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Magazine > Faith

Struggling with the Rosary

Struggling with the Rosary The Rosary is excruciating. There I said it. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said it was the most perfect prayer because it takes 19 minutes, which is the maximum time the average person can maintain a state of concentration. The truth is the Rosary can be a real chore. St. Thérèse, the Little Flower, was being more honest when she said,… READ MORE >


Magazine > Faith

Bart’s Problem

Bart’s Problem In his new book, God’s Problem, Bart Ehrman tries to prove that the God of the Bible doesn't answer the question of why we suffer, but his argument falls flat. In the end, what Ehrman and other “new atheists” forget is that a world without God is not a world without evil or innocent suffering. It’s simply a world of suffering without hope. READ MORE >

(8) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    bart ehrman | god | suffering | theodicy

News > Faith

Libertarian Heresy

You don't often find Commonweal hunting heretics. In the latest issue, Daniel Finn takes aim at Fr. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute and other Catholics who force fit Catholic social teaching into free market ideology. Sirico, he says, "uses his tendentious view of law and morality to conclude that raising taxes to help others is unchristian, since citizens have no choice but to pay the tax... One wonders if this conviction hasn’t been engendered by a libertarian view of government actions, where such redistribution is always immoral." Commonweal isn't alone in recognizing this distortion of Church teaching, which has always recognized the authority of government to balance private property rights with the "universal destination of goods." There is a silent majority of orthodox Catholics who resent Acton and other Catholic think tanks that are so well-funded by wealthy pro-big business donors that they're able to drown out genuine Catholic social teaching. Finn thinks its time that "neoconservative Catholics inquire into the influence of libertarianism on their work and, most importantly, that they make Catholic moral theology the standard for judging right-wing claims about morality in economic life-and not the other way around." READ MORE >


Magazine > Faith

What’s Behind the New Interest in Confession?

What’s Behind the New Interest in Confession? Is the present increase in the popularity of the confession of sins a step toward a realistic religiosity, or is it the popularity of the penitential rite of the American Church of Christ without Christ? READ MORE >

(4) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    church | confession | forgiveness | jesus | sin

Magazine > Faith

Repeat the Sounding Joy

Repeat the Sounding Joy Repetitive prayer draws me into the Church stretching across time and space, each seemingly identical facet casting light onto a different place in my heart. READ MORE >

(4) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    mary | prayer | rosary

News > Faith

On The Road Through Nothingness

On The Road Through Nothingness It’s rare to see a positive story about the Catholic Church in the mainstream media, especially in newer online-only publications like Slate, but Harold Fickett, a Godspy contributing editor, managed to publish an essay there recently about the Clear Creek Monastery, a new and growing contemplative Benedictine monastery in Kansas, and the wider story of how Catholic religious communities are attracting young people. It could be that the critical success of the three-hour documentary, Into Great Silence, which had a long run at Manhattan’s Film Forum in 2007, left an impression on the editors. The appeal of that movie is captured in Harold’s ending: “From its rich liturgical rites to the pastoral details of its life as a working farm, as the monks raise sheep, make furniture, tend their orchard, and care for a huge vegetable garden, Clear Creek is what a monastery is meant to be—a sign of paradise. Father Anderson says, ‘We were only a bunch of bums, but by becoming nothing, you can be a part of something great.’" READ MORE >

(3) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    clear creek | monasteries | monks

News > Faith

Benedict’s Discomforting Message

"Benedict directly challenged an assumption so many Americans make about religion: that it is a matter of private devotion with few public implications. Not true, said the pope. 'Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted,' he told the country’s Catholic bishops Wednesday. 'Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.' That is a demanding and unsettling standard for the right and the left alike... This is the thinking of a communitarian counseling against radical individualism... Perhaps it is the task of the leader of the Roman Catholic Church to bring discomfort to a people so thoroughly shaped by modernity, as we Americans are. If so, Benedict is succeeding." READ MORE >


News > Faith

An interview with Chris Hedges: “I don’t believe in atheists”

"…Not believing in sin is very dangerous. I think both the Christian right and the New Atheists in essence don't believe in their own sin, because they externalize evil. Evil is always something out there that can be eradicated. For the New Atheists, it's the irrational religious hordes. I mean, Sam Harris, at the end of his first book, asks us to consider a nuclear first strike on the Arab world. Both Hitchens and Harris defend the use of torture. Of course, they're great supporters of preemptive war, and I don't think this is accidental…" READ MORE >


News > Faith

Pope: Why the ‘dual-unity’ of man and woman is important

“[it] is based on the foundation of the dignity of every person, created in the image and likeness of God, who ‘created them male and female’ (Genesis 1:27), as much avoiding an indistinct uniformity and flattened-out and impoverished equality as an abysmal and conflictive difference … This dual-unity carries with it, inscribed in bodies and souls, the relation with the other, love for the other, interpersonal communion that shows that ‘the creation of man is also marked by a certain likeness to the divine communion.’ When, therefore, men or women pretend to be autonomous or totally self-sufficient, they risk being closed up in a self-realization … which in fact reduces them to an oppressive solitude.” READ MORE >

(2) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    gender | genesis | man | marriage | sexuality | woman

Opinion > Faith

Being Human

I grew up in Los Angeles in two opposed worlds. I was the son of an evangelical minister who led a mega-church of 12,000 members. I was also the child of my time and place, the counter-culture of the late 1960s. The drive from our church in the San Fernando Valley to Sunset Boulevard and rock clubs like the Troubadour and the Whiskey crossed… READ MORE >


Magazine > Faith

Doubting Doubting Thomas

Doubting Doubting Thomas St. Thomas’s evangelizing journeys after the Pentecost, culminating in his brutal death, tell a quite different story from the role he has been cast in the Christian script. READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    apostle | india | martyr | thomas

News > Faith

The Puzzling Pope: Six Surprising Things About Benedict XVI

"The head of the CDF has to draw lines, level punishments and basically talk tough, a role that Ratzinger seemed to relish, but one that won him epithets like God's Rottweiller and the old standby, the Panzerkardinal. But now that Cardinal Ratzinger is Pope Benedict, he knows better than anyone that he is also the chief pastor of the church. There can be no 'Panzerpope.' His job is to be the good cop, a symbol of unity who tries to encourage people to live their faith more deeply. As he told a dinner companion about his new role: 'It was easy to know the doctrine. It’s much harder to help a billion people live it.'" READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    benedict xvi | pope

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