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  • Are We Sign Posts for Faith?
    Post by Caitlin Bootsma, 7/3/2013

    “I drive a little slower whenever I pass the clapboard white church on the hill, sign board out front. As usual, I can't resist checking what message is posted on the marquis for passersby to see. "Burdens leaving you wrinkled? Come inside for a faith lift." Okay, it's a silly pun, but I can't help but smile. These signs always grab my attention. Sometimes I indulge in wondering whose job it is to pick the slogan for the week. Do they sit with a cup of coffee musing on what inspiration or witty phrase to use? Is there some database full of potential church signs? Their motivation may be to attract new members or maybe just to make people think about faith. Either way, they've made my drives a bit more pleasant and even more reflective. ... ”

  • Manliness Matters
    New Book Claims Men Are Boycotting Marriage - Post by Stu Nolan, 7/1/2013

    “Mary Kissel of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board has a (http://live.wsj.com/video/opinion-why-men-are-boycotting-marriage/F819DD1F-1FC8-41E7-9FCC-707DEDD9821E.html?mod=WSJ_article_outbrain&obref=obnetwork#!F819DD1F-1FC8-41E7-9FCC-707DEDD9821E) nice four minute interview with Helen Smith, author of Men on Strike, which details many of the effects of radical feminism in discouraging men from playing the roles that America needs men to play in families. ... ”

  • Do Not Be Afraid . . . to Be Miserable
    Post by Fr. Paul Scalia, 6/28/2013

    “This past weekend, the Church in the DC area lost one of her great priests. Father Ron Gillis of the prelature of Opus Dei died early Friday night. He had served in this area for over forty years, forming numerous priests, laymen and laywomen. Many people can (and should) provide better anecdotes and testimonials. Nevertheless, one line, heard years ago, does capture his style. Do not be afraid to be miserable, he said. It was quintessential Father Ron: shocking, funny, delivered, of course, with a grin and wise. ... ”

  • Taking Sides on the Meaning of Marriage
    Post by Helen Alvare, 6/27/2013

    “Many likely expected that, to the extent that a discussion of the "nature of marriage" would feature at all in the Supreme Court''s same-sex marriage opinions, it would take place in the (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-144_8ok0.pdf) Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8) case, assuming that the Court first saw its way clear to finding standing on the part of the official proponents of Prop 8. (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-307_g2bh.pdf) Windsor (DOMA), it was widely thought, could well be decided upon federalism grounds: i.e. states'' traditional authority over the validity and incidents of marriage. Instead, the Supreme Court''s discussion over the meaning of marriage took place in Windsor, albeit after a fairly extended, but ultimately inconclusive and nondispositive treatment of federalism. This dynamic was introduced with the following paragraph: ... ”

  • From Paradox to Contradiction
    Post by Fr. Paul Scalia, 6/19/2013

    “The Incarnation of the Lord, the inspiration of Scripture, the nature of the Church - these gifts from on high all present paradoxes. They are comprised of truths that seem to conflict but, when held in the proper tension, complement one another. That hidden harmony distinguishes paradox from contradiction. Unfortunately, the fallen world gives us not the harmony of paradox, but the din of contradiction. And the first place we encounter it is within ourselves. "More tortuous than anything is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?" (Jer 17:9) ... ”

  • The Real Meaning of the New BSA Policy
    Why Perception Matters - Post by Father Edward Horkan, 6/18/2013

    “The crucial issue with regard to whether Catholic parishes and other organizations should continue to sponsor BSA troop is what exactly the new policy allows. The text of the new policy is, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” The explanation that precedes this policy goes on to say, “Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.” ... ”

  • Unmiraculous Miracles
    Post by Father Paul Scalia, 6/14/2013

    “What does it mean when a miracle is not, well, miraculous? That is, when a miracle does not have the drama, excitement, or big production qualities that we might expect? Certainly, some miracles have plenty of drama ? voices from heaven, seas parting, fires descending, and so on. But we also know of simple, subtle miracles. Elijah, after all, encountered God not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire but in the still small voice (cf 1 Kgs 19:12). Indeed, the two most important miracles ? the Incarnation and the Resurrection ? are notable for their subtlety and hiddeness: the quiet of Bethlehem, the simple presence in the upper room. ... ”

  • Scout Troop Calls for Clarification of New Policy
    Scouting must not be morally ambiguous - Post by Stu Nolan, 6/3/2013

    “Everyone associated with Troop 1212 is deeply troubled by the recent vote of the Boy Scouts of America, which purportedly would allow, as of January 1, 2014, "open and avowed homosexuals" to participate in Scouting in the United States. One is easily confused by this vague language in the press reports, as well as the ambiguous language in the actual policy statement that was released and that purports to constitute a "change" in the membership policy. ... ”

  • Boy Scouts Loving the Sinner, Vague About Hating the Sin
    National Organization Votes for Moral Ambiguity - Post by Stu Nolan, 5/31/2013

    “The headlines are trumpeting the news that the Boy Scouts of America has changed its membership policy to allow participation in Scouting by "open and avowed homosexuals". Of course, those words do not appear in the resolution that BSA adopted. Nonetheless, it is difficult to interpret the resolution in a most charitable light while the national organization describes the "new" policy as a "change" that ends the previously -- supposedly unjust -- policy of "discrimination". ... ”

  • The Day the Heroes Died
    Boy Scouts of America Swallows a Poison Pill - Post by Father Edward Horkan, 5/28/2013

    “There are two points that many people who want to make an accommodation with the new BSA policy are ignoring. First, there is a crucial distinction between sin in general and blameworthy sin, a distinction that people, including many Catholic teachers, do not seem to understand. In Latin, at least as used in the Thomistic tradition, the word peccatum means anything sinful, whether blameworthy or not, while the word culpum means specifically blameworthy sin. Thus, for example, if a child is raised among thieves, or even in company where people use irreverent language or have any other evil tendency, he will acquire habits that are sinful, even if he is not yet to blame for them. ... ”

  • The Paradoxical Spirit
    Post by Father Paul Scalia, 5/23/2013

    “In his hymn Splendor paternae gloriae, Saint Ambrose exhorts us: bibamus sobriam ebrietatem Spiritus. Literally, let us drink the sober inebriation of the Spirit. That one phrase ? sober inebriation ? captures the paradoxical character of the Holy Spirit, Whose descent we just celebrated. He brings us both sobriety and also intoxication. For the Spirit to breathe freely and effectively within us, we must accept both aspects of this paradox. ... ”

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