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February 23, 2013

If you are not prepared for this Sunday’s first reading (Gen 15:5-12, 17-18), you will probably have a difficult time making sense of it. Your homilist might not discuss it, so I hope this brief explanation will be helpful. It is not a lengthy reading, so we will go all the way through it, splitting it into two parts but hopefully not slaughtering it.

The reading begins straightforward enough:

The Lord God took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count...

February 22, 2013

Instead of spewing insults and getting into heated arguments, I'd like to propose a better solution to the debate over same-sex marriage. Let's start from positions bothsides of the debate agree on. Then let's see whose particular view of marriage best explains this agreement.

There appear to be two different views of marriage that drive the same-sex marriage debate. The conjugal view defines marriage as “the lifelong union of man and woman ordered toward their good and the...

February 22, 2013

Around the time Pope Benedict XVI released Summorum Pontificum, which expanded the use of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite of the Mass, I attended a Catholic conference at the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine in Florissant, Missouri. The shrine boasted a lovely pre-Vatican II altar that inspired a...

February 22, 2013

Recently I was contacted by someone who just had a relative die.

The family will be getting together this Friday and, as most of the family is not Catholic, they do not observe abstinence from meat during Lent.

Furthermore, this person knew for a fact that a meat dish was being prepared for the family gathering.

What are this person's options?

 

Option 1: Don't eat the dish

There are several variants here:

...
February 21, 2013

Unlike most converts from various strains of Protestantism, I never had much of a problem with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Perhaps it was because my Christian background was more or less nominal and lacking a good deal of Christian catechesis. In that void, in which there were no misapprehensions about Christianity to be overcome, I readily accepted the Blessed Virgin's role in the Christian life. Or perhaps it was because I had a natural attraction to the idea of saintly intercession and the...