August 20, 2018

Pope Francis has now issued a letter in response to the recent heart-wrenching revelations regarding clerical sexual abuse and cover-up in the United States. I’ve seen plenty of criticism of it already: empty words with no action; didn’t mention X, Y, or Z; those who are victims in some respect (including those who weren’t directly abused, but whose trust in the Church has been shattered through no fault of their own) should be explicitly excused from the call to prayer… Read more

August 15, 2018

God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,… Read more

August 9, 2018

These are disturbing and disorienting times for Catholics. Who can show us the way to God? What separates us from our Protestant brethren is that we look to the institutional Church as our sure guide—our priests who bring us God’s true Presence in the Sacraments, and our Bishops, especially the Bishop of Rome, who teach us to better know God and His will for our lives. But wait, those priests, those Bishops? The ones we’re finding out have been leading… Read more

August 3, 2018

A Catholic is no longer free to support recourse to the death penalty. In revising number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has left no doubt about the magisterial earnestness of the remarks he delivered last October on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism, which provide the basis for this revision of the Catechism: “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and the dignity of the person.”… Read more

July 26, 2018

Like kudzu, our ponderous fixation on sex and sexuality overspreads and smothers the public square and moral discourse. Conservatives, progressives, centrists, Catholics, non-Catholics: we layer the world obsessively in sex-talk. Wisdom would take one step back, to marvel at the strangeness of the spectacle, its lack of proportion. It is not my intent to bury the important truths of that little gem of an encyclical, Humanae vitae (HV), which was signed by Blessed Pope Paul VI on yesterday’s Feast of the… Read more

July 19, 2018

This little saying was shared recently on the Facebook page of a parish that shall remain nameless: The saints were saints because they were cheerful when it was difficult to be cheerful, patient when it was difficult to be patient, silent when they wanted to speak, and agreeable when they felt an urge to scream. They pushed forward when they wanted to stand still. Last I checked the post had 17 likes and loves (all but one of them from… Read more

July 6, 2018

The junior priest who is an excellent homilist, singer, and confessor was transferred to another parish in the Diocese last week. I was thinking I should wait and see how his freshly-ordained replacement would do, but the Lord sent me a clear sign it was time now to flee this white-washed sepulcher of a parish. The very next day, the pastor gave a homily putting one person’s refusal to serve someone in a restaurant “just because of the Administration they… Read more

July 4, 2018

“Look, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of sinners.” — Matthew 26:45 It would be foolish to deny it: sometimes God’s presence is held in evil hands. This is the mystery of His Passion—that He let himself be handed over this way. And because the sacrifice of His Passion is perpetually offered, this is not an event locked-up in the past, but an ever present reality. We cannot expect to… Read more

July 2, 2018

The economy of grace places under judgment all economic thinking of the sort, “This is mine; I’m not sharing.” Yesterday’s second Mass reading is social dynamite, if we have the mind and heart to take it seriously: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich… Not that others should have ease while you are afflicted, but that as a… Read more

June 8, 2018

Salvation takes time. It is not a binary state: saved/unsaved. Though justification does in fact belong to the heart of Christianity, justification must increase (which is called sanctification). To get this wrong risks turning Christian election into partisanship, as if we are a remnant against the world. The truth is other: election is always only ever for mission. We are a remnant for the world. If we are called out of Babylon, chosen to be church, it’s because we have been entrusted… Read more

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