Category Archives: Theology

Pope to Catholic Academia: Be Both

There are three possible approaches to Catholic higher education. One is to retreat from the world, and be “just Catholic.” Another is to retreat from the Church and be “just a university.” The third is the hardest:  to fully engage the world with the fullness of the faith. Pope Francis spoke to visitors from Notre [...]

Music at Mass: Finding the Harmony of God and Man in Chant

Way back when, before political correctness seized control of schools, I had a high-school choir director who was red-haired, strong-minded and a dedicated atheist. This did not deter her from preparing a Christmas-concert (yes, we called it that back then – the horror, the horror!) program that included several stately sacred-music pieces, all in Latin. [...]

A Shockin’ Holy Saint?

In his classic book of Christian apologetics, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis warns against the position–common today among spiritual-but-not-religious types–that Jesus was a fine ethicist (“Love your neighbor”) but that his relevance for the modern world pretty much ends there. I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about [...]

Eight Ways to Give As God Gave This Christmas

We give because God gave. That’s how Christmas works … right? God gave us his Son, so every December, we imitate him by giving iPads, sweaters and fruit baskets. Our rushing from store to store and perusing the hottest retail deals online, spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the process, is all our [...]

Feckless Men, Faithful Fathers, and the Masculine Genius

“The Church needs a better theology of women.” So spoke Pope Francis last August on his way back from Rio. The media, of course, agreed. But me? My first thought upon hearing the remark was, “Um, the Church already has a darned good theology of women.” My second thought, however, was, “What the Church really [...]

Turning Pink With Joy on Gaudete Sunday

Why is one candle not like all the others? Advent and its counterpart, Lent, are seasons of penitence. On the Advent wreath, the three purple candles mark the preparation Christians undergo while awaiting the arrival of Christ on Earth. But, unlike dour Lent, Advent is usually a happy season, full of food, parties, shopping, music [...]

The Pope Emeritus Responds to an Atheist

The National Catholic Register’s website has the full text of Pope emeritus Benedict’s letter in response to the Italian atheist, Piergiorgio Odifreddi.  Odifreddi had written a book –Dear Pope, I am Writing to You–which dealt critically with some of Benedict’s own writings, such as Jesus of Nazareth and Introduction to Christianity.  Odifreddi’s book came out in [...]

Five Disappointing Things About Advent

Advent must have been something great back in the day. The sober, quiet calm before the storm of Christmas cheer. A time to hole up and gather energy for the Christmas feast. It is not so anymore. 1. The music is disappointing. Imagine if, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and all the days between, [...]

101 Reasons to Give Thanks For Your Body

Yes, your body. The one you think is too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too old, too weak. The one with the scars and the stretch marks, the wrinkles and the cellulite, the acne and the bald spot. The one you’ve long been wishing were just a little (or a lot) different from [...]

Want to Express Yourself? Then Ditch the Daisy Dukes and Dig Out the Iron.

Hope springs eternal. Or so they say. It certainly springs eternal for fashion historian Katy Werlin. In the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s recent assessment of our culture’s fashion sense (or lack thereof), Werlin remarked, “Fashion is very cyclical, and if you study fashion history, you see trends repeat themselves. So, I’m sure maybe in 50 years [...]


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