Author: Daniel Amiri

25

The Perils of Theologizing Human Culture

What does a completely divinized culture look like? Will everyone pray the Divine Office? Will they go to Mass daily? What liturgy will be celebrated?  What clothes would be acceptable to wear in everyday life? The idea of a culture rooted in Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, is inherently attractive. United together in faith, we can leave our human sinful ways behind along with all the trappings. We can shed...

5

Suffering is a Part of Holiness

Humility can only take root in the heart through humiliations. Without them, there is no humility or holiness. If you are unable to suffer and offer up a few humiliations, you are not humble and you are not on the path to holiness. The holiness that God bestows on his Church comes through the humiliation of his Son. He is the way. Humiliation makes you resemble Jesus; it is an unavoidable aspect of the imitation...

2

The Church: A History of Reform

I’m currently making my way through James Hitchcock’s History of the Catholic Church which succinctly summarizes the main developments of the Church over its 2000 year history. One thing this brief survey of the Church has taught me is that the Church is always in need of reform. Four Views of History In broad terms, I have learned that there are four main theories or ways to view history: two secular, two rooted in faith....

7

How to Choose a Church

I am truly fascinated by conversion stories because conversion is predicated on a reorientation of the heart itself, a fundamental change in how one sees and approaches the world that may require shunning close friendships, family, and careers. As a Catholic, it certainly is a source of pride in my Church to know that its faithful and perennial witness on a number of moral issues has led people to embrace the Catholic Church as the...

0

The Lord Speaks in Silence: A Reflection on Prayer

“Holiness consists in a habitual openness to the transcendent.” When I was younger, I often thought of prayer as more or less a mental exercise. I don’t even think I called it prayer, but it was about the closest thing I came to it. My “prayers” constituted nothing more than self-reflection, with perhaps the Golden Rule and other general godly aphorisms sprinkled in like spice. In the worst times in my life, these “prayers” mimicked...

2

Pastors Must Listen

In my last two pieces, I discussed how pastors are called to preach the truth of the faith and the laity are called to listen to their teachings. This fundamental relationship between pastors and the laity is a bedrock of the lived Catholic faith. While individual pastors can be weak, sinful, poor speakers, or possess any number of other faults, the Church has not provided “exceptions” to the respective roles of pastors and laity in...

12

Sheep Gotta Sheep

Yesterday, I outlined the role pastors play in helping to form our consciences. Because the teaching office of the Church has been established by Christ and is preserved by the Holy Spirit, we are called to be sheep and to listen for the voice of Jesus in our pastors.  But what happens when we reject our role as “sheep”? Anecdotally, I have heard from at least a few people who distrust the Pope that they...

25

Pastors Gotta Pastor

The Christian faithful need pastors to guide them in the truth, to help form their consciences, and to call them to greater holiness. In the past weeks (regarding the synod), years (regarding Francis’ papacy), and decades (regarding the post Vatican-II Church), many Catholics have rejected their pastors, falling into a state of categorical distrust of the Church under the guise of conscience. It’s true: the Church gives the conscience a high place.  Our experience of...

0

Stating the obvious (on marriage and family)

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10

Can parish life make me holy?

I serve on my parish council at a church in an affluent suburb of St. Louis. Our parish typically gives a generous amount toward various fundraisers, including Archdiocesan special appeals, parish appeals, and missionary and service efforts, locally and abroad. It certainly is a lot to be proud of and I’m so happy to be part of such a generous parish. But the work of building parishioners up in holiness is never-ending, and any critical...

2

The Heart of Francis

The modern western world claims to be thoroughly empirical, so it is a wonder that our culture still clings to fanciful concepts like the “heart.” In this case, I don’t mean “heart” in any biological sense, of course, but rather in its more spiritual connotations.  A pop singer on The Voice might talk about “giving their heart” or “protecting their heart”.  And how can we forget that Black Eyed Peas hit, “Don’t Phunk with My...