Within the ranks of the Church leadership, Robert Cardinal Sarah stands out as a rare example of outspoken zeal for the faith accompanying his conspicuous love of God. Born and raised in Guinea, he first became a priest and then archbishop of Conakry (covering all of Guinea). He was made Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI… [Read More]
On Disagreeing With the Pope
On August 2, in light of an address last October to the Pontifical Council, Pope Francis made a modification to the Catholic Catechism declaring that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”. As an officially declared teaching of the Church, this poses a serious… [Read More]
The Jesus We Never Knew
The Gospels we hear week by week focus on the venerable accomplishments of Jesus as He went about His ministry here on earth. And generally the homilies that follow focus on the message to be gained by these stories in conjunction with the other readings. We are exhorted to imitate this message in our… [Read More]
Does Forgiving Always Mean Forgetting?
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult admonitions that Christ has given to us. Its importance is highlighted by the specific reference to forgiving others in the Lord’s Prayer. The notion of forgiveness has evolved to an idea summarized in the common cliche “forgive and forget”, which in turn tends to bring Christianity within the… [Read More]
J. Budziszewski’s New Website
My blog post ideas, particularly recently, come primarily from the books, articles, and other blog posts I read. What I describe to my wife as “taking notes” involves an hour with a random book held open to a random chapter or passage while I type into my laptop the words I would otherwise underline or highlight. There are… [Read More]
You Too Will Be Famous!
“You too will be famous!” How those words cause starry-eyed young hearts to flutter! What great fortune have they who achieve this pinnacle of worldly aspirations. And to what great lengths go so many souls to be able to claim it for themselves. But how many consider that something valuable might be lost in the… [Read More]
Must Hell Really Be Eternal?
She opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like transparent burning embers,… [Read More]
Taxing the Churches: Going for the Jugular
“Now, Matt, aren’t you’re getting a little carried away in your political paranoia? After all, no politicians are seriously discussing removing the tax-exempt status of the churches.” True, but lest you think I’ve gone off the deep end, first consider that on the long list of “political enemies” targeted by the IRS is Catholic contributor… [Read More]
The Call Behind the Silence
One unfortunate artifact of the technological mindset of our age is that we are uncomfortable with what we cannot grasp. Silence makes us uneasy because it makes us aware of a certain emptiness inside ourselves. So we fill our lives with noise and distractions – television, games, music, frivolous shopping. Our advances are geared toward… [Read More]
Schoenstatt Spirituality in a Nutshell
I first learned of the Schoenstatt Movement through articles written by my friend and fellow contributor Rachel. After reading excerpts of Fr. Joseph Kentenich’s book, “Everyday Sanctity”, I’ve gained a greater understanding of the rationality behind the movement. Schoenstatt was named after a place in Germany of the same name, meaning “beautiful place”, and the… [Read More]
Growth in Sober Consideration
“As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts are above your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) There often seems to be a subliminal attitude, which originates in Protestant circles but pervades many Catholic parishes. Because Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection have already brought us full assurance… [Read More]
The Forgotten Virtue of Nobility
We are a handful of dust, kept together by seventy-five per cent of liquid, with souls that were stained at birth and which are weighted all through our lives with a heavy downward lurch towards sin. – Caryll Houselander “Greatness” has a negative connotation in this day and age. Nobility is equated with riches and power. Born… [Read More]
The Loose Ends of Marxism
It is uncommon to find an movement of revolt in the present age, which claims to stand for the poor and underprivileged, that is not somehow influenced by the ideology set forth by Karl Marx. The orthodox view and the more common contemporary view of Catholic social justice differ in that, without admitting it,… [Read More]
The Challenge of LGBT Friendships
“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’” -Matthew 16:14 Jennifer Fulwiler wrote an article several months ago documenting a conversation she had with an old friend who had chosen an “alternate” lifestyle. She handled it remarkably well and admirably defended her Catholic faith throughout the awkward affair. However, the… [Read More]
Economics and Envy
“The federal government’s most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures, but to expand the incentives and opportunities of private expenditures.” – John F. Kennedy, 1962 A significant paradigm shift has occurred in our nation over the last fifty years. General attitudes toward war and national… [Read More]
A Little Advent Scripture Study
Advent is a time of preparation for receiving Jesus into the world and into our hearts. My first Advent challenge to you is to sit down, ponder and meditate on the scriptural account of Jesus’ arrival in the world as your time allows. There are many wonderful resources for Scripture study, but for anyone seeking… [Read More]
Modern Science: A Sin Against Intelligence?
Science as a quest for understanding of the workings of the universe had its formal beginnings in ancient Greece. It was augmented by the scholastics of the Middle Ages, who added the philosophical foundation on the notion that the universe is intelligible. However, as Henri de Lubac notes, there was more recently a shift in… [Read More]
The “No Harm, No Foul” Mentality
A common attitude of our culture is what one may call the “no harm, no foul” mentality, which uses the rationalization “why not do it if it doesn’t hurt anyone?” to justify an ever-growing variety of interactions between consenting adults, mostly of an explicit nature. The basis of this attitude is one particular application of… [Read More]
The Great Party in the Sky
Bear with me – there is a point to all this. In one of my favorite cartoons, Yosemite Sam finally catches Bugs Bunny after the usual chase and associated gags. After tossing some logs and a match into his oven, Sam orders Bugs in at gunpoint. Soon Bugs comes back out of the oven and… [Read More]
Why Should I Believe?
Bewildered truth seeker: Don’t you think it’s time for the Catholic Church to give up and get with the times? I mean, your heyday has passed, your belief system is ancient, and people are leaving your church in droves.
God and the “God Particle”
News is now widespread that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator shared by France and Switzerland, has generated a high-energy reaction which provides convincing evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, known in contemporary circles as the “God particle”. The Higgs field is a theoretical medium that… [Read More]
Trudging into a Political No-Man’s Land
It is no secret that our federal government is becoming an enemy of our Church. The Health and Human Services mandate has pitted law against conscience, making it impossible for Catholic health institutions to faithfully serve both God and state. America has been slipping down an ethical slope for decades, but the last few years… [Read More]
On Passing Judgment
Few verses in Scripture have been cited by contemporary culture as commonly as Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you may not be judged” (RSV). This excerpt has been used by non-Christians to beleaguer those standing up for the “big five” non-negotiables of the Catholic Church (abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and same-sex… [Read More]
The Pitfalls of Mercy
“For what greater sin can there be than to despise your Creator for that which should make you love Him more?” – Bernard of Clairvaux According to Catholic tradition, the seraphim are the highest order of angels, most proximate to God and endowed with the greatest wisdom and love. Like humans, all angels possess the… [Read More]