The Oklahoma Farm Boy Who Grew Up to Be a Martyr for Christ

01/26/2016 Comments (5)

Maria Scaperlanda has written a wonderful book that is destined to be a sourcebook for one of the 20th Century’s most profound Christian martyrs.

 The Shepherd Who Did Not Run tells the story of Father Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma farm boy who grew up to be a martyr for Christ in the on-going economic wars that are raging around the globe to this day. He died on July 28, 1981, at the hands of what were probably right-wing government assassins in an isolated mission village in Atitlan, Guatemala.

Before his martyrdom, Fr Rother wrote a letter to his bishop explaining why he wanted to stay with his flock in Guatemala, despite the risks. In that letter, he made the famous remark, “A shepherd...READ MORE

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Always the Last to Know: On the Glory of Opaque Self-Awareness

01/26/2016 Comments (6)

The Anointing at Bethany (Matthew 26:10-13): “Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.’” (CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Since it belongs to the supernatural order,
grace escapes our experience (CCC 2005).

At the time, I thought I was going to save the world. Young, single, male, and totally on fire for my faith, I was convinced I was bound for the seminary and a lifetime of service as a priest. (No need to thank me, God.)

First stop: World Youth Day. Denver. 1993. I’d already moved to Steubenville to start a pre-theologate program at Franciscan University, but my pastor, Fr. Ed Madden, asked me to consider a brief return to Boulder that August to assist with the pilgrim influx. “We could use the help,” he told me, and I readily agreed. Given everything Father had done for me, I was delighted for a chance...READ MORE

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Pope Meets Iranian President Rouhani as Holy See Diplomacy Moves Up a Gear

01/25/2016 Comments (2)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

– Wikipedia


Catholic News Agency has a report on today's meeting between Pope Francis and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani here. The Vatican statement is here:

Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Pope Francis received in audience His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The meeting between the Pope and President Rouhani is the first of its kind since 1999 when Pope St. John Paul II received in audience at the Vatican the then Iranian president Mohammad Khatami. 

President Rouhani subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for...READ MORE

Filed under china, diplomacy, holy see, iran, iraq, middle east, pope francis, syria, xi jinping

A Sanders Fan Asks About Church Teaching on Voting

01/25/2016 Comments (155)

A reader writes:

Could you please write something about voting for non-prolife candidates? I'd like to tattoo Bernie Sanders somewhere on me, but first I need to know catholic teaching on this. What is church teaching here? I feel like abortion aside, someone like Sanders is more pro-catholic teaching than any "pro-life" Republicans. I shouldn't put quotes over pro-life. I'm sure some are. Nevertheless, is it ok to vote for Sanders and if so, how does one justify voting for a pro choice candidate? Just thought it would be a great and much needed article

Fulfilling a long-standing death wish, I agree with you that this is an interesting question and will make an interesting article...READ MORE

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Catholic Art in the Style of Norman Rockwell

Humor, sentiment, and sentimentality of everyday situations in Rockwell style touch our hearts with a Catholic point of view

01/25/2016 Comment

“Jimmy's Locksmith Shop” by Norman Rockwell apprentice Donald Winslow (Courtesy Knights of Columbus Museum)

Whether you’ve seen many or just a few of his scores of paintings and illustrations primarily for the cover of Saturday Event Post, you’ll easily remember and identify Norman Rockwell’s work.

He found the humor, lovable eccentricity, the sentiment and sentimentality in often idealized scenes from everyday life. Maybe it wasn’t the way life really was, but the way we pictured it to be.

Was there a Catholic art like Rockwell’s?

Surely there was. The Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn., proves it with one current main exhibit called “The Art of Illustration: Columbia's Cover Story.”

Published by the Knights, Columbia is the largest circulation Catholic publication in North...READ MORE

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Is Procrastination a Sin?

01/25/2016 Comments (3)

Animals don’t procrastinate.  They are totally here and now. Putting something off is uniquely human. It involves a conscience—knowing what we should be doing and not doing it.  So does that make procrastination a sin?  I think it can be if it’s a matter of failing to respond to what God asks of us.

As Catholics, we need to take care of business. That’s why sloth is one of the 7 deadly sins. We should relax now and then, but sloth is a matter of throwing our time away and neglecting to fulfill our God-given duties.

We can also use sloth to procrastinate with God.  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2094) spiritual sloth is one of the ways that we can sin against God’s...READ MORE

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A Biblical Warning on the Nature of Government

01/25/2016 Comments (39)

Ernst Josephson (1851-1906), “David and Saul” (Detail)

There is a remarkable passage in the Old Testament that speaks to the issue of centralized government. The portrait painted is not a flattering one. Generally speaking, the Scriptures do not comment much on secular government other than to note its existence and to prescribe a combination of support (Jer 29:7, Mk 12:17), endurance (Romans 13:1-7), and prayer (1 Tim 2:1).

But at a critical point, the prophet Samuel sets forth a litany of woes that come from centralized ruling authority (a king in this particular case). His remarks surely resonate today in the era of large, centralized, secular government. More on this in a moment, but first a little background:

Prior to the anointing of...READ MORE

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Here's How You Can Be Certain That John Wrote John

01/25/2016 Comments (27)

Last time in this space we began to discuss some of the arguments put forward by those who reject the idea that the gospel of John is, in fact, authored by John the apostle, the companion of Jesus and an eyewitness of his resurrection. Let's look at some more of them.

Another criticism of Johannine authorship turns the very sophistication of the gospel against it. Some declare that John bar-Zebedee, a mere fisherman, could not have been an educated Greek-speaking theological genius and therefore could not have written such a theologically sophisticated work.

Here’s the problem: The assumption that a Jewish fisherman living two thousand years ago couldn't be multi-lingual, or educated, or...READ MORE

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