The Holy Land

The city of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground.
(Photos provided by Fr. Meconi)

Spending the Christmas season in the Holy Land has made me much more sensitive to how communities are “ringing in” the New Year. As the date turned from 2014 to 2015, two very different calls for solidarity made the news. On the one … [Read more...]

Laying the Foundation for Forming Disciples in Our Parishes

Albright photos 1-23-15

A recent mailing of the Franciscan University of Steubenville declares, “The age of casual Catholicism is over. The age of heroic Catholicism has begun.”[1. Fr. Terrence Henry, TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville. ] Men and women … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict XVI’s Theology of Beauty and the New Evangelization

Pope Benedict XVI's allegory on faith and the search for truth, using the image of cathedral windows.

“I have often affirmed my conviction that the true apology of Christian faith, the most convincing demonstration of its truth…are the saints and the beauty that the faith has generated.”[1. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Feeling of Things, … [Read more...]

Accusations against Priests

Fitzgibbons photos 1-21-15

The evaluation process of accusations against priests in regard to determining their suitability for priestly ministry would benefit from greater justice and knowledge of psychological science. There are presently severe weaknesses in this … [Read more...]

Liturgy in Bede’s World

Heisey photos 1-22-15

Time-honored ritual; a space often ornate, if not opulent, used almost exclusively for this purpose; seating by hierarchy; candles; a prayer, perhaps in Latin, perhaps in English; ceremonial robes; a bevy of trained servers; wine; elegant, … [Read more...]

Winter Reading for January 2015

Book Review photos 1-25-15

New Evangelization: Passing on the Catholic Faith Today. Cardinal Donald Wuerl.  (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 2013) 91 pages. (Reviewed by Dr. Edward Peters) ______ A Future Built on Faith: Religious Life and the Legacy … [Read more...]

Mary, Daughter of Zion

Christ on the Cross with the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, St. John, and St. Francis of Paola, detail, by Nicholas Tournier (1590-1639).

In the ancient Near East, a woman, often evoked as a virgin, was frequently used to symbolize a city or a country. For example, at Isaiah 47:1, the city of Babylon is called a “virgin daughter”: “Step down! Sit in the dust, virgin … [Read more...]

Breaking Free of Our Metaphysical Winter

Brian Jones on Philosophy artwork

In diagnosing the philosophical mentality of modernity, the Catholic novelist-physician-philosopher, Walker Percy, once wrote the following: The distinction which must be kept in mind is that between science and what can only be called … [Read more...]

Life-Giving Funerals

The Death of Christ, by Fra Angelico

It is exceedingly difficult to stand before mourners assembled for a funeral Mass, look them in the eye one at a time, and sing—with them, to them, and sometimes for them—of truth, love, and life. Still, this is a duty that must not be … [Read more...]

Religious Freedom, Slavery, and Usury

The Lord Is My Shepherd, Eastman Johnson (American, 1863).

Early on in his pontificate, Benedict XVI laid down the challenge of reading the Church’s teaching according to a hermeneutic of continuity, rather than according to what he characterized as a hermeneutic of rupture.[1. Benedict XVI, … [Read more...]

Why Me?

John of the Cross, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Pio of Pietrelcina, Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila.

“I am the potter, you are the clay.” An American couple who like to shop for antiques entered a store in England. They spotted an exceptional tea cup. As the clerk handed them the cup, it suddenly spoke up, “I haven’t always been a … [Read more...]

To Listen to the Voice of God

St. Catherine of Siena, by Baldassare Franceschini (17th century).

We all have a desire to be listened to and taken seriously. There is nothing more frustrating than not being listened to, when someone does not either look at us when we talk to him, or let us finish our sentences. It leaves us feeling … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Mullady photos 1-5-15

Is there some Catholic teaching on the morality of the nanny state and its tendency to try to control all of life through federal law? Can you give me some guidance as to the use of the media? We used to have a Legion of Decency which … [Read more...]

Thanks from the Phillipines

Thank you very much for your much appreciated help to is priests in the busy parishes! More power to your Media Apostolate! Msgr. Felicito C Sison Archdiocese of San Fernando Pampanga Philippines … [Read more...]

Homilies for January 2015

The Birth of Christ, by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890).

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God—January 1, 2015 Entrusting Our Lives and This New Year to Mary Purpose: On this eighth day of the birth of the Savior, let us renew our baptismal covenant with Jesus Christ, in his Church, through … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds