November 15, 2019

Contrary to the way many people react, abortion is not one of the deadly sins. This does not make issues surrounding abortion unimportant, but it does mean we should recognize there are fundamental concerns which lead to abortion, concerns which transcend the issue of abortion itself. We must recognize the dignity of life, of all life, and not just one kind of life; we must likewise recognize and respect the whole moral teaching of the church, taking into consideration what… Read more

November 14, 2019

In the ante-Nicene era, Christians and pagans both took notice of the words of Jesus concerning the rich and the poor. In Luke, we find his message summarized in two statements: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Lk. 6:20v RSV). “But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation” (Lk. 6:24 RSV). For many pagans, it was words like these which they believe explained why many of the underclass became Christian…. Read more

November 12, 2019

“How do you expect to communicate with the ocean, when you can’t even understand one another?”[1] Science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem was skeptical that humanity would be able to communicate with alien lifeforms. He thought it likely that humanity would find itself dealing with something which is so completely other, something which thinks and acts and has potentials so vastly different from itself, that humans probably would not recognize an alien intelligence if it were right in front of them. Even… Read more

November 11, 2019

Christians, even in the ante-Nicene era (as can be seen in the catacombs), created and used images in their places of worship. The human spirit wants to express itself in and through images, through symbols and works of art which present those symbols, for we realize that through them, we have a way to access and experience the kingdom of God. Historically, Christians first act out their beliefs in worship, so that through their prayers, they demonstrate what they believe…. Read more

November 7, 2019

In May of 2015, Pope Francis released what could be the central encyclical of his papacy, Laudato si’. In it, he explained the great need for humanity to come together and deal with the environmental crisis which is before us today. “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”[1] Everyone needs to be involved, because everyone… Read more

November 6, 2019

The Amazon Synod has caused many to complain about the influence of pagan thought and practices on the Christian faith. They reject inculturation because they believe nothing with a pagan pedigree should be accepted by Christians. Likewise, many think the Western tradition can be and should be reduced to one kind of practice, one cultural norm, and any engagement of inculturation undermines the norm which they want to establish. Thus, they fight long and hard, with rhetorical flourish, against any… Read more

November 5, 2019

There are two important elements to theological reflection. The first, and primary, is to recognize our own fallibility when dealing with transcendental truths. That is, our intellectual ability, however great it is, has its limits. The truth transcends our intellect. But beyond that, there are various levels of reflection possible, each which transcend our complete comprehension. On one level are those truths which, on their own, we can mostly ascertain with our intellect, but when combined together, form paradoxes, because… Read more

November 4, 2019

Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols (1Cor. 10:14 RSV). Idolatry is spiritually dangerous because it distorts the relationship between God and creation. Indeed, it is insidious, as it often takes something which is good and true, something which is honorable and worthy of respect but encourages us to focus our spiritual attention on it instead of God. Through idolatry, we transform some created good and absolutize it, putting it in the place of God instead of honoring and… Read more

November 1, 2019

The first of November is the third of three different feast days dedicated to two twin brothers, Sts. Cosmas and Damian (the other dates being July 1 and October 17). As Holweck noted, though these three feasts are often suggested as representing three different pairs of twin brothers, the likelihood is that it is really the same pair being remembered and celebrated, with each feast day coming from a particular region or church. “This multiplication, however, is an obvious error,… Read more

October 31, 2019

If you see in a province the poor oppressed and justice and right violently taken away, do not be amazed at the matter; for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them (Eccl. 5:8 RSV). In what can only be said to be both great irony and great hypocrisy at the same time, several conservative groups wrote a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics, suggesting that Nancy Pelosi, and the House,… Read more

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