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Recently the Shroud of Turin went on display for the first time in many years. Over two million pilgrims came to view and venerate the mysterious image imprinted there—among them the Holy Father himself. The Shroud reveals the power of an image. Like all Christian art, it shows us that he who created us in his image knows we need images to understand the reality they reflect.
What is happiness? That is the question raised by a fifth-century Roman philosopher named Boethius. He pondered the answer in prison, facing execution. Though his Consolation seems absent of Christian doctrine, in Boethius’ dialogue with Philosophy, we see that man’s final end is the good that has but one source: God.
Can converts and apologists be formed within prison walls? Lots of convicts "find Jesus"—for a while, say skeptics. But those who labor behind bars to help fellow inmates recognize Christ’s true Church and join it often tell a different tale.
In Evangelium Vitae John Paul II declared the need for capital punishment to be "rare, if not practically nonexistent." His statement created controversy in some quarters while strengthening conviction in others. But did it represent a shift in doctrine?
The latest abuse scandals struck the Church like a tsunami, leaving many of the faithful reeling from renewed accusations of cover-up and neglect. But the scandals offer an occasion to reflect on what is wrong—and in some cases right—in the Church and in the surrounding culture. Does this signal the return of Church discipline?
"Let us then not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the cross our seal, made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink, in our comings and in goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are travelling, and when we are at rest."
~ St. Cyril of Jerusalem in his "Catecheses" (xiii, 36), on the sign of the cross, a practice familiar to Christians in the second century and which had passed into a gesture of benediction by the fourth century, as many quotations from the Fathers show