As St. Bernard of Clairvaux said, every pontificate has its courtiers. The current one is no exception. Quite the opposite...
Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th-century saint and Doctor of the Church who renewed the Western monastic tradition, once warned that “The most grievous danger for any pope lies in the fact that, encompassed as he is by flatterers, he never hears the truth about his own person and ends by not wishing to hear it.” St. Bernard’s words came easily to mind as I read a recent Austen Ivereigh article for America magazine. In it, Ivereigh claimed that...
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In today’s post I would like to ponder some hard spiritual truths, but ones that will set us free. In calling them “hard truths”, I mean that they are not the usual cozy bromides that many seek. They speak bluntly about the more irksome and difficult realities we face. If we come to accept them, though, they have a strange way of bringing serenity by getting us to focus us on the right things rather than spending our time chasing after false dreams.
But love, first learned in a lady’s eyes...
It has been said that woman specializes in loving. There is a profound truth in this. It is not that men do not know how to love or are not called to love. But women, especially in their universal call to motherhood, exemplify a root feature of true love: affirming a person for who he is. Some might think that saying woman specializes in loving is a throw-away line. I disagree. The facts on the ground suggest otherwise.
What is wrong with me/us that Christianity keeps declining in our world?
Almost exactly two years ago, when I was writing on the Acts of the Apostles for my series on the books of the New Testament, I pointed out a striking translation of Acts 28:28, a translation used in the Liturgy of the Hours as the meditation point for the Invitatory Psalm 67...
The Tuesday Pillar Post: Notes from the road...
Today is the memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, and this is The Tuesday Pillar Post. This will be an unusually short Post, because I’m writing to you from the road; I am on a reporting trip for a few days this week. I spent about 12 hours Monday conducting interviews, and I’ve got several more scheduled for Tuesday. It will take a little while to publish the story I’m working on, but it’s the kind of things that’s of importance to the life and holiness of the Church...
Police kept a priest from giving Last Rites to Sir David Amess as he lay dying. Is this a news story?
The basic facts are clear and powerful: A member of of the UK Parliament is stabbed to death by a terrorist during an open, low-security town-hall meeting with citizens in Essex. It also appears that religion is part of this story. The key question, apparently, was whether to mention that Conservative MP David Amess was Catholic...
How is our Christian life driven by dogma?
The way man relates with God can first be identified by the image and likeness God gave man, and second, by how man freely engages in a relationship with Him especially through His Son Jesus Christ. One may argue that the seeds of our Christian life begin with Jesus’ suffering and death and then ignited by the Holy Spirit...
In October, remember the power of the Rosary...
October is the month which the Church has traditionally assigned to the rosary, and it is worth noting that this is the only such month devoted to a sacramental, an object, rather than a holy person or theme connected with them, as for example June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Strangely enough, there is no month dedicated to the cross of Christ, which is the by far the holiest devotional object for Catholics...
Have you ever received fake messages from your “priest?” Internet scammers see churches as easy prey, simple precautions can provide enormous protection...
Father David Mullen got the message every pastor dreads to hear thanks to 21st-century technology: “I think someone hacked your account.” An internet scammer had breached the Boston Archdiocese’s priests’ account back in August, looked at the content of his emails, and then proceeded to email people in his address book saying he needed to talk with the recipient “about something personal.”
16 tips to improving your parish hospitality...
Every parish has visitors, but not every visit is the same. Are your visitors having a positive experience? Will they come back? Do they feel welcomed? How is our hospitality to these visitors? Think of the last time you visited another parish for the first time. Did you know where to park? Did you find your way around easily?
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