Along with missing having known these individuals, I realized I missed the stories they could have told, too, the sorrows and joys they might have shared, the pieces of wisdom their life experiences taught them.
A team of sociologists, led by Catholic University professor William D’Antonio, published a survey a few years ago that received quite a bit of media attention, for it showed that many Catholics disagree with core doctrines of their Church and yet still consider themselves “good Catholics.”
Could a transplanted womb from a post-menopausal woman be “triggered” back into action once it had been introduced into the body of a younger woman? Could a transplanted uterus effectively provide nourishment to a growing baby? Are such transplants ultimately ethical?
Author and theologian Edward Sri knows we’re all familiar with the Christmas story. But he also thinks we can be so familiar with it that we miss a lot of its important points. That’s why he wrote “The Advent of Christ: Scripture Reflections to Prepare for Christmas.”
In a modern American mindset, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on privacy. As such, the idea of confessing one’s sins to another person can seem odd or even unnecessary. Often, the most common argument against this idea is that Almighty God knows all things and desires all people to approach him in prayer, so it seems sufficient to simply confess one’s sins and beg for forgiveness in private prayer.
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.
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.