The Gift of Law and the Law of Gift

“I can’t understand why your Church makes you live that way,” a friend of mine once said to me, “it’s just not natural!” I fear that many, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, have a similar misunderstanding about nature, law, and the foundati … [Read more...]

Theology of the Body: Insights for the Synod on the Family

Introduction The upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family, in October 2015, faces a huge challenge. The preparatory document for the synod reminded us that many families find themselves crushed and abandoned. [1. Holy See, "The Vocation … [Read more...]

Summer Reading for June 2015

Our Father, Who Art on Earth: The Lord’s Prayer for Believers and Unbelievers. Jose Tolentino Mendonca, with a Foreword by Enzo Bianchi. (Mahwah, New Jersey/New York: Paulist Press, 2012) 114 pages; $14.95. (Reviewed by Brandon H … [Read more...]

Sexuality and Spirituality

An Attempt at Integration for Sexual and Spiritual Health

Abstract: This paper attempts to show the relationship between sexuality and spirituality, and ways to attain profound union between husbands and wives. Incorporating spirituality with sexual behavior enhances the capacity for satisfaction … [Read more...]

Spring Reading for March 2015

Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer. Leah Libresco (Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 2015) 192 pages; $12.12. (Reviewed by Fr. David C. Paternostro, SJ) --------- Master Thomas Aquinas and the Fullness … [Read more...]

The Legacy of the Vision of Pope John Paul II for Marriage and Family

Not even the bullet from the barrel of an assassin’s gun could stop Pope John Paul II from emphasizing early in his pontificate the issues of marriage and family. In just the first five years, he created six key markers in these critical a … [Read more...]

Christ Is the Fulfillment of the Law

The Holy Law Is Not an End in Itself

The core teaching in Pope Francis’s homily on October 13th is summarized in the following conclusion: Do I believe in Jesus Christ, in Jesus, in what he did: He died, rose again, and the story ended there. Do I think that the journey c … [Read more...]

Fall Reading for October 2014

History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium. James F. Hitchcock (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2012) 584 pages. (Reviewed by Fr. Brian Van Hove, SJ) The Word Made Love: The Dialogical Theology of … [Read more...]

“Go and Call Your Husband”: What Enables a Marriage to Endure?

The unity of will between a husband and wife that God establishes is realized also through a life that is fully shared. A marriage is contracted as a result of the consent of the spouses, and this consent needs to be renewed each … [Read more...]

Poland Remembers: A Firsthand Look at Blessed John Paul II’s Impact on the People of His Homeland

The reason Pope John Paul II had more of an indirect spiritual impact on Poland than the United States is because his way of speaking about God, and his Church, is so fundamentally Polish. "Santo subito! Santo subito!" ("Saint now!") … [Read more...]

An Essay on Natural Family Planning

 The Catholic Church has never opposed family planning, but she teaches through her Magisterium, or teaching authority, that man may not, of his own volition, separate the two meanings of the conjugal act, the unitive and the procreative, … [Read more...]

The Sign of the Dying Body: How the Theology of the Body Helps Us to Die in Love

Dying—undergoing it, or helping one who is dying—is a privileged space where we see and encounter God himself ... the ensouled body serves as a sign of gift and giving, yielding one’s life to the embrace of God ... a sign that well- … [Read more...]

On Addressing the Dignity of Man and Masculinity

Editorial for September 2013

How would men today be more able to live out their own unique discipleship and role in both the world, and in the Church, if we were able to articulate how men embody the Christian vocation to holiness in exclusive and particular … [Read more...]

Vocation for the Wives of Ordained Permanent Deacons

Women who pray for the Church, and who are spouses of permanent deacons (or those in formation), are undoubtedly responding to a unique grace of personal mission that comes to them as a result of their baptism.   I was at a retreat in … [Read more...]

Revisiting Humanae Vitae

What has been summarized as his most profound theological contribution, Theology of the Body, John Paul II labeled the entire work a “rereading of Humanae Vitae.” Two days after the publication of Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI remarked dur … [Read more...]