Saturday, May 23, 2015

Items of Interest: Week of Dominica Post Ascensionem

Contraception and Chastity
by Elizabeth Anscombe ( «Roman Catholic thinker Elizabeth Anscombe relfects on the theological implications of contraception and chastity. Writing as a Roman Catholic, Anscombe offers a penetrating moral analysis of marriage and sexuality that will benefit any reader who rejects the secularist reduction of marriage as merely a union that sanctions sexual activity between partners.».

How to Drink Like a Saint
by Michael P. Foley (Crisis Magazine). «With the age of post-modern nihilism upon us, the question is not whether Christians should enjoy a drink festively; the question is whether they will be the only ones left capable of doing so.»

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Items of Interest: Week of Dominica V Post Pascha

Light from the Christian West: Aquinas and Eastern Orthodoxy
by Robin Phillips (Unpragmatic Thoughts). «Modern theologians, Orthodox and Catholic alike, have tended to take this disintegration of Christian universalism as a given, reading back into the last years of Byzantium a theological gulf that is simply not in evidence at the time. The Byzantine reception of Thomas must prompt us to seriously reconsider the whole issue of theological incompatibility between East and West.».

Love as Magic vs. Love as the Center of Life
by Roger Thomas (Ignatius Press). «All around us we have seen the tragic aftermath of the seductive tales whispering to us that love is a magical force, and will obviate the need for proper choices, perseverance, and moral effort. Perhaps part of the reason the lie is so effective is that it skates so close to the truth. Love is powerful, and it does lie at the center of life. But love in a fallen and sin-damaged world is a dicey thing, and it needs to be informed and guided by deeper, more stable things like moral laws, family responsibilities, and cultural traditions.»

The Power Elite
by Patrick Deneen (First Things).  «Today’s cultural power elite is entirely aligned with the economic power elite, and they’re ready to steamroll anyone in their way. In the case of Indiana’s RFRA, corporate and gay activists combined to bring to heel conservative Christians in a rural, Rust Belt state that struggles at the margins of America’s global economy. The threat to demolish Indiana’s economy is only a more explicit expression of a project that corporations like Apple and Walmart have been carrying out with the ­assistance mainly of Republicans (as well as free-trade Democrats) for a generation.»

The Atheist IQ: Why St Thomas Wouldn’t Approve
by John Clark (Seton Magazine). «Not only do today’s geniuses lack an exclusive or special aptitude for determining whether God exists, they can expect a celebrity status if they deny Him. What I have discovered is that the most interesting truths about God have nothing to do with whether He exists, but Who He Is. Because once you reason to the idea that God exists, you can then explore ideas like what it means that God loves us infinitely and how His love makes us happy.»

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Items of Interest: Week of Dominica IV Post Pascha

Junipero Serra and God’s Tender Mercy
by Kathryn Jean Lopez (National Review). Encountering the founding father of the California missions.

Thomas Aquinas Tells a Joke
by Matthew Schmitz (First Things). A delightful example of St. Thomas’ sense of humor, from Quaestiones Quodlibitales.

Synod. The Proposal of a “Third Way”
by Sandro Magister.  «Unbending against divorce, merciful with sinners. Suggested by a Thomas Michelet, of the theological faculty of Fribourg, Switzerland. It is a new form of the sacrament of penance, following the example of the ancient Church »

Beyond Our Ken: Henri de Lubac's Paradoxes of Faith
by Thomas Van ( «Love of truth never goes without daring. And that is one of the reasons why truth is not loved.».

Archbishop Romero and Liberation Theology
by Filip Mazurczak (National Catholic Register). «As May 23 approaches, we can expect a flurry of commentary about how the Vatican was hostile towards Archbishop Romero’s cause until the “enlightened” Francis took over and that Rome has now exonerated liberation theology. We will also likely hear of Archbishop Romero as a “leftist” prelate... These claims are unfounded. They are but myths that have been propagated by Catholics of a certain ideology, who, paradoxically, have dragged out Romero’s cause in time by politicizing and distorting his legacy.»

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Items of Interest: Week of Dominica III Post Pascha

The two faces of tolerance
by Edward Feser. Marcuse: «What is proclaimed and practiced as tolerance today, is in many of its most effective manifestations serving the cause of oppression.» Or as Mencken said, «Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.».

Stories of Death, Exile and Miracles Mark 40th Anniversary of Saigon’s Fall
by Joan Frawley Desmond (National Catholic Register). Catholic survivors of the chaotic event recall how their faith was formed and strengthened, amid the maelstrom of the communist takeover of South Vietnam.

Henri de Lubac's fascinating notes on Vatican II
by Dr. Jeff Mirus (  «By the time Henri de Lubac, SJ was made a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1983, the great theologian had charted a truly ecclesial course between the Scylla and Charybdis of the modern world.»