Islam Brings Violence and Division, But the Church is One

11/17/2015 Comments (17)

"Muhammad Prohibiting Intercalation" (Wikimedia Commons)

The ninth ditch of Maleboge in Dante’s Inferno holds the schismatics. In his usual vividly appropriate imagery, Dante portrays the torture of the schismatics as being split in half with a demonic sword. Anthony Esolen translates Dante’s description with hellish language: “midstave split apart…so burst wide from the chin, severed down to where we fart.”
It is interesting that Dante puts Muhammad and his son Ali into the circle of schismatics. He thus follows the medieval understanding of Islam as a Christian schism. The imagery is violent because schism eventually leads to violence. Notice the violence of Islam. Notice the violence of the wars of religion and centuries of revolution and...READ MORE

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Learning to Be Scrappy in the Spiritual Life

11/17/2015 Comments (5)

My father was the first son of a single mom who had next to nothing. He never graduated from college, but with hard work and tough lessons, he was able to retire well by the age of 45.

I learned a lot from him growing up. One principle that he worked hard to teach me was to be “scrappy.” He taught me to be scrappy in life and this scrappiness has also translated well to developing a healthy prayer life.

I am by no means perfect in the virtues associated with being scrappy, but I have found that to the degree that I rely upon God and pursue the principles my father taught me, I have been able to make progress.

What does a scrappy person look like? Here are a few characteristics translated...READ MORE

Filed under prayer, spiritual life, spiritual progress

Dr. Louise Cowan: A Heart that Sees

11/17/2015 Comments (6)

The liberal arts world is mourning the luminous Dr. Louise Cowan, who died at the age of 98 after a life utterly given over to the love of literature, poetry, and her students. 

She had Homer, Faulkner, Dostoevsky and John Crowe Ransom at her fingertips, and she took the scholarship of Maritain and Cardinal Newman as a mandate. Her influence in the study of the humanities cannot be overstated. She and her husband, the late physicist Dr. Donald Cowan, converted to Catholicism in the 1950's and spent their days converting the heart of the educational world. 

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture lists some of her accomplishments

Dr. Louise S. Cowan was inaugural holder of the...READ MORE

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The 2nd Corporal Work of Mercy: “To Give Drink to the Thirsty”

11/16/2015 Comments (1)

Guercino (1591-1666), “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well”

The second corporal work of mercy might seem redundant, but is in fact a separate work of mercy. “To give drink to the thirsty” is similar to the action of “feeding the hungry,” but addresses a different need of the body and is not easily accomplished. There are many parts of the world, even in our own country, where fresh drinking water is scarce or impossible to find.

To highlight this need, let’s look at the crisis that is facing those in different parts of Africa:

“Every day in rural communities and poor urban centers throughout sub-Saharan Africa, hundreds of millions of people suffer from a lack of access to clean, safe water.

“Women and girls especially bear the burden of walking...READ MORE

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I’m Consecrating France to Mary. Want to Join Me?

11/16/2015 Comments (19)

(Benh Lieu Song, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Just before 10 p.m. local time on Friday, three coordinated groups of terrorists either suicide-bombed or opened fire in three different Paris venues. The first was during a concert at which American band Eagles of Death Metal was performing. The second was at a restaurant at which folks were enjoying a Friday night out, and the third was a soccer stadium during a game. In the end, 129 persons died and more than were 400 injured, many of them seriously. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

One of the dead is a 20-year-old California State University student, Nohemi Gonzalez, who had been studying for a semester in Paris.

Touches home, doesn’t it?

I’ve seen many pleas across the...READ MORE

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Pope Tells Lutheran to 'Talk to the Lord' About Receiving the Eucharist

11/16/2015 Comments (156)

Pope Francis addressing Rome's Evangelical Lutheran Church


Pope Francis has caused controversy by appearing to suggest that a Lutheran wife of a Catholic husband could receive holy Communion based on the fact that she is baptized and in accordance with her conscience.

During a question and answer session at an evening prayer service on Sunday in Rome’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Pope urged the Lutheran woman, Anke de Bernardinis,  to "talk to the Lord" about receiving holy Communion "and then go forward", but added that he "wouldn’t ever dare to allow this, because it’s not my competence."

The Pope was responding to de Bernardinis who asked him how she could finally achieve Eucharistic communion with her Catholic husband.

The Holy Father...READ MORE

Filed under divorce-remarriage, ecumenism, eucharist, lutheran, pope francis

Creating the New Normal

11/15/2015 Comments (4)

Like all the most vital things in life from deciding the fate of the nation in an election to having a child, marriage is an amateur sport.  It is designed by God to be done by people who have, by definition, never done it before and who have very little idea of what they are getting themselves into.  With voting, at least, you can learn from the last turkey you voted for and vote for somebody different in four years.  With kids, you can build up a fund of experience to draw on as you have more children.

But with marriage, you have no previous experience to draw on, except for what you learned from a) your parents and b) your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend.

Of these two sources, your...READ MORE

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Iranian President Rouhani Postpones Vatican Visit After Paris Attacks

11/14/2015 Comments (5)

President Hassan Rouhani

– YouTube

This post has been updated: 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has postponed his visit to the Vatican today following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris that left at least 120 dead.

Rouhani was scheduled to meet Pope Francis in private audience at 5pm on Saturday.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that due to the terrorist incidents in the French capital and in coordination with the hosts, “the Iranian president postponed his visit to Italy, Vatican and France to a more convenient time."

“It is better now to focus on fighting terrorism and President Rouhani's trip to Europe will happen in the near future,' he added, according to the Iranian news agency, IRNA. Rouhani...READ MORE

Filed under diplomacy, holy see, paris attacks, pope francis, president rouhani

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