Friday 9th October 2015

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The Baby Who Was God

December 28, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JOHN YOUNG God can seem very remote. By studying the world He created we can prove His existence and gain some knowledge of His nature. A person with a gift for philosophy and good teachers can gain wonderful insight, by the use of reason, into the Architect of the universe. But most people are not philosophers, and even those who are will not experience, through their use of reason alone, the intimacy with God for which the soul naturally yearns. Even God as known through divine Revelation can seem abstract, although in fact He is most real. Take the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity: three Persons each distinct from the others, yet each is the same God. Or the…Continue Reading

Evangelizing At Christmastime

December 27, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JOANNE SADLER BUTLER A happy accident of the commercial Christmas (ahem, “Holiday”) season is it pushes the detritus of Halloween decorations off the big-box retailers’ shelves. This pleases me, and should please you as it closes the door to what is now America’s annual celebration of a culture of death while opening the door to our celebration of life, represented by Christ Incarnate of the Virgin Mary. Unless you live in a suburb populated with lots of kids, you may have missed the morphing of Halloween from a simpler time when children dressed up in cast-off clothes and went door-to-door seeking candy — to one where homeowners try to outdo each other in ghoulish decorations, where the winner is…Continue Reading

Christmas As A Transformation

December 26, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO There are Revolutions, and there are Transformations. A Revolution, in the dictionary’s first meaning of the word, makes a full circle and always returns to where it began. And that is why such Revolutions always fail to improve things. But even those Revolutions that seek radical change oftentimes follow a similar circular pattern, according to the French proverb, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.) A Transformation, on the other hand, such as what Christianity represents, brings life closer to God and carries with it a universal blessing. Christmas, the birth of Christianity, presents us with a Transformation for the good, the true, and the beautiful.…Continue Reading

The Last Dream

December 25, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEREK BECHER Sixty-two Christmases he spent alone, after the year that his parents died, leaving him as an orphan. Each Christmas passed like just another day, another page falling endlessly from the calendar of his life. And all the while, in the privacy of his mind and his weakening heart, he hoped for something more, wished for something better. But with no family and nary a friend, he found it difficult to be touched by the wonder of the Christmas season, unable to even imagine how it would feel to spend the holidays with love. And so, with Christmas morning again less than twelve hours away, and his life’s days now surely numbered, he arranged the loose papers to…Continue Reading

Who Understands Christmas Better? . . . H.L. Mencken Or The Jesus Seminar?

December 24, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK We don’t hear as much about the Jesus Seminar as we used to. The group seems to have had its 15 minutes of fame in the mid-1990s, when Time magazine devoted an issue to its theories and the television networks jumped on the bandwagon. But that does not mean that their influence has dissipated. We hear many “enlightened” Catholics these days making the same case as the Seminar proponents. They tell us that the biblical accounts of Christmas — the so-called “infancy narratives” — are myths created by early Christians seeking to make the case for the divinity of Jesus, and that modern enlightened Christians should reject the stories in the name of a more mature…Continue Reading

Dishonest Tactics

December 23, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK Judging by some of the correspondence I receive, I don’t always succeed at keeping partisan politics out of First Teachers. But I try. This column is meant to be a forum on educational issues for Catholic parents, not to be an arm of any political party. But dishonesty is dishonesty. And I submit that the Obama administration’s tactics toward vouchers and tax credits for parents of parochial school students reek of dishonesty. They deserve to be criticized. Consider the latest ploy the administration is using to destroy school-choice programs in Wisconsin. I can’t imagine even a teacher union activist who would not admit — at least in private — that the Obama team is stretching the…Continue Reading

Charlie’s Gift

December 22, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By FR. MICHAEL P. ORSI Charlie was no stranger to life’s difficulties. Yet, somehow he remained unscathed. I first met him at Our Lady Star of the Sea, in Cape May, N.J. Charlie was the maintenance man but really so much more. He told me he started off as a barber in Ireland. He was able to do almost anything with his hands. But, his greatest assets were his cheerful disposition and his wisdom. The former being the product of the latter. Charlie reflected on life. He could see beyond the immediate to the big picture. Charlie’s’ ready smile and warmth were so disarming. He quickly gained my confidence. I often wondered what made him so buoyant. I knew he…Continue Reading

California Catholic Media School . . . Successfully Settles Into Expanded New Location

December 21, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

  By DEXTER DUGGAN ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Making its first visit to the new location of John Paul the Great Catholic University, The Wanderer stepped into the campus eucharistic adoration chapel, with a few students praying amid seating for about two dozen people. Is this where daily Mass is offered? Not at all, replied Derry Connolly, Ph.D., president of the school since its inception as an idea in 2003, as he showed off the campus on December 12. It occupies a total of 40,000 square feet in four buildings along this Southern California city’s Grand Avenue downtown.

Is Government Faithful To The Constitution?

December 20, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO When the government is waving at us with its right hand, so to speak, it is the government’s left hand that we should be watching. Just as a magician draws your attention to what he wants you to see so you will not observe how his trick is performed, the past week presented a textbook example of public disputes masking hidden deceptions. Here is what happened. That week was dominated by two huge news stories. One was the revelation by the Senate Intelligence Committee of torture committed by CIA agents and contractors on 119 detainees in the post-9/11 era — 26 of whom were tortured for months by mistake. In that revelation of anguish and error…Continue Reading

Grace Happens

December 19, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By GEORGE A. KENDALL I’m not sure if this quite qualifies as a Christmas article. At least its connection with Christmas is a bit tangential. It is about grace, and the experiences we have once in a while (in my case, once in a great while) of the surprising appearance of grace in the midst of one’s humdrum existence. The Christmas carol, Silent Night, refers to the birth of Christ as “the dawn of redeeming grace,” and, indeed, every time grace comes into one’s life, sometimes seeming to positively burst in, Christ is born into the world and into our lives. We stumble along through life, through what an anonymous medieval mystic called “the cloud of unknowing,” trying to respond…Continue Reading