Articles

Anemic Parishes and Parish Life

We all know the Catholic Church can never die, because her Head, Jesus Christ, is alive and can never die. However, the Church can certainly be anemic and deathly ill—which she, no doubt, is in America. I will examine some of the reasons … [Read more...]

Make Your Hearts Firm This Lent

During Lent, the Church calls the faithful to conversion by calling to mind the image of Christ being drawn into the desert by the Spirit. There, for forty days and forty nights, Jesus prays, fasts, and is tempted by the devil. By … [Read more...]

The Priest: The Gift of Self

Two fundamental principles run through the famous passage from Pope Paul VI’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes (24:3), which reads, “This likeness {between the union of the Divine Persons, and the … [Read more...]

Applying Some Thoughts on Preaching

Following my article, “Some Thoughts on Preaching” (March 13, 2015), I received an invitation from the editor to prepare homily notes for September 2015. This essay is not a "homily notes" example, but an example of assembling one’s … [Read more...]

Preaching to the Young Casualties of the Sexual Revolution

For over 40 years, it has been my privilege, challenge, and joy to teach Catholic theology. I began with the somewhat maligned Junior High level (seventh grade in my parish elementary school lingo), and then Catholic high school (Grades … [Read more...]

Renewal and the Remnant

Sabotage within and “missiles” from without: when it comes to the fortunes of the Church, it seems there is nothing new under the sun. Like our ancestors, the ancient Israelites, we live in a “mixed economy” and have to deal with the … [Read more...]

Propers of the Mass Versus the Four-Hymn Sandwich

(The subtitle of this article refers to "The Great Catholic Music Debate: 'Post-Vatican Folk' vs. 'Reformist Retro'" by Bill Kassel, which appeared in this magazine, August 9, 2015. … [Read more...]

Nilus Cabasilas and a Modern Greek Theologian on “the Heresy of Anti-Papism”

Nilus Cabasilas (c. 1295-1363) succeeded Gregory Palamas on the archepiscopal throne of Thessalonika, and was one of the most distinguished Byzantine intellectuals and theologians of the 14th century. He was heavily involved in the … [Read more...]

How the Synod of 2015 Ignored the Real Problem, 50 Years in the Making

It’s hard to believe now, but at the beginning of the year, Synod 2015 was predicted to be a possible game changer for the Church. According to various media reports, the Synod promised to be: “stormy,” “intense,” a time of “great … [Read more...]

Our Church and Vision

St. John affirms the mystery which is at the heart of our Christian faith: the “love which the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God’s children” (1 Jn 3:1), the love that takes flesh in Christ, and the outpouring of his … [Read more...]

Getting “The Benedict Option” Right

If you haven’t heard of the "Benedict Option," or even (especially) if you have heard of it, it really needs explaining for it to be a real option. In December 2013, Rod Dreher, a writer for The American Conservative magazine, wrote an … [Read more...]

Questions Regarding the Use of Latin in Celebrating the Mass

When things go bad in a family, organization, religion, or society, the tendency is to look for a change that occurred before things started to crumble. It is difficult to deny the tumultuous situation within the Church at the present time, … [Read more...]

The Prophetic Power and Practice of Jubilee

Introduction: “Rich with Joy and Peace” St. Luke's description of Jesus' proclamation of His mission tells us that, on a sabbath day in a synagogue in Nazareth, the Lord stood up to read ... “He has sent me ... to proclaim the … [Read more...]

Reflections on the Indissolubility of Marriage and the Trinity

The source of our holiness as Christians is rooted in the revelation of God as Trinity with an interior life of total reciprocal, self-giving love between unique, distinct Persons who are, together, the Divine Unity. But the Divine Trinity … [Read more...]

The Curse of Crying and the Gift of Tears in The Confessions

Tears manifest the reality of the finitude of man. Tears are most often an expression of being overwhelmed by passion. They can be consented to, embraced, wallowed in, squelched, or avoided. Tears are a silent confession of man’s own … [Read more...]