Jesus is Not Your Best Buddy

05/25/2016 Comments (22)

Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890), “Christ Driving Out Money Changers From the Temple”

I remember singing that sweet old gospel song, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and I’m not denying that Jesus is our friend and brother, but there is something a bit disconcerting about being too comfortable with Jesus. He might be the good shepherd and gentle Jesus, meek and mild, but he’s the shepherd is also the judge and while he’s mild, there is also something wild about him.
 
Aslan is not a tame lion and Christ the Tiger is not a cuddly kitten.
 
I’m not sure where in the New Testament it indicates that Jesus is our best buddy. When I read the gospels he certainly went to parties, was sociable and was very popular, but he is always treated either with extreme respect or with...READ MORE

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When Self Care Is About Other People

05/25/2016 Comments (8)

In devout circles, it's common to speak of putting oneself third: God comes first, and then we serve anyone who needs us, and finally, we tend to ourselves. It's a good formula, and a much-needed check on the aggressive selfishness of our age. 

At the same time, there's a subtle temptation that comes with putting oneself last. We forget that, as members of the body of Christ, there's not really any such thing as "just me." We are all thoroughly intertwined with each other. It really doesn't do the head any good when the arm is bleeding unchecked. The heart doesn't appreciate it if you ignore an infection in the foot. For better or worse, we're stuck with each other, and we must be sure...READ MORE

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Holy Beer, Encyclicals on Film, Usury and Money-Lending and More!

The Best in Catholic Blogging

05/25/2016 Comment

Click on Holy Beer! via Fr. Z’s Blog link to read.

Holy Beer! – Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, Fr. Z’s Blog

Encyclicals on Film: To the Wonder – Patrick Malone, Catholic Stand

What the Bathroom Wars are Really All About – John Horvat II, Crisis Magazine

Work, Play, and Science – Nicene Guy, Ignitum Today

Sam Gregg of Acton: Medieval Distinctions on Usury and Legitimate Forms of Money-Lending – Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, Fr. Z's Blog

Relics: Not Just A Dead Man’s Hand – John McNichol, Catholic Stand

What We Can Learn from the Guilds – Russell Sparkes, The Distributist Review

Farewell, Social Media – Leroy Huizenga Ph.D., The Catholic World Report

Confessionals are No Longer Torture Chambers and the Pope Must Know It – Francis Phillips, Catholic Herald...READ MORE

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9 Deacons Who Were Also Saints

05/25/2016 Comments (5)

“The Stoning of Saint Stephen”, attributed to Luigi Garzi (1638-1721)

A dozen years ago I read and edited a manuscript by Deacon Owen F. Cummings, D.D., entitled Deacons and the Church. It contained a short (very short!) chapter on “Deacons for Deacons”. However, I thought there was (or could be) more to this and asked him to tease this out, which became a small book called Saintly Deacons.

The book may be small and their number may not be too large, but the deacons who have become saints or led especially saintly lives have had an immeasurable impact on the Church:

1. St. Stephen (1st century A.D.). St. Stephen was the Protomartyr, the first to die a martyr’s death for the Christian faith. We can read all about the passion of St. Stephen in the Acts of the...READ MORE

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A Eulogy For a Tree

05/25/2016 Comments (6)

(Image Credit: Stefan Wernli, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons)

‘They’ve cut it down!’ cried Sam. ‘They’ve cut down the Party Tree!’ He pointed to where the tree had stood under which Bilbo had made his Farewell Speech. It was lying lopped and dead in the field. As if this was the last straw Sam burst into tears. (J.R.R. Tolkien, Return of the King)

It began in the morning. I was instructing my daughter in adding multiples of ten to two digit numbers. The younger children were running in and out of our kitchen nook where we were working. The nook gives a full view of our backyard and the neighbors’ trees towering above their privacy fence.  And then I saw the cherry picker going towards the 50-year-old maple tree in our next door neighbor’s backyard....READ MORE

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Why "Last Days in the Desert" is so Boring

05/24/2016 Comments (5)
With his latest film, Last Days in the Desert, Rodrigo Garcia has accomplished something truly remarkable. He has taken a portion of the life of the single most compelling person who has ever lived and turned it into a colossally boring movie. As I watched Last Days in the Desert, I was reminded of many films that I saw in Paris as a doctoral student: lots of uninterrupted shots of natural scenes, many views of people walking around and saying nothing, endless close-ups of serious faces looking blankly into the middle distance. At times I thought that all of this meditative build-up would result in a spectacular payoff, but no—just more walking around and looking. 
 
What made the film so...READ MORE

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Three Amazing Stories of Post-Abortion Healing

05/24/2016 Comment

Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), “Rachel Weeping”

There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that women who have abortions often suffer emotional and psychological consequences as a result. Kevin Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, and Janet Morana, co-founder of Silent No More, recently wrote about this issue at The Public Discourse. Rachel’s Vineyard is a post-abortion recovery program, and the Silent No More campaign seeks to raise awareness of the issue of post-abortion suffering.

In the past twelve months alone, Rachel’s Vineyard has held over a thousand weekend healing retreats all around the world. While the culture presents abortion as merely a choice, many who have experienced it know better. Burke and Morana write that...READ MORE

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Cardinal Müller Expects SSPX to Recognize Disputed Council Teachings

05/24/2016 Comments (25)
Daniel Ibáñez/Catholic News Agency

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

– Daniel Ibáñez/Catholic News Agency

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has said he expects the Society of St. Pius X, which has always opposed the Second Vatican Council's declarations on religious freedom and ecumenism, to “unreservedly recognize” freedom of religion as a human right, and an obligation to ecumenism. 

In an interview in the June edition of the German publication Herder Korrespondenz, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that if one “wants to be fully Catholic, one must recognize the Pope and the Second Vatican Council.”

Cardinal Müller said he expects a recognition of all the Council declarations that deal with these issues, according to the interview, reported on the Austrian Catholic...READ MORE

Filed under bishop bernard fellay, cardinal gerhard muller, cdf, pope francis, society of st. pius x, sspx

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