“I have been enjoying your program on my local Catholic radio station for many years and can happily give a large amount of the credit for my continuing spiritual growth to your offerings. You snatched up the banner many had laid aside and are marching bravely forward!”
Couples often emerge from their “engaged encounters” aglow with the prospect of living out the procreative and unitive meaning of marriage—one admirable effect of John Paul II’s theology of the body. But beyond the romance at the start of a marriage lies something more profound: the fruits of a lifetime spent in self-gift.
For American Catholics, the last decade—marked by scandal, cover-ups, and fierce division—oft seems the worst of times. But it’s arguable that 1976 marked the low point. That year, the battle lines for the soul of the American Church were being drawn. We’re still reeling from the effects.
Benedict XVI’s historic visit to the United Kingdom in 2010 was supposed to fail. Instead, the pope drew huge crowds and even made the British establishment take notice. How did he do it? By quietly pointing to Jesus Christ—an approach every apologist can imitate.
Can anything good come from the Age of Technology? (Pace, Mr. Check.) The Holy Father thinks so. And so do a lot of Catholics, who are finding that a wide array of communications means that there are almost no barriers to evangelization—as long as we don’t become so enamored of the means that we lose sight of the end.
"In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him as he then may hear by his deeds what he is to do [in the way of penance]."
~ Anglo-Saxon "Ecclesiastical Institutes" translated from Theodulphus by Abbot Aelfric about A.D. 1000; explaining the English term "shrovetide" (from "to shrive", or hear confessions) wherein the religious idea is uppermost; but before long, human nature allowed itself some exceptional licence.