The first paragraph of Amoris Laetitia states that “the desire to marry and form a family remains vibrant, especially among young people.” Throughout my engagement, however, my desire to marry has sometimes been less than vibrant. To paraphrase my archbishop Cardinal O’Malley, I long for . . . . Continue Reading »
Philip Larkin lamented that whether or not anybody refills your drink at a party “seems to turn on where you are. Or who.” In our divided Catholic Church, pastoral care is a lot like Larkin's cocktails. Catholics who sincerely desire to submit themselves to the Church they love come to their . . . . Continue Reading »
A mother shouldn’t have favorites, but I have often observed that she inclines more to the child who is sick or more vulnerable than the rest. The more fragile the child, the fiercer the love of the mother. The strong and healthy ones outgrow her solicitous nurturing, and she can do no more for . . . . Continue Reading »
Though mercy is a Christian virtue, our post-Christian society shies away from relying on it. Lenient criminal sentences, pardons, and debt forgiveness all seem to undercut the demands of justice and public safety. We now speak the language of rights, instead of mercy, to justify helping the needy. Social programs have displaced Christian charity, and generic do-gooder benevolence has supplanted mercy.
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When Pope Francis announced his Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, now underway, he accompanied it with a beautiful papal bull, Misericordiae Vultus, which disappeared almost as soon as it was issued.Fortunately, in his new book, The Name of God is Mercy, co-authored with Andrea Tornielli, Francis . . . . Continue Reading »
Pope Francis has announced a jubilee Year of Mercy, starting December 8. He is hardly the first pope to stress the importance of mercy. John Paul II spoke about it often and eloquently. But Francis has a special passion for the virtue, likely rooted in his experience of the poor and his affection . . . . Continue Reading »
The day after the brutal terrorist attacks in France by ISIS, French President Hollande gave his country’s immediate response:My dear compatriots. What happened last night in Paris, and in Saint Denis by the Stade de France, is an act of war. . . because it was attacked cowardly, shamelessly, . . . . Continue Reading »