Author: Daniel Amiri

0

In the Desert God Restores Our Lives

“Behold the desert, place of life not of death, because to converse with the Lord in silence restores life to us.”  Pope Francis, Ash Wednesday General Audience (Source: Zenit) In his weekly audience for Ash Wednesday this year, Pope Francis returned to the idea that silence is an essential part of Christian life, for we need silence in order to hear the voice of God.  Moreover, Francis insists that this voice of God isn’t just an...

0

Fr. James Martin and the End of Modernity

The most recent controversy involving CNA’s reporting of a meeting between Fr. James Martin and Pope Francis illustrates well just how much Martin has become a lightning rod, in social media and beyond, for his advocacy for and on behalf of LGBT Catholics. But why? It is superficial to think that the controversy is reducible to a question of Fr. Martin’s orthodoxy, as he rebuffs claims of his supposed heterodoxy. I also don’t believe Martin’s...

0

Narratives that Colonize

Narratives are powerful. Narratives help frame issues and events, making them accessible and more easily understood. Within a world full of confusion and “information overload,” narratives can provide meaning and clarity on complicated issues and controversies. But it is also true that narratives can be dangerous. Narratives almost always reflect the perspectives and biases of those who construct them. Many narratives are built on false or inaccurate assumptions; some narratives are devised to intentionally deceive....

0

How to Avoid Proselytizing Your Children (And Others Too)

The Church in the West is struggling to hand on the faith to the next generation. Parents themselves may find it difficult to remain in the faith. The abuse crisis has shattered trust in the Church, even while the Church struggles for relevance against the temptations and challenges of secular culture. But the solution cannot be a rigorism that denies the agency of others, including our children. Imparting the faith involves a delicate balance between...

0

Grief and Hope: A Pro-Life Message

My son was due to be born this week. For a few months now, I’ve been driving by the cemetery where we buried him, occasionally visiting him, each time a reminder of that life that was and could have been. As we commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and we remember all the lives that have been snuffed out through the evil of abortion, my son is for me a visceral reminder both of...

1

What’s in a name?

It appears we have reached a stalemate. Cardinal Sarah has given his version of events of how the book, From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church, came to be written. Archbishop Georg Ganswein has also given his version of events on behalf of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. There are inconsistencies in their respective accounts.  Who is telling the truth? Perhaps both. Both statements may accurately reflect reality...

2

The Forces of Evil Induce Us Not to Change

In a recent article for First Things, George Weigel makes a fundamental error when he criticizes the notion, recently repeated by Pope Francis (quoting the late Cardinal Martini), that the Catholic Church is “behind the times.” His analysis–based on the erroneous inference that being “behind” implies a desire for the Church to “play catch-up” with the most harmful ideologies and trends of the last two centuries–is a critique of a false premise. He correctly explains...

0

Catholicism Is Always Right and That’s Why Catholics Are Often Wrong

If you’re reading this, my guess would be that you have a certain level of theological education (formal or not), intellectual curiosity about the faith, and a desire to debate and discuss that faith with others. But this post-modern era is the time to put aside debate that aims exclusively for the head and instead reach for the heart with the Gospel’s perennial message of mercy. On the internet or at least facilitated by online...

0

Evangelization in an Election Year

It is now officially 2020. Political junkies rejoice!  For the rest of us, the heightened level of negativity and emotion that elections bring typically means many of us won’t be too eager to engage with others on anything that can become an opportunity for debate. For Catholics, the notion that this election year could be an opportunity for evangelization is likely far from our minds.  It is both possible and absolutely necessary to share our...

0

Pope to Curia: We are no longer living in a Christian world

On December 21, 2019, Pope Francis addressed the Curia in a Christmas message. Unlike many papal homilies, speeches, and addresses that slip silently into the Vatican’s online archives, this address received significant attention from the secular news media. Not surprisingly, these reports contained a mix of helpful factual information interlaced with unhelpful and misleading oversimplifications. The Associated Press published a short article on it, and Francis X. Rocca wrote an article about it for the...

