Archive | February 2016

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Cardinal Sarah on Doctrine and Pastoral Practice (Also, Prayer and Fasting)

When it comes to contemporary questions about the relationship between doctrine and pastoral practice, the cardinal makes it clear he supports no separation: The idea of putting Magisterial teaching in a beautiful display case while separating it from pastoral practice, which then could evolve along with circumstances, fashions, and passions, is a sort of heresy, […]

Only Sanctity

As Joseph Ratzinger put it, shortly before becoming Benedixt XVI: “The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb.” + The future of American religion depends on believers who can demonstrate, in word and deed alike, […]

The Scandal of Division and the Love of Private Judgment

Catholics need to stop cit­ing this num­ber, not only because it is out­landishly false but because it is not the point how many Protes­tant denom­i­na­tions there are. The point is the scan­dal of divi­sion and the love of pri­vate judg­ment that has caused so much of it. The scan­dal would be no less if there […]

The Forgiveness of Sins

Why is it great to be Catholic?  Four words: The forgiveness of sins.  When asked why he chose to become Catholic, English convert and author G.K. Chesterton was brief: “To get rid of my sins.”  That is what Jesus commanded His Church to do by His power: forgive sins (John 20:21-23). The world has seen […]

The Application of Divine Mercy

The message of Divine Mercy is that no sinner should be afraid to approach the Lord who is infinitely merciful and eager to forgive sin. But mercy cannot be applied to souls unless they acknowledge that they need mercy and respond to the offer of mercy with humility, repentance, and faith. —from the pamphlet The […]

Mark Twain and The Parts of Scripture That are Unmistakably Clear

Mark Twain reportedly said, “It is not those parts of Scripture that are difficult to understand that most concern me, but those parts of Scripture that are unmistakably clear!” + As our culture turns further away from God, the prophetic revelations of Scripture become more pertinent to our time. Our current situation is stunningly described […]

C.S. Lewis On Hating the Sin But Not the Sinner

I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man’s actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did […]