Center

Msgr. Burrill and the ‘Droit du Monseigneur’…

It looks like many Catholics, from the progressives to the integralists, are mad at The Pillar for outing a top USCCB cleric over his alleged use of the gay hook-up app Grindr, which is used to arrange impromptu gay sexual encounters. The Washington Postsurveys the reaction. Excerpts: Is Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill a victim of both the surveillance and morality police? Or a hypocrite who had it coming? The case of the high-ranking Catholic cleric who resigned after allegedly being tracked on the gay dating app Grindr quickly became a Rorschach test Wednesday for Catholics already mired in tension over politics, theology and culture. Burrill until Tuesday was the top administrator for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He stepped down after a Catholic newsletter presented conference off...

The matrimonial gift: “With my body I thee worship…”…

The Painters Honeymoon – Frederic Leighton “With this ring I thee wed; this gold and silver I thee give, with my body I thee worship and with all my worldly goods I thee endow.” In last week’s article, I made the claim that not only is it possible for someone to give a gift without expectations or demands from the receiver, it is in fact necessary that this be the case. Otherwise, it is not a gift, but a transaction. Does this always hold though? What about conjugal love between husband and wife? In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI notes that “…husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.” If...

Here’s the gist of the new motu proprio: Forget “accompaniment” and “dialogue,” and push TLM goers to the margins…..

Let’s do an Occam’s Razor on this new Motu Proprio. It seems pretty simple to me: A number of bishops wanted the tools to restrict celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, and Pope Francis gave it to them. There you go. I mean, we can talk history, ecclesiology, theology and liturgy all day long, but that’s about as basic as it gets or needs to be. I was there. Well, not literally, but I can tell you that this generation of clergy and church activists – now maybe from their late 60’s on up – were formed in a way that they cannot envision a healthy Church in which the TLM is still a part. At all. I mean – it’s inconceivable and ridiculous in that generation’s minds. It’s almost as if they can’t believe they’re still having to deal with this, amiright? What is striking, if not at all surpr...

My soul takes pleasure in three beautiful things — agreement between brothers, friendship between neighbors, and a wife and a husband who live in harmony…

“My soul takes pleasure in three things, and they are beautiful in the sight of the Lord and of men; agreement between brothers, friendship between neighbors, and a wife and a husband who live in harmony.” Sirach I wonder what these words sound like to the young. I imagine they sound rather innocuous; I think they would have to me. Sure, of course those three things are great. It is fascinating how life experience can open our eyes. To the challenge of what was presumed easy. To the rareness of what seemed common. To the gift of what was taken for granted. To the reality that in comparison with good relationships everything else is so much chaff. Many of us have learned that each of these precious relationships can founder, be wounded, or even killed. No wonder Ben Sira focuses on these th...

Praise miraculously broke St. Paul’s chains — and praising God is what will break your chains too…

“Prayer of praise is entirely disinterested and rises to God, lauds him, and gives him glory for his own sake, quite beyond what he has done, but simply because HE IS.” (CCC 2649) You’re probably making a very common mistake with your prayer life, making it more about you than about God. However, I’ve got a simple fix that I can sum up in one word: praise. An attitude of praise toward God will revolutionize your prayer life. It’ll revolutionize your life, period! Praise cultivates gratitude, reminds you of who you are and of who God is, and opens your heart to a deeper relationship with God and others. In this video, I give you some extremely practical advice about how to bring the power of praise into your daily prayer. Watch here: [embedded content] Join Our Telegram Group : Salvation &a...

Catholic Dissident Leader in Cuba: Under Current Totalitarian Regime, ‘It Is Impossible to Prosper’…

Last week, thousands of Cubans took to the streets in protest. The unprecedented crowds called for food and medicine, which have been hard to come by on the economically crippled island. But they also called for something more profound: freedom and liberty, human needs that have been in short-supply in Cuba during the 62-year rule of a communist regime. Inspired by the Gospel’s call for human freedom in all areas of life, Movimiento Cristiano Liberacion (MCL), known in English as the Christian Liberation Movement, has called for political reform for decades often in the face of violent responses from the Cuban government. The Register reached MCL’s current leader, Dr. Eduardo Cardet, July 16 at his home via text messages. The text message exchange, originally in the Spanish language, has b...

