What Did the Pope Mean by "Sins Against Unity"?

08/28/2014 Comments (45)

Yesterday, the Pope spoke about the need for unity among Christians. According to CNA, he said,

In a Christian community division is one of the most serious sins, because it does not allow God to act.  What God wants is that we be welcoming, that we forgive and love each other so as to become more and more like Him, who is communion and love.

This quote is being used like a giant, wet fish to fraternally correct people right in the face. Smack! Unity! The Pope says so! Whack!

Let's put that fishie down for a minute, and let's think about what kind of things the Pope was actually talking about, when he admonished us to avoid division.  He clearly didn't mean "Don't disagree with anyone"...READ MORE

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St. Augustine: 10 things to know and share

08/27/2014 Comments (19)

St. Augustine is a fascinating figure! On the occasion of his memorial day, here are 10 things to know and share.

August 28th is the memorial of St. Augustine, bishop and doctor of the Church.

He’s one of the most influential Church Fathers and theologians in history.

Who was he and why is he so famous?

Here are 10 things to know and share . . .


1) When and where was he born?

St. Augustine was born in A.D. 354 in Thagaste, Numidia (modern day Souk Ahras, Algeria) into an upper-class family.

His father—Patricius—was a pagan, though he converted to Christianity on his deathbed.

His mother—St. Monica—was a Christian and raised Augustine in the faith, though he was not baptized until he was an adult.

He was of mixed-race ancestry, with ancestors including Phoenicians, Berbers, and Latins. He...READ MORE

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Summer Reading: Romance with a Side of Smiles and an Underground City

08/27/2014 Comment

Summer reading wouldn’t be complete without some light and fun reading, don’t you agree? I picked up The Rosie Project (Simon & Schuster, 2013) after hearing about it on the “A Good Story Is Hard to Find” podcast. The discussion about it intrigued me, so I downloaded it to my Kindle and saved it for a weekend.

The Rosie Project

It’s a good thing I did, too, because, though it’s not a really “edge of your seat” kind of read, The Rosie Project is a compelling story. I didn’t want to stop reading.

As the reader gets to know Don, we get an inside glimpse at some of those people who may have been mysteriously distant to us before. Don has Aspergers Syndrome, and the author neither belittles this nor makes it...READ MORE

Filed under fiction, middle grade fiction, popular reading, summer reading, young adult fiction

The Lumineers and How Not to Think About the Priesthood

08/26/2014 Comments (47)

Summer is coming to a close, but not without the seasonal flourish of music festivals across the country. Every genre seems to have its own event, but no brand of music seems to own this scene as much as folk music, whose acoustic style and easygoing lyrics connect perfectly with the carefree bliss that characterizes the last few summer days.

The heir of Woodstock, American folk music is in the midst of an incredible resurgence. The Lumineers are one of the groups this revival has given birth to. The five-part act out of Denver, which describes their brand as “rustic, heart-on-the-sleeve music,” produces tunes that are addicting in their simplicity and singability. The group was launched...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, folk music, jonathan liedl, lumineers, morality, national catholic register, priesthood, song lyrics, virtue

Catholics With a Past

08/26/2014 Comments (27)

"The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?" says Rabbi Abraham Herschel. He may be onto something. When we look for insight and understanding, we go to someone who has been wronged, and who has come out stronger and wiser: survivors of wars, genocide, concentration camps; people who have overcome massive disabilities; people who have been abused and outcast, and who have responded with love, gentleness, generosity, and wisdom.

But what about the man who caused his own suffering? The man who has been selfish, foolish, ugly, cruel, and who has suffered because of his own willful sins?  What can he possibly know, anyway?

This past weekend, I was honored to deliver the...READ MORE

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Register Radio - Military Operations in Iraq and the Register’s College Guide

08/25/2014 Comment

This week on Register Radio Dan Burke and the Register's Senior Editor Joan Frawley Desmond discuss Pope Francis and military options in Iraq. Also, Jeanette DeMelo talks to Register writer Joseph Pronechen about the upcoming Register College Guide.

Military Operations in Iraq

Joan Frawley Desmond is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in Menlo Park, Ca, in the San Francisco Archdiocese. She's been following the U.S. policy response to developments in Iraq.

“The most important, most...READ MORE

Filed under college guide, iraq, joan frawley desmond, joseph pronechen, register radio

Behold the Spam of God!

08/24/2014 Comments (35)

Almost every other day it seems, I will (like thousands of other Catholics) open my email and get something like this specimen (culled from my "delete" file):

Dear Mark, just came from your Website and have some questions. It sounds like you were a "Protestant" before becoming a Catholic? I don't know which church you were in but I have to question whether you were ever taught the Word of God there? If you had been in a church which taught the truth concerning Baptism according to the Word of GOD and not the "traditions of men" you would have learned that not only does baptism NOT save nor "grant justification" but it is ONLY for those who ARE BORN-AGAIN by the SPIRIT of GOD by placing...READ MORE

Filed under cyber-follies

Are Saints New Revelation?

08/21/2014 Comments (10)

It seems, said my friend, that the Church contradicts itself. On the one hand, Catholic teaching declares revelation complete with the close of the apostolic era. Yet consider the canonization of, say, Joan of Arc. It appears a Catholic must believe one of the following:

1. Revelation continues. It was revealed to the Pope in 1920 that Joan of Arc was in heaven.

2. Revelation ended with the apostles, but before the Ascension, Christ gave Peter a long list of those who would eventually be canonized and Joan's name was on the list.

3. There is no revelation concerning Joan of Arc and we have no way of knowing where she is now.

To get to the bottom of this apparently insoluble mystery we...READ MORE

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