Thursday 23rd October 2014

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Prayer As Reversed Thunder

July 4, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO George Herbert (1593-1633) is one of those rare human beings who combined both scholarship and artistry with personal sanctity. In his three years of ministry as a clergyman, he preached and prayed, visited the poor, consoled the sick, and sat by the bed of the dying — administering true pastoral care to the privileged and the plowman alike. He rebuilt his church out of his own pocket. Unfortunately, consumption cut his life short. His reputation as a major poet rests solely on a single volume that was published shortly after his death by a friend to whom it had been left. In his poem, Prayer (1), he makes the thought-provoking remark that prayer is “reversed thunder.” For…Continue Reading

But Not A Bat… You Can Kill A Baby In The Womb

July 3, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off
bat

By FR. MARVIN DEUTSCH One day when I was giving a retreat in Minnesota, a lady came up to me with a problem. She said she had bats in her attic and didn’t know how to get rid of them. I suggested that she put a cat up there who would make short work of the bats. She said it was against the law because in Scott County bats are a protected species. She said they eat mosquitoes. But, I told her, the bats have no business in your attic. She finally hired a man to watch where the bats went out at dusk and then stuff up the holes so they could not get back. And so I made…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… “Can You Be Pro-Life And Support Capital Punishment?”

July 2, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of all Culture of Life 101 articles so far with footnotes, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +    +    + “If the deliberate extinguishment of human life has any effect at all, it more likely tends to lower our respect for life and brutalize our values” — Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, architect of Roe v. Wade, on capital punishment. +    +    + Pro-abortionists sometimes link the issues of abortion and capital punishment in their debates, literature, and propaganda campaigns. Their goal is to try to make pro-life activists look inconsistent because we allegedly support the death penalty…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Becoming A Domestic Church

July 1, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Little Oratory, by David Clayton and Leila Marie Lawler (Sophia Institute Press: Manchester, NH 2014), 186 pp. $19.95. Available through www.SophiaInstitute.com; 1-800-888-9344. While everyone knows the difference between a house and a home, not everyone recognizes the difference between a home and a “domestic church.” Because the Christian faith affects all of life and needs to be lived at home and at work as well as on Sundays in church, the life of Catholic faith grows through a special place in the home the authors define as a “little oratory” or sacred space — a prayer table resembling a home altar adorned with icons, pictures of saints, holy cards, Bible, prayer book, candles, and beautiful tablecloth…Continue Reading

David Brat: Calvinist Catholic Libertarian

June 30, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I don’t like admitting this in public; I like to think of myself as someone who keeps himself informed on the political issues of the day. But I never heard of David Brat before he defeated Eric Cantor in Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District Republican primary on June 10. I thought Cantor was a shoo-in, so I never spent time reading about the campaign in Virginia. To make up for my oversight, I have been racing to find out as much about Brat as I can. One thing I discovered I found especially intriguing. Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, identifies himself as a “Calvinist Catholic libertarian.” We owe it to ourselves to examine…Continue Reading

The Devil Ain’t Lazy

June 29, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By REY FLORES “Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games. We got everything you want, honey, we know the names. We are the people that can find whatever you may need. If you got the money, honey, we got your disease.” That above set of lyrics is from the 1987 song Welcome to the Jungle from the now-defunct rock band Guns N’ Roses. The song is an ode to hard living in the big city and it also conjures up visions of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Perhaps you’ve had someone ask you, “What’s your poison?” when offering to buy you a drink. Well — what is your poison? We all have one; don’t we? Is…Continue Reading

Is There Still A Particular Judgment?

June 28, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES LIKOUDIS Yes, in answer to the above question, there is. But silence regarding this dogma from all too many pulpits together with funeral Masses that focus on celebrating the life of the deceased and are replete with eulogies (amounting to instant canonization) have tended to make the Particular Judgment disappear from the mental horizon of many Catholics who, steeped in sin, sit comfortably in the pews of their parishes, forgetful of the “hard sayings” of Christ regarding eschatology. Eschatology is the area of doctrine and theology that deals with the “Last Things” (the “eschata”): death, judgment, Purgatory, Heaven, and Hell. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches as an article of Catholic faith that “the New Testament…repeatedly affirms…Continue Reading

A Book Review… A Brilliant Achievement With Fascinating Historical Details

June 27, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity by Rodney Stark (ISI Books: 2014), 432 pages; hardcover $27.95. Available through ISI Books, isibooks.org. Rodney Stark is a professor of social sciences at Baylor University and the author of a number of books on the sociology of religion. He describes his latest work as a “remarkably unfashionable book” and it is certainly the case that he is not in the business of just going along with the crowd in his analysis of the rise of Western civilization. He puts forward some challenging ideas in claiming that the rise of Western civilization was something unique, but backs up his positions with facts and figures…Continue Reading

Glass Half-Full? Half-Empty?

June 26, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The old explanation of the difference between an optimist and a pessimist came to mind when I read S.M.’s letter in response to the May 29 edition of First Teachers. That was the column where we listed the colleges and universities that are complying with the Church’s call to be faithful to Catholic theology and the Church’s moral teachings. The column included portions of an article by Tom Hoopes in the National Catholic Register expressing his gratitude for the role that an “authentically Catholic college” played in his intellectual and moral development. “I commend Tom Hoopes,” writes S.M., “for recognizing the elements of a truly Catholic education. His willingness to ‘pay even more in tuition for…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “You Aren’t Really Pro-Life Unless You Oppose War”

June 25, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of session 6 of The Pro-Life Basic Training Program, “Winning Pro-Life Debates,” which shows how to debunk the 40 most common pro-abortion slogans, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org. +    +    + “Abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between!” — Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Pro-abortionists sometimes allege that pro-lifers are concerned only about preborn children but are perfectly willing to send other people’s sons and daughters to far distant nations to…Continue Reading