How to know if you’ve become a ‘Coca-Cola Catholic,’ and how to fix it if you are…

Truth, beauty and goodness — like a fine wine — get better with age, but Coca-Cola just fizzles out and goes flat. Some time ago over at my blog I wrote a series on “What’s Killing American Catholicism.” The first post was on Cultural Catholicism, and I argued that this was countered by Comprehensive Catholicism — a Catholic faith that is truly universal and transcends all cultures and ethnicities.  The second installment was on Complacent Catholicism, which is countered by Compassionate Catholicism. The third post focused on Cafeteria Catholicism versus Complete Catholicism, while the fourth installment was on Cut-Off Catholicism, which is countered by Continuous Catholicism.  Being kind of addicted to alliteration, I continued the series with Coca-Cola Catholicism. This has two...

A psychotherapist says parents who raise confident, mentally strong kids always do these 3 things when praising their children…

As parents, we want our kids to feel good about themselves, so we try to praise them as much as possible. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Research shows that there are benefits to praising kids. A simple compliment can generate self-worth and pride. However, it depends on what kind of praise we give, as well as when and how frequently. As a psychotherapist who works with parents and children, I’ve seen over and over again the negative effects of overpraising a child’s talent or outcome (“This looks amazing!” “You’re so handsome!” “Good job!”). But these short, exaggerated reactions can cause kids to only focus on things that may harm their self-esteem. They might feel performance anxiety (“If I get this answer wrong, I a...

The French Revolution and the Carmelites of Compiègne…

When Bastille Day comes around each summer on July 14, I just can’t bring myself to pop the cork on a bottle of Champagne-style California sparkling wine (the kind I can afford). The Fête Nationale commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 and its one year anniversary, Fête de la Fédération, when a new government, with Louis XVI as a constitutional monarch, seemed to indicate a peaceful resolution to the French Revolution. I can’t help thinking of all that came after that, including the Reign of Terror and the campaign to destroy Catholicism in France. If I’m going to toast the memory of anyone in the middle of July, it would be the Blessed Carmelites of Compiègne, the nuns guillotined on July 17, 1794. The More-Benedictine Connection Their Carmel had been closed in 1792 as ...

Concrete accounts for about half of all manmade things. There is so much concrete in the world that soon it will outweigh all living matter…..

Ages of human history have often been named after the materials that our ancestors mastered at that time: stone, bronze or iron. If future archaeologists do the same for us, what material might they choose to define the 21st Century? Silicon? Plastic? Both are candidates, shaping the world for better and for worse. But if the decision were based on scale alone, then there can be only one answer: we are living in the age of concrete. There are few human-made substances on Earth that are quite so ubiquitous. Concrete is what the philosopher-ecologist Timothy Morton calls a “hyperobject” – something so enormous and widespread that it cannot be fully contemplated with the mental faculties that we have. If you attempt to picture the entirety of the world’s concrete in the mind...

Four teachings on personal prayer, for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time…

The Gospel this Sunday speaks to us of the priority of personal prayer. In last week’s Gospel, Jesus sent the apostles out two by two to proclaim the Kingdom. Now they return, eager to report their progress and the graces they encountered. As Jesus listens, He urges them (perhaps because they are so overjoyed) to come away and rest awhile, for they have labored long. In so doing, Jesus also teaches us about prayer. Let’s consider four teachings on prayer that are evident in today’s Gospel. I. The Practice of Praise-Filled Prayer – As the text opens, the apostles are with Jesus, joyfully recounting all they experienced on their missionary journey. In a similar text in Luke (10:17), the apostles return rejoicing, saying that even demons are subject to them (through Jesus’ name). Thus, their ...

Can calamities come to us? Yes. But when these calamities come, will the Lord still be with us? Yes…..

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Today I will be speaking to you about why the Jewish calendar is different from our own, about why this Sunday is of special significance in Jewish history, and about the enduring faithfulness of our Lord towards his people. Like many ancient cultures, the Jews kept a lunar calendar, while we, and most of the world today, follow a particular solar calendar. Our modern calendar is called the Gregorian Calendar, instituted by Pope Gregory XII in 1582. For the Gregorian Calendar, one orbit around the Sun makes one year, counted as 365 days (or 366 days in a leap year). The Jewish calendar, instead, is focused on the Moon: one cycle of the Moon through its phases makes one month, counted as 29 or 30 days. Because the cycles of the Sun and Moon do not perfectly matc...