The midterm report on the deliberations of the Synod on the Family has appeared and there is a fair amount of hysteria all around. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter who should know better, has declared this statement “an earthquake, the big one that hit after months of smaller tremors.” Certain commentators on the right have been wringing their hands and bewailing a deep betrayal of the Church’s teaching. One even opined that this report is the “silliest document ever issued by the Catholic Church,” and some have said that the interim document flaunts the teaching of St. John Paul II. Meanwhile the New York Times confidently announced that the Church has moved from “condemnation of unconventional family situations and toward understanding, openness, and mercy.” I think everyone should take a deep breath.
This past summer, Time Magazine had a cover story called “The Next Civil Rights Revolution,” chronicling the movement to create legal mandates for the accommodation of persons who either identify as transgender or who refuse to identify as male or female altogether.
There is a debate taking place in our society over the very nature of the human person. This debate manifests itself in many ways, most recently in the definition of marriage and in our sexual identity as male and female. As Catholics, it is important that we understand the truth that the Church teaches about our human nature so that we can share this truth with others, doing so always with love and compassion.
Throughout history, Christians have often felt like outsiders even within their own nations. In appearance, they may seem indistinguishable from those around them, but their mode of being is different, often times conflicting with the mainstream culture.
Decorating is not just an exercise in aesthetics, but in awareness and gratitude, an attempt to create a little beauty in the place where you hang your key, lay your head and stack your dishes.
The recent death of actor Robin Williams has drawn attention to the tragedy of mental illness and suicide, but I fear that as weeks pass, it is slipping quietly from our consciousness.
I had a glimpse into the matriarchs of salvation’s history that I had never had. They had no reason to believe they would ever hear their own child’s first cry — except a faint hope that remained in the deepest, most hidden part of their hearts.