Falling in Love with Love

"One has never achieved complete faith. Faith has to be lived again and again in life and in suffering, as well as in the great joys that God sends us. It is never something that I can put in my pocket like a coin . . . The essence of faith is that I do not meet with something that has been thought up, but that here something meets me that is greater than anything we can think of for ourselves . . . The Christian faith brings us consolation, that God is so great that he can become small. And … [Read more...]

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Everything that exists is thought, poured forth

Faith is not the resignation of reason in view of the limits of our knowledge; it is not a retreat into the irrational in view of the dangers of a merely instrumental reason. Faith is not the expression of weariness and flight but is courage to exist and an awakening to the greatness and breadth of what is real.Faith is an act of affirmation; it is based on the power of a new Yes, which becomes possible for man when he is touched by God. It seems to me important, precisely amid the rising … [Read more...]

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Tired Benedict Needs our Prayers

(photo source)"Benedict turns 85 in the new year, so a slowdown is only natural. Expected. And given his age and continued rigorous work schedule, it's remarkable he does as much as he does and is in such good health overall: Just this past week he confirmed he would travel to Mexico and Cuba next spring.But a decline has been noted as Benedict prepares for next weekend's grueling Christmas celebrations, which kick off two weeks of intense public appearances. [...] Back at home, however, … [Read more...]

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Church, Economic Reform and Consolation – UPDATED

In the comments section of this piece, some appear to be wondering whether I am simply "dismissing" the Note on Financial Reform. I can't do that, as I still have not read it.I do think the church is, as ever, caught upon the same wire it has danced upon since its founding, with one foot poised for the next step, hovering between earth and heaven and trying to reconcile both to each other, and trying to do so in the language and sensibilities to which its churchmen have been formed. Some … [Read more...]

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Horizontal Schisms meet Vertical Hope

Every once in a while, something comes across the desk or email and and it makes you aware of how quickly time goes by.For instance, it seems like just yesterday, I was talking about debuting a new column in The Catholic Answer Magazine, and "holy smokes...a month has gone by!" and here is my second column, entitled "And They Will Set You Free"Imagine a people, and the church in which they grow up — a church in which the people worshipped with fervor during adolescence and to which, perhaps … [Read more...]

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Times Headline and Benedict XVI

Or, as Michael B. Dougherty wrote here at twitpic:This headline would be grabbier if it said "Pope Was Right, Times Wrong"But then, that's been known for a while … [Read more...]

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Benedict's Mustard Seed in Germany

It got almost no coverage in the mainstream media -- and what coverage there was generally was of the "protesters will greet the pope" variety that prefaced his enormously successful visit, last year, to the United Kingdom -- but Pope Benedict XVI was quietly impressive and persuasive in Germany, last week.The world may little have noted it, but the truth is, all of Benedict's papal visits have been those very quiet triumphs. A few years back Spengler, writing in the Asia Times, characterized … [Read more...]

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WYD: Sweet Sisters, Magnificent Papa & Wrap

I just love this:At the end of [The Pope's] meeting with some 1,600 young religious women — most under 35 — he intoned the Lord’s Prayer in Latin and the sisters joined in. The pope and his aides — all men — usually lead the singing when the pope is with a large group, but the papal aides drew back quickly and the pope lowered his volume, letting the sisters’ fill the courtyard with their voices.Go here to listen. It's just lovely.Did anyone else think, as I did, that the pope looked happ … [Read more...]

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Hope and Grace; Reports from WYD -UPDATED

I really like the logo for this year's World Youth Day gathering in Madrid:I also like a lot of the writing and reports I'm seeing from pilgrims. Patheos' own Tim Muldoon's piece is a very fine exposition of the hopes and faith that lie behind the celebrations that some too-quickly dismiss as "Catholic Woodstock":In making a pilgrimage to WYD, then, we seek a deeper and a greater hope, one that does not fall prey to the silly trading of power from one generation to the next. We seek the … [Read more...]

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When Young Faith is Tested

In his column today, Matt Emerson, who teaches at a Jesuit prep school, expresses concern over the effectiveness of our current religious education programs. Addressing the aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, he writes of working through Psalm 46:Those classes, and that day, were sacred moments. There had been an uncovering. In the darkened room, in the mild glow of a projector screen bearing ancient words, I had been given an x-ray of my students' spiritual life. The images were … [Read more...]

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