Why God-Centered Liturgy Matters So Much

It is, of course, a sin against the virtue of justice to spend your Mass singing songs about yourself, since it is to God that we owe our worship. But just in case fear of the Almighty wasn’t enough for you, a story about why this is also a sin against your fellow man: So I have this friend, Eastern Orthodox, who expressed interest in visiting a Catholic parish near her home.  I told her I’d watch for some mutually-convenient… Read more

Mercy That Isn’t: More Teachers Being Thrown Under the Bus to Cover for Dissenting Administrators

H/T to Deacon Greg Kandra for pointing out the most recent case of a Catholic school teacher being fired after parents found out about her same-sex civil wedding.  Let me remind you right now that I hold 100% with the teachings of the Catholic faith.  I succeed at following them about 2% of the time, but that’s a problem with getting me to behave, not a problem with the ideals themselves. The details reported at Philly.com are sparse, but raise a… Read more

Will Suffering Make Your Marriage Better or Worse?

Suffering is called “suffering” because it’s horrible.  The amount of horror can vary from low-grade misery to unspeakable darkness, and furthermore some types of suffering are harder on a given marriage than others. In addition to objective differences — a week with a bad cold is less suffering than years of intractable scream-out-loud pain — each couple is composed of two people with their own strengths, weaknesses, and quirks, as well as their own distinct resources. Thus, for example, not… Read more

Is Abstinence Hard on a Marriage?

NFP Awareness Week is around the corner, and in certain quarters bloggers are already expressing painful awareness.  The topic is abstinence, lots of abstinence, and just how miserable that can make a pair of persons.  Big question: Do extended periods of abstinence harm a marriage? To a certain extent it’s a moot point, and we’ll come back to that in several ways. As a recap, here’s Church teaching on sex, marriage, and abstinence in a nutshell: Sex is for making… Read more

How to Protect Religious Freedom? Practice Your Religion

I was surprised the other day to learn that the Episcopal church had just voted to allow same-sex weddings.  The surprising part wasn’t the “Episcopal” the “same-sex” or even the “voted.”   I was surprised that this was news.  I thought the Episcopalians had decided to go this route ages ago.  I had no idea — I mean seriously, no idea — that such questions were still being debated as recently as a week ago. The reason I was surprised… Read more

Why Do We Evangelize?

When I wrote on evangelization and discipleship yesterday, an old question came to my attention: How do we justify this behavior? Very specifically, I want to talk about something that bothered me my from my tour through Protestant Evangelical world, and that I think is a reason many Catholics view “evangelization” with skepticism. Think, for example, of this illustration I gave in my previous post: And then, get this: After the mature Catholic hits “play” on the DVD, he or… Read more

Want Religious Freedom? Ditch the Assembly Line and Start Raising Mature Catholics

So my How to Prevent Same Sex Couples from Suing Us post garnered reactions pretty similar to all my other what if we did what the Church says we should do posts about catechesis (a smattering linked below).  The three main reactions are: Nice idea, but priests have too much work as it is. Nice idea, but how exactly do we make this happen? Um. What?? But to give you an idea of how far off the cliff the Church has already… Read more

How to Make Sense of Pope Francis News, This Saturday on Outside the Walls

Yesterday I had more fun than a person should be allowed to have before 10AM, recording my contribution to the July 4th segment of Outside the Walls with Timothy Putnam.  The topic was my blog post on Weird Things Pope Francis Says.  What you get if you tune in Saturday morning: Tim & I talking about communication styles, and how that affects our reading of the Bible, the Pope, and Everything.  (Evangelization is a nice slice of the Everything.) The… Read more

Flag Frenzies, Social Media, and the Demise of Human Rights

June was a busy flag month, and I’m concerned it’s costing us our humanity. In the wake of the SCOTUS decision overturning state marriage laws, Facebook broke out in rainbow flags, and if you run in the circles I do, you saw a rash of yellow-and-white Vatican flags pop up in reply.  So be it.  People like their flags.  But something more nefarious seems to be happening: People are becoming their flags. We have become such a symbol-heavy culture that we… Read more

10 Things Christian Kids Need to Prepare for an Uncertain Future

In a private conversation Elizabeth Scalia posed a question, and I’m going to paraphrase it wildly: If you are the parent of young children, are you afraid for what the future holds for them? It’s a question people are answering this week whether it’s been asked or not: What does the future hold for faithful Christians in a culture that despises our faith? My answer is, very bluntly, is that whenever I’ve had my head on straight, I’ve always been terrified… Read more

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