Browsing News Entries

What I learned when I suffered a heart attack in the middle of Holy Mass...

The fact that I had a heart attack is nothing extraordinary. People have heart attacks all the time – over 800,000 in the U.S. every year. What makes my 2021 heart attack remarkable is the circumstances surrounding it. On Ash Wednesday that year, I went away on a 3-day silent retreat with a friend. I fast during Lent and find it helpful to get started at a place with Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and no food temptations. While praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I often pray using symbolic images of my heart.

‘Father, forgive them’ — Divine Mercy image desecrated at parish in Wisconsin...

Lord have mercy! St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin fell victim to a vicious desecration of the Divine Mercy image in front of their church. The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, who promote the Divine Mercy devotion throughout the United States, manage the parish. The vandal spray-painted the words, “Ankh e em Maat.” “Ankh“ is an Egyptian hieroglyphics symbol representing “the key of life.” “Ma’at“ is an Egyptian goddess, but also “the personification of truth, cosmic balance, and justice.”

Pope Francis Removes Caritas Internationalis Leaders, Appoints Temporary Administrator...

Pope Francis on Tuesday removed the entire leadership of an international confederation of charities and appointed a temporary administrator to improve the organization’s management. Pope Francis issued a decree Nov. 22 appointing Pier Francesco Pinelli, an Italian management consultant, as temporary administrator of Caritas Internationalis (CI). With the same ordinance, the Pope said the positions of the Catholic confederation’s leadership are to cease immediately. This decision includes Caritas Internationalis president Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and secretary general Aloysius John. The positions of the vice presidents, treasurer, ecclesiastical assistant, executive council, and representative council also end.

St. Cecilia’s gym, the pilgrim Church, and the news...

There’s a lot to say about St. Cecilia, but I’d like to tell you about her basketball gym, on Detroit’s west side. In the summer of 1967, a riot spread across urban Detroit, leaving 43 people dead, more than 7,000 arrested, and hundreds of buildings - entire neighborhoods, nearly - destroyed by fire. The riots exploded after decades of housing, policing, employment, and educational discrimination in Detroit. They were set off on a hot summer night in late July, after police raided an unlicensed bar and arrested more than 80 people celebrating the return of soldiers from Vietnam. An onlooker threw a bottle at a police officer, looting began, and soon there were clashes between police and rioters, merchants and looters, with fires breaking out and firefighters facing violence.

The Qur’an is wrong about Jesus’ crucifixion and death. Here’s how to explain to Muslims that Muhammad is keeping them from true Islam (submission to God)...

“The truth will make you free.” Mature adults accept a religion because they believe it is true and because they seek freedom and fulfillment in the truth. Mature and intelligent adults do not keep to a religion merely because people threatened them as children with punishment if they did not accept the religion of their forefathers. Only an immature religion – one for the childish and ignorant – is based on threats that continue even into adulthood. Yes, evildoers deserve punishment, but those who are genuinely seeking the truth deserve help and praise. The devil holds in bondage those who do not love the truth...

We Are Not Our Own: Childhood in a Technological Age...

Liberal culture’s anti-child practices are bound up with a logic of childlessness most basically defined in terms of a forgetfulness of being and its Origin and expressed by the marginalization of philosophy, leisure, and liturgy as ways of being and acting. We can adequately address either these practices or this logic only by addressing both of them at the same time. The argument is that we will succeed in carrying out the tasks indicated here only by re-centering the culture in conception, birth, and being born: That is, in these as realized literally in the procreation of children, even as this literal procreation of children is itself understood to bear an entire vision of human being and acting before God. Absent this re-centering of the culture in conception and birth so understood, our culture is in imminent peril of an ever-increasing loss both literally of the lives of children, especially in their most innocent and defenseless beginnings, and of the integrity of the human in its natural givenness.

The Art of Killing a Conscience...

A troubled conscience can ruin our day, week, or year. The lawyer for legendary Old West gunfighter Doc Holliday (who was suffering from tuberculosis) once asked him if his conscience ever troubled him. “No,” he replied, “I coughed that up with my lungs long ago.” We may also consider techniques to silence one’s conscience. Here are some tips on how to wrestle with a conscience—and win. First, never underestimate vice. Conscience is the voice of God. It is informed by His revelation through authentic Church teaching, directing us to choose the good and disturbing us when we plot or commit an evil act. The more we respond to the disturbances with good choices, we become virtuous. When we repeatedly neglect the voice of conscience, we become vicious: vice-filled. Viciousness comes in many forms and flavors. One can be filled with vice and still be considered a nice person. We need not be judgmental. We vote for—and ordain—many vicious people who have mastered the art of smiling.

The New Old Movie Review: ‘The Glenn Miller Story’ (1954)...

Many of Jimmy Stewart’s movies are widely known and loved for plenty of good reasons. For millions of people, It’s A Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Harvey are favorite viewing. But there’s another Jimmy Stewart movie you may have missed. It’s a rags-to-riches musical called The Glenn Miller Story. When the movie opens, we see Glenn buying back his trombone from a pawn shop, and we get the idea that he has hocked it several times before. Glenn is a trombonist by profession, but he aspires to become a successful musical arranger. The problem is, no one else — not even his closest friend — seems to believe in his dream.

Beware of Catholics whose faith centers on ‘dialogue’ and ‘openness’ — when they get the power they seek, they can turn vicious.....

The folks over at the National Catholic Reporter must think we have poor memories or no memory at all. For decades, the Reporter positioned itself as the loyal opposition to what it viewed as an overly authoritarian papacy thwarting the “true reform” of the Church. Operating from within a populist, liberal modality, they adopted the rhetoric of the various grassroots political movements of the Sixties in order to agitate for broad and sweeping changes in Church doctrine, morality, and practice. The new democratic ethos of modernity and the secular liberal trends of contemporary culture all pointed toward a “curve of history” that the Church needed to get in line with or perish. The “people of God” metaphor was put in the service of this populist message with strong claims being made that the cultural sea change that was going on among Catholics in the West represented a paradigm shift that was the fruit of the Holy Spirit pushing the hierarchy “from below” to change with the times.

War Dispatches from the Incredible Shrinking Man and the Good Thief...

We spend much of our lives avoiding conflict if we can, a noble aspiration. We settle family disputes, avoid war, and hope for reconciliation within and among nations. The manic-depressive election cycles drive us crazy. Pharmaceutical companies promise to eliminate pain and extend our lives. Are we hard-wired for perpetual turmoil? Or is there a cure for our restlessness? Perhaps an old sci-fi film will help us begin to place human conflict into perspective. In the 1957 film The Incredible Shrinking Man, the main character, Scott, is on vacation with his wife. A strange mist covers him, and six months later, Scott notices his clothes are too large. He is shrinking. Scott's steady decrease makes him a national curiosity. He shrinks until he is small enough to live in a dollhouse. The family cat attacks him. He survives a battle with a spider. Scott eventually accepts his fate as he shrinks to sub-atomic size, a size useful for our purposes.