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The Challenge of Being a Priest

Being a priest bestows the incomparable honor of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, as well as the opportunity to help others understand the wisdom of Scripture, solve their spiritual and psychological problems, and find meaning in their lives.

The life of a priest, of course, has never been easy. It has required living as a celibate, foregoing the consolations of marriage and family life, receiving an income far below what one’s level of education would command, and practicing a demanding form of obedience.… Read More

 

The Lost Art of Paying Attention

A month before the 2016 election, I wrote an essay called “My Political Disgust,” in which I criticized most politicians (Democrats and Republicans) as well as their spokespeople and the media.

One reader criticized the essay this way: “I did not read this article. The title already alerted me to how offensive it was.” She then went on to disapprove of what she had not read.Read More

 

Theology Confounded

17398115 - abstract word cloud for christian theology with related tags and termsA friend recently recommended a slender spiritual book, Poverty of Spirit. Written by Johannes Baptist Metz, a German Catholic theologian, it was first published in 1968 and republished thirty years later. What I found most interesting in reading it is that, though it contains genuine insights, it is also self-contradictory and misleading. The reason, I believe, is a cultural movement that began in the 1960s.… Read More

 

The Faith vs Works Controversy

St. Paul & St. JamesSt. Paul claimed that we are saved by faith alone (Romans, 4:2,3,13); St. James claimed that faith must be joined by good works (2:21-24). Interestingly, both men used the biblical story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac to support their conclusions. Fifteen hundred years later the argument arose again in a less brotherly manner when Martin Luther sided with St. Paul by proclaiming that salvation is by faith alone (sola fide) and adding Scripture alone and grace alone.… Read More

 

Obama’s Self-Deception

Obama SpeakingSince he first assumed office, President Obama has steadfastly refused to acknowledge Islamic terrorism, even when the perpetrators admit to acting in the name of radical Islam. Instead, he classifies their actions as “workplace violence” or “lone wolf attacks.”

Many conclude that President Obama has deliberately tried to deceive the American people. After all, they reason, no Christian, Jew, or Buddhist has ever committed a violent act while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” So no honest person can deny that those who do so are Muslim.… Read More

 

Revisiting Truth and Reality

REAL, FAKE 40378853_sI can somewhat identify with Rachel Dolezal, the Spokane NCAA director who was forced to resign when her claim to be black was revealed to be bogus. As a child I was the Lone Ranger. My parents believed I had an active imagination and was just pretending, but I knew better. I was that masked man . . . at least until I was called to dinner.… Read More

 

Why Catholic Numbers Are Declining

Catholic Church_sAccording to the latest Pew research, the American Catholic population has declined by 3 million in the last seven years. Today 41% of people who had been raised Catholic are no longer Catholic. Some have joined other churches, while others have no religious affiliation.

What is causing this decline? The main reason is cultural. Spirituality and morality are now considered a matter of personal taste or preference, which means that formal religion, particularly a dogmatic religion like Catholicism, is regarded as irrelevant.… Read More

 

What Happened to Catholicism?

St Peters Rome 30202827_sCatholics old enough to remember how different the Church was fifty or so years ago often wonder what happened to change it. The most common answer is the Second Vatican Council happened. But that answer raises more questions: What happened at that Council? What changed as a result? And were those changes theologically and/or philosophically justified?

To answer these questions fully would require much more space than is available here.… Read More