Author: Daniel Amiri

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sentire cum ecclesia

Do you believe everything the Church teaches? But do you really?   When candidates make their profession at the Easter Vigil, they are asked, “Do you believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God?” The question cannot really be asking, “Do you in fact have specific knowledge of each and every thing that the Church teaches? If so, do you assent to those teachings?” It’s...

91

Preaching the Faith with Beauty

Recently, on Twitter, Steve Skojec described the existence of a de facto schism in which “two different and incompatible churches are occupying the same space at the same time.” He expressed a desire to see this de facto schism declared as such “de jure” or under church law.  Without really addressing the content of the comment itself, it certainly raises the question: why is it so hard for people of the same religion to agree...

23

Are You Called to Social Media?

Bishop Robert Barron has a wonderfully fresh perspective on social media and its use. See here and here. He criticizes the technology sharply, but he also embraces its more positive characteristics, even to the point of celebrating it as a spiritual phenomenon. But is it really possible to use social media well? Can one be on social media without impacting one’s moral or spiritual life? There are a few challenges to the good use of...

5

Christ Is the Path to True Manliness

In recent years, there have been several movements and programs designed to appeal to men’s innate desire for authentic masculinity, but have they been truly successful? In their desire to lead men from their enslavement to sin to true freedom in Christ, are they focusing too much on the external manifestations of “manliness”? One of these new programs is Exodus 90. It was produced by Those Catholic Men, an organization “with a passion for men’s...

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We Are Called to Be Perfect

There is a dangerous attitude prevalent in the world that suggests we are completely responsible for our own transformation. Whatever we become, whatever we achieve, it is because of our human efforts–exclusively. In a Christian context, we call this Pelagianism. Those who embrace this attitude might think that the primary difference between us and the Saints is that the Saints worked harder, studied harder, and made more intense sacrifices, for which God then blessed them....

5

Don’t Kill Their Joy

Pope Francis often makes a clear distinction between what he sees as a cold recitation of the Church’s doctrine and a vibrant encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. One of the clearest statements along these lines was in Amoris Laetitia, in which Francis wrote, “Rather than offering the healing power of grace and the light of the Gospel message, some would ‘indoctrinate’ that message, turning it into ‘dead stones to be hurled at others’.”...

4

The Joy of Holiness

Does God want us to be happy? Does God want us to feel happy? To answer the question, first let’s take a look at Scripture. Father Lawrence Boadt, in his book Reading the Old Testament, shows how the biblical texts, even from a historical critical perspective, reveal the deep insights of the human authors of Scripture. Surrounding the ancient Israelites and the Jewish people were in fact a number of pagan cultures who had their...

10

Christus Vivit: Calling All Young People

“Young people can help keep [the Church] young,” says Pope Francis in his new Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit.  “Young people can offer the Church the beauty of youth by renewing her ability to ‘rejoice with new beginnings, to give unreservedly of herself, to be renewed and to set out for ever greater accomplishments’.” (Paragraph 37) This brief survey of the document is not meant to replace a full reading. Do not be deceived by the...

5

Forsaking the Fountain of Living Water

“Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights” (Laudato Si’, 30). The problem of the scarcity of clean drinking water in many regions illustrates the need for an international organization with “real teeth” that can properly serve, with the consent of nations, as an agent for justice (cf. Caritas in Veritate,...

10

Six Years of Francis: Giving Thanks for Division

I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and...

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Recognize and Desist

In talking with friends who are having trouble accepting the teachings of Pope Francis, I have learned not to discount the serious and legitimate concerns they have. They are torn. On the one hand, they know that the papacy is important and efficacious for Christian unity. On the other hand, they firmly believe that what they are hearing from this Pope is flat wrong. For them, we have headed into uncharted territory for which the...

6

Ignatius: A Brief Introduction to the Theology of Pope Francis

Finally, we should not neglect the importance of Francis being the first Jesuit pope. In many respects, it appears Francis’ Jesuit background has had an important influence on Pope Francis’ theology. Given the Jesuits lengthy history and its varying roles over time, it would be merely superficial to draw the many parallels between Francis’ papacy and the Jesuit order broadly. Rather, the goal here specifically is to focus on the parallels between Francis’ writings and...