Category: Grace

3

Holiness isn’t about trying harder

I’ve noticed that “growing in holiness” is usually presented by popular Catholic media as something like “We just gotta pray more and try harder, then the Lord will make us holier.” As if becoming holy will take a lot of work, but God makes it possible. Similarly, we often speak of grace as sort of a spiritual vitamin or, as one book I recently saw put it, “The Eucharist gives me the energy to pursue...

11

The Pope Francis Generation

I’m too young to have known John Paul II. He died before I cared about Jesus, let alone the pope. Benedict was pope during my conversion at the end of high school and during college. But I was too deeply entrenched in culture war stuff to care much about what the pope had to say. Back in college I binged listened to Catholic Answers. I read The Catholic Thing pretty much daily. I regularly read...

4

Against Certainty

Did Jesus establish his church to give us personal certainty and perfect clarity? Assuming so reveals a rather rationalist view of the church. A view that is typically used as a fortress to rebuff questioning or dissent, or to guard against unflattering bits of church history, or to preserve an idealistic but unreal vision of the church, a vision useful for apologists but loosely connected to reality. A view that assumes that the development of...

Hedge Maze 1

A Moral Maze

Over the past couple of weeks, Where Peter Is has featured some articles presenting dueling metaphors about Christian freedom, conscience, and the place of other people in informing conscience. Paul Fahey first drew a picture of a garden, walled by God, in the middle of a wasteland. He suggested that there should be complete freedom of movement within this garden, and that though some people may find a need to limit themselves further to avoid...

2

Pope Francis’ “Dangerous” View of Conscience

George Weigel complains that “voices have been heard urging a view of conscience that is curious, even dangerous.” What view of conscience could that be? Weigel describes it like this: Under certain circumstances, conscience may permit or even require that a person choose acts that the Church has consistently taught are intrinsically wrong—such as using artificial means of contraception, or receiving Holy Communion while living the married life in a union that’s not been blessed...