Tagged: lumen fidei

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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...

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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...

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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...

False News and What We Can Do About It

Where do you get your news? It’s funny how the answer to a seemingly innocent question can reveal so much about the person we’re talking to. Whether you read Vox, The Atlantic, or National Review; watch MSNBC, CNN, or Fox; or read the National Catholic Reporter, Catholic News Agency, or LifeSite News, revealing what sources you turn to can be like opening up a window into the soul.   In some ways, the media companies...

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’.”...

Romano Guardini: A Brief Introduction to the Theology of Pope Francis

While well-educated and academically trained, it can be said that Pope Francis does not belong to any one “school.” He is not strictly an “Augustinian” or a “Thomist,” though he cites Aquinas quite liberally. However, one person to whom we can likely grant a place of honor is Romano Guardini, to whom Francis devoted his doctoral studies. Guardini, of course, was one of the great thinkers of the early 20th century whose work heavily influenced...

A Brief Introduction to the Theology of Pope Francis

In God’s gift of faith, a supernatural infused virtue, we realize that a great love has been offered us, a good word has been spoken to us, and that when we welcome that word, Jesus Christ the Word made flesh, the Holy Spirit transforms us, lights up our way to the future and enables us joyfully to advance along that way on wings of hope. Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei It has been suggested before that...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

The Supernatural Vision of Fr. Kolbe

I believe it was sometime in June when I signed up to write the reflection on this particular day. To be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention to what the readings were or the feast day, I just picked a day that worked with my schedule. So I was surprised when I realized after the fact that it was the feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Though I shouldn’t have been surprised, it’s not the first...

Woke Catholicism

Francis has asked much of Catholics, particularly young Catholics, over the last five years. Francis’ papacy was almost immediately characterized in social media as a pendulum swing away from Benedict, away from the hardline teachings and Latin Mass and all the trappings. The new Pope’s statements coupled with the response of an eager secular media gave the impression that the Church was going to be subjected to a rapid development of doctrine and the abandonment...

Judging the Insignificant, Domesticating the Mystery

One of the advantages of working at a parish is that I rarely have a good excuse for not making it to Mass once or twice during the week. This morning the visiting priest reflected on the first reading during his homily and it resonated with what I have read recently from Pope Francis. The reading was from 1 Kings and told the story of God sending Elijah to go stay with a widow who...

The Cross of Truth and Love

There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know Donald Rumsfeld’s famous formulation has been applied to a variety of subjects and topics. It’s universality speaks to the desire to know, the limits of human understanding, as well as the ability of...