Faith

Credible Witness: Father Alfred Delp, S.J.
Join the worldwide Magnificat family by subscribing now: Your prayer life will never be the same! Father Alfred Delp, s.j. (1907–1945), imprisoned and martyred by the Nazis, wrote a stunning series of spiritual meditations while awaiting his execution. Born in Mannheim, Germany, to a Catholic mother and a Protestant father, Delp was baptized as a Catholic but then raised Lutheran. As an adolescent, however, he was confirmed and made his First Communion as a Catholic. He entered the...by Heather King

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Faith

The Heresy of Centering Prayer: How Faithful Catholics Have Become Confused
Alternate pagan practices have infiltrated our holy Catholic Church. Because the evil one is a trickster and is "more subtle than any other creature that the LORD God had made" (Gen 3:1, RSV), because he is "a liar and the father of lies" (Jn 8:44) and because "Satan disguises himself as an angel of light" (2 Cor 11:14), well-meaning people can easily be led astray. It often takes deep prayer, authentic discernment, and an openness to listen to the loving voice of the Holy Spirit in order to...by Jenny duBay

Faith

The Most Powerful Anti-Christian Movement
There is arguably no thinker in the past century who brought more attention to victims than René Girard. The French anthropologist based his whole multidisciplinary theory of human behavior on the "victim mechanism.” The "victim mechanism" is the singling out and sacrificing of a scapegoat to relieve the tensions of a community in a crisis of mimetic desire. For Girard, the unconscious drive to scapegoat outsiders runs deep in all of us, and the corpse of the victim, finally revealed in the...by Matthew Becklo

Faith

Apples and Oranges—and Abuse
In August 2018, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania released a Grand Jury report on clergy sexual abuse cases in most of the Commonwealth's Catholic dioceses. It was not the first report of its kind. In fact, a similar report covering the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown had been published several years prior. But the 2018 report came just weeks after bombshell revelations about Theodore McCarrick and the Church's abject failure to deal with the then-Cardinal's...by Stephen P. White
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Faith

Infinite Riches in a Little Room
Join the worldwide Magnificat family by subscribing now: Your prayer life will never be the same! A very old man, wearing the white robe of a Dominican brother, stands at a canvas, his hands trembling. He is Lorenzo Lotto, one of the finest painters of the Renaissance, but his work has not been appreciated, and for the next three hundred years he will be mostly forgotten. “Brother Lorenzo,” says his superior, laying a hand on his shoulder, “you should rest. The painting can wait. But...

Faith

On Interior Conversation
Prepare thy heart for this thy Spouse, that he may dwell in thee. The kingdom of God is within you (Lk 27:21), saith the Lord. Convert thyself with thy whole heart to the Lord (Joel 2:12), and quit this miserable world, and thy soul shall find rest. Learn to despise exterior things, and give thyself to the interior, and thou shalt see the kingdom of God will come into thee. For the kingdom of God is peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, which is not given to the wicked. (Rom 14:17). Christ will...by Thomas à Kempis

Faith

Catholic Teaching on Jews and Judaism
Faithful Catholics will affirm, with the Second Vatican Council and with the papal magisterium, that the Jewish people are indeed “the good olive tree onto which the wild shoot of the Gentiles has been grafted,” that God’s original Covenant with his chosen people is unbroken and unbreakable, that our bond with the Jewish people is a spiritual bond, rooted in a common spiritual patrimony, and that our Jewish neighbors are indeed our brothers and sisters in faith. One of the great stains on the...by Robert P. George

Faith

Trading Noise for Silence, and How To Use It
The word “noise” in English comes from about the eleventh century, and according to the Oxford English Dictionary, most probably derives from the Latin words nausea (upset, seasickness) or possibly noxia (harmful behavior). From its earliest uses, “noise” has a negative connotation: disturbance, quarrels, discordance, general unpleasantness. We may not fully realize that the exhortation in Psalm 100 to “make a joyful noise to the Lord,” as it is rendered in many translations, is a paradoxical...by Dr. Holly Ordway
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Faith

Resolutions of Abandonment
New Year’s resolutions are typically an effort in self-control. But what if the best resolutions are those by which we relinquish control? Allow me as a philosopher to begin with a taxonomy of resolutions, since some kinds of resolutions are better than others. If I resolve not to eat between meals, or to put away machines when spending time with my family, I am making a merely “corrective” resolution. If I am successful, I simply put myself back to where I should be. I don’t improve myself...by Michael Pakaluk

Faith

Benedict XVI: A Tribute
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini Robert Royal We expected, because of his advanced age and notices from the Vatican, that Benedict XVI was near his entry into eternity. But as always happens when someone dies—let alone a beloved teacher, scholar, pastor, and pope—when the day actually comes, it’s still a shock. And changes things forever. Joseph Ratzinger made such large contributions to the Church and the world that his name and his legacy will now enter into the great cultural...by The Catholic Thing

