Should We Smile, Smile, Smile?

11/10/2015 Comments (14)

Many Catholics will tell you that we must smile for the sake of the kingdom. We are all evangelists of one kind or another. If we want to sell the Good News to other people, we need to present it in an attractive package -- and so smiling and looking happy is the best way to show that our Faith is something worth having.

Is this so? What if we're not actually happy, because of temperament or circumstance? What if the person we're dealing with is repulsive? Isn't it a form of deception to smile when we don't feel it?

At The Personalist Project, Marie Meaney says

I’ve been re-reading Brian Kolodiejchuk’s book on Mother Teresa and noticed how much this “saint of darkness”, as she called...READ MORE

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The Medieval Mind and the Modernist Error

11/10/2015 Comments (28)

A meeting of doctors at the university of Paris. From the "Chants royaux" manuscript, 1537. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.)

I spend much of my of time reading the words and trying understand the thought processes of the medieval mind. Christendom between the years 500 and 1500 was a time and place with a view of the world profoundly different from ours, and within those 1000 years that view itself change profoundly. (The idea of the Renaissance as some great opening of the human mind, which had been shuttered since the fall of Rome, is radically, demonstrably false.) The pre-modern world was imbued with a natural wonder that sang with the presence of God and was the battlefield where invisible hosts of angels and demons fought over each soul. The work of the intellectual was to unfold the majesty and mystery of...READ MORE

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Pope Francis on Keys to Authentic Christian Humanism

Also shares his vision for Church reform in meeting with Italian faithful in Florence.

11/10/2015 Comments (271)

Pope Francis addressing the Fifth National Ecclesial Convention in Florence Cathedral today.

Pope Francis has said it is “useless” to seek solutions to ills and problems in the Church through “conservatism and fundamentalism” and warned against a faith that is “locked in subjectivism” in a lengthy address to the Italian church in Florence today.

Addressing participants at the Fifth National Ecclesial Convention meeting to discuss the theme "In Jesus Christ the New Humanism",  Francis said both Pelagianism, a heresy that denies original sin, and Gnosticism, which denies Christ’s divinity, are temptations that “defeat” a true Christian humanism.

Pelagianism, the Pope told faithful gathered in Florence's Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, “prompts the Church not to be humble,...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, reform

Prominent Catholic and Pro-Life Jeb Bush Says He'd Kill Baby Hitler

11/09/2015 Comments (24)

This is disturbing. Prominent Catholic and pro-life presidential candidate Jeb Bush told the Huffington Post that if he could go back in time to kill little baby Adolf Hitler he would. In fact, his considered moral response was "Hell yeah" and then he sat back in his best theological repose and thoughtfully added, "You gotta step up man."

Oy. I didn't think I could be less intrigued by a Jeb! candidacy than I was. I was clearly wrong. Look, this is an extreme hypothetical and a silly conversation for a presidential candidate to have but his answer has obvious moral implications. It leaves the question of life up to a cost/benefit analysis. Would a baby do more good or evil if allowed to...READ MORE

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La Civiltà Cattolica: Synod 'Opened Door' to Communion for Divorced-Remarried

Editorial in influential Jesuit journal says ordinary synod on the family 'laid foundations' for access to the sacraments

11/09/2015 Comments (7)

Fr. Antonio Spadaro SJ

– Europa

The editor of an influential Jesuit periodical whose content is allegedly vetted by Pope Francis has penned an important new article on last month’s Ordinary Synod on the Family in which he controversially claims the meeting “laid the foundations” for civilly remarried divorcees to be admitted to the sacraments.

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica which is screened by the Secretariat of State, said paragraphs 84-86 of the synod’s final report relating to pastoral care for remarried-divorcees underline the importance of pastoral “discernment” on a case-by-case basis, “without putting any limits on integration, as appeared in the past.”

Noting that the report says...READ MORE

Filed under divorce and remarriage, father antonio spadaro, la civilta cattolica, pope francis, synod on the family 2015

Why Uncertainty Can Be Your Best Friend

11/09/2015 Comments (3)

(By Nicholas Mutton, CC BY-SA 2.0)

I usually like to have everything laid out for me ahead of time. I want to know what’s going to happen, when, and how. I want to know what’s expected of me, and what I should expect from others. No matter how many times I tell that to God, I still end up facing times of uncertainty.

The worst kind of uncertainty – for me – is when I can’t figure out what God is asking of me in a particular situation or which direction I should go next in my life. Akin to that is petitioning him in a dire need and waiting for the response, especially when I haven’t a clue what that response will be.

Uncertainty befuddles me. And did I mention that it can be very, very stressful? And yet, I’m learning that...READ MORE

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Is There a Template for the Temple?

11/09/2015 Comments (5)

(Photo by Michal Osmenda, CC BY-SA 2.0)

“The Mother of All Churches" says the inscription over the doorway to the Basilica of St John Lateran. How so?
I’ve thought long and hard about the theology of the temple as I have led my own congregation in the building of a new church in our parish. You can learn about our efforts here.
In the Scriptures we are called to be temples of the Holy Spirit, all of us are living stones built up into God’s temple. The church is a temple built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
 Is there a theology of architecture? Are there any principles for a Christian church, or can you do what you want? Is Gothic or Romanesque or modern or baroque necessarily any better or worse? In...READ MORE

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'Wake Up!': Papal Pop Rock Album Hits Italian Record Stores

11/09/2015 Comments (13)

VATICAN CITY – Successors of St. Peter have convened ecumenical councils and synods. They have authored encyclical letters and delivered homilies. But, Pope Francis is shaking things up this holiday season.

As Reuters reports, last week the Vatican premiered the Holy Father’s first recorded LP album, entitled “Wake Up!” – a collaborative effort between Believe Digital and the Vatican. The album hit stores here in Italy last week Tuesday. But, the fifty-five minute Christian music album will be available for purchase back home in the United States on November 27, 2015 in time for the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday shopping rush.

“Wake Up!” is an eleven track album produced by Don Giulio...READ MORE

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