0

Christianity Without Guardrails

Fr. Dwight Longenecker finished reading Rusty Reno’s new book and is now ready to declare that we are heading for World War III. But Longenecker’s article illustrates that a world war, spiritual in nature, is already upon us. Longenecker’s review of Reno’s book details some of Reno’s core arguments. In his reading, there was a post-war consensus that has led influential actors across disciplines to “get rid of dogma,” to dispel with the idea that...

0

Catechesis Is Not the Answer

What figure best shows how dire the Church’s situation is in the West? Is it Mass attendance among youth? Perhaps it is polls of self-professed Catholics that reveal little connection between the Church’s teachings and common practice? We know the Church is in decline, but sadly the Church’s response (and by Church I mean myself included) has been haphazard and a little sad. We look to bishops to be prophets, speaking out boldly for the...

0

On Capitalism: American Catholics Have a Choice to Make

The debate touched off by Senator Marco Rubio’s recent speech at the Catholic University of America reveals major fault lines within current Catholic thinking in the United States. What Rubio, who is Catholic, pointed out in his speech seemed straightforward enough: capitalism has led to a growing inequality. Many, especially the young, feel left out of a system that primarily benefits only a few and the already wealthy. Unemployment is at a record low, but...

0

Growth Requires Strong Roots

America is a melting pot of various cultures and traditions. As American Catholics, we have a unique perspective on both the benefits and the challenges that this can bring as we seek to evangelize in our schools and communities. Multiculturalism, as Pope Francis describes it in several different speeches and letters, can help to bring people together in a new, enriched harmony but Francis acknowledges that it very easily can create a feeling that one...

0

Memory of a Promise

The Christian is one in whom the past and future meet in the present and unfold into a new vision, a new life. In Advent, especially, the Church invites us to reconsider our lives as the intersection of our history and our future. We remember the birth of Jesus and live in hope of his coming Kingdom.  Related to this Christian theme, in A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens puts Ebeneezer Scrooge into contact with his...

0

Not Mercenaries, but Missionary Disciples

“A missionary disciple is not a mercenary of the faith or a producer of proselytes, but rather a humble mendicant who feels the absence of brothers, sisters and mothers with whom to share the irrevocable gift of reconciliation that Jesus grants to all.”  –Pope Francis Homily at Holy MassSupachalasai National Stadium of Bangkok During his first full day of events in Thailand, Francis spoke to thousands during Mass in Bangkok’s national stadium. In his homily,...

Image Credit: Osservatore Romano 0

Ivereigh’s Wounded Shepherd: Revealing the essence of this papacy

Life is not simply a bare succession of events, but a history, a story waiting to be told through the choice of an interpretative lens that can select and gather the most relevant data. In and of itself, reality has no one clear meaning. Everything depends on the way we look at things, on the lens we use to view them. If we change that lens, reality itself appears different. So how can we begin...

9

False accusations, not the Extraordinary Form, are toxic

The National Catholic Reporter recently published an opinion piece entitled “The Latin Mass becomes a cult of toxic tradition,” written by Zita Ballinger Fletcher. In the piece, the author attempts to show, based on “facts and personal experience,” that the Latin Mass, henceforth properly called the Extraordinary Form or EF for short, per se endorses sexism, clericalism, etc.  This piece wildly misses the mark. Liturgical preference for either the EF or the OF does not...

11

Do Something Truly Radical: Get Off the Internet

Connection. Connection was the pretext under which millions and millions of millennials such as myself flocked to the Internet in the 1990s. But as we have become more connected, we are becoming ever more distant IRL (in real life). This has had lasting impacts on the Church and efforts at evangelization.   The West is nearing peak virtuality. Some of our closest friendships may be with people we’ve never even met. Some are friends, perhaps exclusively,...

The Church of Discomfort

Those who grew up without access to the internet, cell phones, or a host of screens on demand are familiar with the experience of boredom in a way that many young people today are not. Long ago we would whine to our parents about how bored we were. Even if our parents wanted to ease our all of our burdens and concerns, however insignificant, they would have found it difficult to do so. There’s likely...