we're discussing Jay Sekulow's book Rise of ISIS.  For a general review, check out Rebecca Hamilton's comments here.  She's been documenting the state of affairs in Iraq all summer, so her perspective is well worth your consideration. What is this book? The Rise of ISIS is a call to arms, plain and simple. The authors document the heinous crimes committed by … [Read more...]

#Synod14 – In Which Justice & Mercy Try Dating for a Bit

The overall theme of this month's Extraordinary Synod on the Family seems to be this: Catholics stink at being Catholic.  No, really, we're terrible at it.  Now what?The specific topic is everything that has to do with family life, marriage residing at the heart of that.  It turns out Catholics, like the rest of the world, aren't any better at marrying than we are at, say, remembering to read the parish bulletin.  And yet, weirdly, we still long for a deep, lasting, soul-rousing relationship … [Read more...]

If It Doesn’t Cost You Everything, You’re Not on the Little Way

I once made a mother cry by telling her it was the vigil of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.I thought I was doing her, and all the other 5th grade religious education parents, a favor.  We had failed to account for the feast in making our class schedule.  I knew that most of my students would not be able to slip out for a noon Mass on the day, and many had mandatory school activities in the evening.  But look! A vigil mass was scheduled during my class time, so please, parents, come gr … [Read more...]

In the Face of Such Evil, the Only Thing Left is Hope

For those who know what such a thing is, the theme around my corner of the Catholic world over the past few weeks has been Spiritual Warfare 101.  I don't have any particular talent for that fight, so it ends up about as unlovely as any other battlefield.You may be finding yourself on similarly unlovely territory just now.Despairing.  What is the point? How to continue in the face of this latest news, that latest turn of events? *** Meanwhile, my monthly Gospel reflection ran earlier t … [Read more...]

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...]


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