Articles

The Sad Tale of Spiritual Father vs. Spiritual Son

Due to the overwhelming response to Msgr. Bochicchio’s essay on the inherent injustices in the way the Dallas Charter (drafted in part by then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick!) has been implemented, we are here rerunning Dr. Janet Smith’s har … [Read more...]

Why Every Catholic Who Is Not Destitute Must Give Alms

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks of three practices which form the basis of the whole spiritual life: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. He does not say, “If you pray . . . fast . . . give alms,” but, “When you pray . . . fast . . . gi … [Read more...]

The Will of God

A story is told about a man who lived a long life. When he died, the Lord said, “Come, I will show you hell.” The man was taken to a room where a group of people sat around a round table. At the center of the table was a huge pot of stew. Ea … [Read more...]

The Passion of the Lord: His Interior Sufferings

The Angelic Doctor notes that meditations on “matters relating to Christ’s humanity are the chief incentive to love and devotion.”[1. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province (New York: Benziger Brot … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to My Bishop and to All U.S. Bishops

I write this letter after much prayer and reflection and with the utmost respect for the complex issue of leadership in the church. I am not naïve regarding the challenges that bishops and church leaders face in the light of many crises a … [Read more...]

Lent: In Search Of the One and the Real

Lent, the great and holy fast, comes upon us again. It is a season of promise and peril. Promise, because we are invited to anticipate in ourselves the paschal mystery, whereby human nature is healed and elevated. Peril, because we risk … [Read more...]

The Year of Joseph

I hear Joseph silently confessing his sinfulness to the Angel of the Lord (see Matthew 1:18–25): “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say the Word and my soul shall be healed.” We have critical memory los … [Read more...]

The Church’s Teaching on Marriage, Part Three

Go to Part I Go to Part II In Vitro Fertilization, Artificial Insemination, and Surrogate Motherhood It bears repeating that “‘[e]ach human person, in his absolutely unique singularity, is constituted not only by his spirit, but by his … [Read more...]

Flannery Was Right

The Problem of Nihilism Within the Catholic Church

In a letter to Betty Hester dated August 28, 1955, Flannery O’Connor wrote: “If you live today you breathe in nihilism. In or out of the Church, it’s the gas you breathe.”[1. Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being, hereafter HB (New York: Far … [Read more...]

Anger Reconsidered

Note: This essay first appeared on the Christ-Animated Learning Blog with Christian Scholar’s Review. The Prince of Peace said, “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Mt 10:34). Amid the ubiquitous anger of present America, espec … [Read more...]

Christian Joy and Human Sadness

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). This and other exhortations in Scripture have shaped Christian tradition with the understanding that joy is meant to be part of our life. It’s traditionally counted a … [Read more...]

Conscience and the Service of Authority

Drawing Pastoral Insights from Joseph Ratzinger

There is, at present, a crisis of authority within the Catholic Church, expressed no more clearly by the clamor for democratization outfitted by the various movements of protest which attempt to raze the “old guard” of bureaucratic est … [Read more...]

The Church’s Teaching on Marriage, Part Two

Go to Part I Contribution of Families to Society “The very experience of communion and sharing that should characterize the family’s daily life represents its first and fundamental contribution to society.” FC at 43. “The family is thus . … [Read more...]

A New Approach for Pastoral Ministry

Incorporating Biblical Creation Imagery and Apocalyptic Metaphors into Pastoral Care and Ministry

Biblical theology of creation is applicable in pastoral ministry, because of its rich cornucopia of imagery and metaphors of myth and apocalypse, imagination and paradoxes employed in demonstrating God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and o … [Read more...]

Whose Rite? A Response to E. Tyler Graham

Recently, E. Tyler Graham wrote an article for this publication[1. E. Tyler Graham, “Shepherding the Flock Out of the 1962 Missal,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review, November 2021, www … [Read more...]