Faith

Who Is Taking Care of My Wife?
"Surely every care should be taken on behalf of our own children's mother." - Aristotle, Economics It can seem a flaw in nature's plan. Those that attend most to the needs of others—especially children, and the weak and suffering—often want for such attention to their own needs. I think here of course of women. You can see how this happens. A man feels that all is well in the world, finding himself and his children the object of his wife's special care. He finds she has a feel, a greater...by John Cuddeback

Faith

Boys: Fighters So They Can Be Fathers
“Whether these people will endure it, I do not know; but I know very well that no man will who has a sword!” - Lucius Verginius, in Livy’s History of Rome* Boys tend to be raucous. The overthrow of the harmony of home or school, and the bane of many a parent’s or teacher’s peace of mind, boys’ over-the-top if not downright chaotic energy can seem a serious flaw of nature. We want to throw up our hands: what is going on? Why can’t they be calmer and more focused? There is much in play here....by John A. Cuddeback

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Marriage & Family
Benedict XVI on Going Home
“And, to tell the truth, if I try to imagine a little how paradise will be, I think always of the time of my youth, of my childhood. In this context of confidence, of joy and love we were happy, and I think that paradise must be something like how it was in my youth. In this sense I hope to go 'home,' going to the other side of the world.” - Pope Benedict XVI "I hope to go home." I can't think of more beautiful words spoken about death than these spoken by Pope Benedict some ten years before...by John A. Cuddeback
Who Is Taking Care of My Wife?
"Surely every care should be taken on behalf of our own children's mother." - Aristotle, Economics It can seem a flaw in nature's plan. Those that attend most to the needs of others—especially children, and the weak and suffering—often want for such attention to their own needs. I think here of course of women. You can see how this happens. A man feels that all is well in the world, finding himself and his children the object of his wife's special care. He finds she has a feel, a greater...by John Cuddeback
Carrying My Spouse with Me
"Likewise, you should know that you will be so close to your husband that wherever he goes he will carry the memory, recollection, and reminder of you. You notice it in all married couples, for as soon as we see the husband, we ask him, 'How is your wife?' and as soon as we see the wife, we ask her, 'How is your husband?' for that's how closely the wife is connected to the husband." (The Good Wife's Guide, a medieval book on marriage) There is a beautiful phenomenon especially noticeable...by John Cuddeback
Discernments of Spirits in Marriage: Introduction
This is a book about discernment of spirits in daily married life. For many of us, the term "discernment of spirits" is both inviting and mysterious.  If asked to explain it, we might struggle a little. What it means is this.  We all know that as we live our spiritual lives, we experience ups and downs.  At times, we feel God's closeness.  Our prayer is alive.  We find Mass engaging and participate willingly.  Church activities are nourishing, and we look forward to them.  Scripture speaks...
Social Issues
Justin Trudeau and the dictatorship of relativism
You've probably never heard of the Waupoos Family Farm. I hadn't either, until I met some folks involved in it during a recent visit to Ottawa.  Their story vividly illustrates the dictatorship of relativism at work. The farm is a vacation site for poor families who can't afford a holiday together.  It's run by Christians who apply only one criterion to their potential guests: applicants must have an income below Statistics Canada's poverty line.  That's it.  No religious requirements.  No...by George Weigel
The Bishops' Bind and Their Cross
As the November USCCB meeting demonstrated, the bishops find themselves in a bind as they strive to foster a coherent Gospel witness among Catholics.   Events inside and outside the Church continue to outpace and obstruct their efforts.  Additionally, the institutional failure to instill personal and ecclesial discipline during the last half-century has deprived them (and us) of the experience needed to guide the Church through the ensuing crisis.  There is a path forward, but the way is...
What's Scariest: Facebook, Google... or Us?
Facebook or Google taking over the world is a distant, speculative fear. Being harassed, humiliated, shunned and unemployed are immediate fears. We increasingly live in a digital panopticon ruled as much by mobs as by the overseers. Facebook is in trouble.  In Congress, the great and the good — or at least the powerful and the not-yet-disgraced — profess themselves astonished and appalled at how the company collected and sold user data.  If only there had been warning signs — such as, say,...by Nathanael Blake
No Sale
The issues of prostitution and its evil twin human trafficking can be overcome only by a renewed understanding of what it is that money can't buy.  In the opening paragraphs of his first encyclical written a decade ago, Pope Benedict XVI went to the heart of the current issue of Convivium Deus Caritas Est — God is Love  — delineates Catholic teaching on the relationship between justice and charity, and the Church's role in cultivating the latter in order to ensure the former.  It begins,...by Peter Stockland