By a Curious Coincidence

Friday, April 22, 2011 2:00 AM Comments (15)

Good Friday and Earth Day happen to coincide. Recently, the UN outdid itself in sheer pagan silliness by hitting the headlines with some nonsense about giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as human beings.

The notion of treating nature as a person is, in this context, just pure political scam artistry of a particularly ham-fisted type, of course. It is a classic watermelon tactic: green on the outside, red on the inside. An excuse for some bureaucrat to seize draconian power over human beings by pretending to be a Lorax and speaking for the trees (who, for persons, are quite taciturn and not at all demonstrative about their supposed equal rights). That’s the problem with Voiceless Nature:...READ MORE

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Just War Doctrine Question

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 2:00 AM Comments (37)

A reader asks:

Was pondering something a while back with our third War for Freedom, or to Save Civilians lives, or something ... and I was wondering:

Is Just War Theory “binding” in the sense that the Resurrection is “binding” on the faithful? I wondered, given that it is Just War “Theory” after all. I don’t ask lightly or to look for a way to deny it (a moral theory that is 1,700 years old probably has something going for it), but I was curious as to where this falls on the spectrum of De Fide vs. pious opinion.

Just War Theory is a synthesis of the Church’s best good faith effort to apply the basic principles of its moral teaching in a fallen world. It is not de fide and thus not...READ MORE

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Half Empty or Half Full?

Monday, April 18, 2011 2:00 AM Comments (22)

Over at Catholic Vote we encounter the sort of story that could only emerge from the PC precincts of my beloved and absurd home town, Seattle. Jessica, a 16-year-old private school kid, decided to volunteer at a public school in our famously wretched and embattled Seattle system. Here’s her story:

“At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that,” Jessica said.

She was concerned how the teacher might react to the eggs after a meeting earlier in the week where she learned about “their abstract behavior rules.”

“I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted...READ MORE

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This Sunday We Celebrate the Triumphal Entry

Friday, April 15, 2011 2:00 AM Comments (6)

John reminds us that Jesus’ triumphal entry is a fulfillment of what was written by the prophet Zechariah:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9).

 
Zechariah (particularly chapters 9 through 14) is one of the richest sources for prophetic passages fulfilled by Jesus in the last week of his life. So, in addition to Zechariah’s prophecy of the triumphal entry of the King “humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey,” the prophet goes on to describe that King establishing a dominion “from sea to...READ MORE

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The Anointing at Bethany

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 2:00 AM Comments (13)

One of the things that has always given the Gospels the ring of a truthful recounting of historical memory by eyewitnesses is the story of the anointing at Bethany. What is interesting to me are these passages:

One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.  Now when the Pharisee who had...READ MORE

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A Zealous New Convert Writes…

Monday, April 11, 2011 2:00 AM Comments (12)

I have followed your blog for some time now and want to thank you for all that you do. You might be happy to know that a group of somewhat recent converts (myself included) to the Faith discuss your writings on a regular basis (especially your recent clarifications on lying). I am from Lafayette, Louisiana, and converted to the Church two years ago this coming Easter. Men like Lewis, Chesterton, St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Thomas Aquinas are who led my friends and my family into the Catholic Church.

For about four years now I have been studying the Faith and maturing in it (ever so slowly) through the writings and sacraments of the Church. About two weeks ago, my wife and I were asked...READ MORE

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Last Week, The Anchoress Asked…

Friday, April 08, 2011 2:00 AM Comments (29)

“Are you happy?”

It’s a profound question really. Indeed, you could argue that it’s the central question of the Gospel.

Chesterton’s Innocent Smith has, of course, his own peculiar style for trying to get us to think about that vital question:

But since Innocent’s methods are of dubious utility and legality in our rather jittery culture, I think other approaches might work better in this space.

One thing that many Catholics get confused about is the reality that happiness is, in fact, the point of our lives. Many Catholics (especially those of a more grumpily reactionary bent) often tend to react to the claim that the point of the Faith is Happiness by dismissing that claim as...READ MORE

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We Are a Paris Hilton People in an Apocalyptic World

Wednesday, April 06, 2011 2:00 AM Comments (14)

What else can be said of a nation that so needs to be coddled that even as we send our young men and women off to kill and be killed in yet another war over a piece of dirt that does not concern our vital interest at all, the President of the United States must carefully schedule his press conference regarding said war (think about that! WAR!) so that it does not conflict with “Dancing with the Stars”!:

President Obama had a message for the American people Monday night, an explanation of the government’s intentions in Libya, one that he believed was important enough to request air time from the broadcast networks as well as the cable news networks.

But the administration also recognized...READ MORE

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About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.