Pope Francis and the Hidden Path to Holiness

From Web Exclusives

Five years ago the Catholic Church had a Year of the Priest, and now Pope Francis has declared a Year of Consecrated Life. To mark this year, he has issued an Apostolic Letter, building upon Vatican II’s decree on religious life, Perfectae Caritatis (1965), and St. John Paul II’s post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Vita Consecrata (1996). While everyone seems to have a concept of the priestly ideal, the unique charism of consecrated life, especially for men, is more obscure. In particular, religious brothers tend to have lower profiles than do priests and nuns. Continue Reading »

A Catholic Case Against Marriage

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According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), marriage is a sacrament, and “the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life” (CCC 1661). Also, the Catechism claims that “marriage helps to overcome self-absorption, egoism, pursuit of one’s own pleasure, and to open oneself to the other, to mutual aid and to self-giving” (CCC 1609). Well, any honest and objective observer will have to admit that these words do not reflect reality. Therefore, for the sake of the Church’s integrity and for the health of society, it is possible for a Catholic to argue against marriage. . . . Continue Reading »

Brother Joseph of Molokai

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With the recent canonizations of Father Damien of Molokai and Mother Marianne Cope, the time has come to recognize Brother Joseph, who worked with them in that remote leper colony. The spiritual life having its paradoxes, the reason he should be recognized is that he would not want any recognition. By becoming more aware of this saintly man, we may become more appreciative of the vocation of the religious brother, which in turn helps us to focus more fully on Christ… . Continue Reading »

Joyful Evangelization

From Web Exclusives

There is an approach to the Christian life that I find particularly tiresome. It is that emphatic cheerfulness in which all must take part, that demand that you will be joyful. But Christian joy is in fact a great part of our faith. In a few years we will mark the fortieth anniversary of a relatively obscure Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Paul VI, Gaudete in Domino, “Rejoice in the Lord” (1975). In anticipation of that anniversary, let’s look at some of his insights about Christian joy… . Continue Reading »