Sixth Spiritual Work of Mercy: Comfort the Afflicted

10/16/2015 Comments (2)

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905), "Compassion"

The sixth spiritual work of mercy highlights an act of charity that we too often neglect. In American society we tend to avoid, “comforting the afflicted,” and either try to solve the “problem” or dismiss a person’s suffering entirely. We are even told that suffering is a sign of weakness and so many of us will never bring up our affliction in front of others.

Simply put, we are afraid of suffering. It makes us feel uncomfortable.

As an example, I certainly fail in this regard when it comes to comforting my own wife. Like so many other men I try to “fix” my wife’s problems. She begins to tell me how hard it was at home with the kids and how stressed she is and I immediately begin to think...READ MORE

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How the Rosary Changed My Life

10/16/2015 Comments (10)

Lorenzo Lotto (1480–1556), "Madonna of the Rosary"

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, “The Rosary is the best therapy for these distraught, unhappy, fearful, and frustrated souls, precisely because it involves the simultaneous use of three powers: the physical, the vocal, and the spiritual…”

Archbishop Sheen was absolutely right, because my devotion to the Rosary began as therapy. At age 27, I look back at the many hours I spent praying the Rosary because of my brokenness. However, this is how God reeled me into something that would change my life forever.

While I was growing up, my family prayed the Rosary together daily. It may have been a couple of mysteries a night, but we hardly ever failed to pray it. My mother faithfully...READ MORE

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Take Another Look at “The Cardinal”, a Forgotten Catholic Bestseller

10/16/2015 Comments (4)

William Ewart Lockhart, "Cardinal of Rheims" (1876)

James Joyce’s inscrutable Finnegans Wake is now so much a part of the collective canon of literature in English—or any language, as it is a compendium of really all languages, as well as an invention of Joyce’s own—that it is worth remembering that when it first appeared in 1939, it was not as warmly-welcomed (or notoriously greeted) as Joyce’s previous masterpiece, Ulysses, in 1922 which had the promotional benefit of being banned for “obscenity”, which always helps sell books.

Part of that mild reception for Finnegans Wake was bad timing: World War II was about to break out, the Spanish Civil was proving that something worse than The Great War was definitely on the way, and Joyce’s own...READ MORE

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You Can Take the Mommy Out of the Home, But You Can’t Take the Home Out of the Mommy

10/16/2015 Comments (2)

Circle of William Anderson (1757–1837), "A Flagship Departing From Anchorage"

You can take the Mommy out of the home, but you can’t take the home out of the Mommy.

That’s what I tell my kids – what I’ve been telling them for years, now – every time I travel. It’s not just empty words of hopeful consolation; they’re true, and I really mean them.

I’m blessed to have gone on some amazing trips because of my work as a journalist. I’ve been to Israel, Rome, Jordan, and soon I’ll be traveling to the Philippines with Catholic Relief Services as part of the Egan Journalism Fellowship.

In between those, I’ve covered World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 for the Register and done a long string of speaking engagements all over the United States.

I love the people,...READ MORE

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You Are Created in the Image and Likeness of God and Redeemed by Jesus Christ

10/15/2015 Comments (13)

A reader wrote in to ask what I think about this story, where a young boy underwent monstrous “reparative therapy” because he exhibited feminine behavior, only to end up killing himself at 38.

As you may have gathered, I think it monstrous. This will no doubt confuse people who have noted that I think homosexual acts to be sinful and believe much homosexual agitprop to be militant, intolerant, and totalitarian in intent.

So why do I think this particular “therapy” monstrous? For the same reason I oppose totalitarian attempts and acts of violence calculated to force me to approve of homosexual acts: because I believe in human freedom and dignity.

Here’s the thing: Grace builds on and...READ MORE

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Have Faith! The Catholic Church Can Never Teach Heresy

10/15/2015 Comments (23)

Basilio de Santa Cruz (1661-1696), "Immaculate Virgin Victorious Over the Serpent of Heresy"

My dad was a theologian so I learned the word “heretic” very quickly. I remember spouting off the definition to a family friend when I was around 6 years old. The friend was very impressed.

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” he said.

Little did he know how right he was.

Like my father, I strayed from the faith I was raised in, although he had the excuse of being raised nominally Episcopalian and then finding the Catholic Church after several interesting twists and turns.

I, on the other hand, was definitely raised Catholic. My parents were black-belt Catholics and passed on the faith with enthusiasm and vigor. I had no excuses.

Nevertheless, I became an atheist. And when I...READ MORE

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Mother Teresa Knew That Mercy and Truth Are Never In Conflict

10/15/2015 Comments (5)

By Manfredo Ferrari [CC BY-SA 4.0]

At the core of the divisive campaign to coerce the Synod of the Family, into approval of reception of Communion by divorced-remarried Catholics and of homosexual behavior, lies this defamatory assertion: That the Church leaders who insist on upholding key Catholic teachings about these matters are cold and harsh pastors, insensitive to today’s complex human realities.

Really? Then somebody must have forgotten to send this important moral memo to Blessed Mother Teresa, and to her spiritual daughters in the selfless Missionaries of Charity order she founded. And the word obviously must not have gone out to passionately pastoral shepherds like Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who...READ MORE

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Four Takeaways from the Floor of the Synod

10/15/2015 Comments (1)

VATICAN CITY – This afternoon in Rome, Father Federico Lombardi delivered the tenth Synod briefing in the St. John Paul II Hall inside the Holy See Press Office. Spanish, French, and German media attachés translated his remarks and commented on interventions made in their languages. Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki from Poznań, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference since 2014, and Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes from Tlalnepantla in Mexico, until recently President of the Latin American Episcopal Conference (or, CELAM), fielded questions from journalists.

At the top of his remarks, Father Thomas Rosica indicated ninety-three interventions were made on the floor of the synod aula between...READ MORE

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