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.
The Supreme Court is involved in two types of issues related to claims by employers who say they should not have to provide coverage of contraceptives in their workers’ health insurance plans because it violates the employers’ faith-based moral objections.
In the weeks since Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), Catholic commentators have been analyzing the document’s themes and messages. The following first appeared in the National Catholic Register (ncregister.com). It was written by the newspaper’s senior editor, Joan Frawley Desmond, and is reprinted with permission.
Blessing a child in the womb, grieving the loss of a miscarriage, honoring a child through a naming memorial — all of these efforts help to combat society’s insistence on evaluating the worth of a persons’ life based on what they can do.