CERC Weekly Update
"Pride is a poison so very poisonous that it not only poisons the virtues; it even poisons the other vices"
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- In this week's reflection, Pope John Paul II tells us that we are incapable of understanding ourselves fully without Christ — and so "the exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man." Our personal and national histories are histories of salvation.
- See "To Set Fire on Earth."
- Archbishop Charles Chaput's interview with Famille Chretienne on the synod is a breath of fresh air after the deluge of speculation over the past weeks. He is realistic about the working document — "the scope of the working document is large, and its flaws are many" — and about the solution. "If we really believe in Jesus Christ, then he is the center and meaning of history. If we don't start with Jesus and the Scriptures, then the social problems and challenges that exist in every century will always overwhelm us."
- See "We can only begin to hope ... when we believe in Jesus Christ."
- Fr. Raymond de Souza writes an excellent piece on "What the synod is really all about." "Conversion is at the heart of the debates at the synod," he says. "The question before the synod fathers is whether people today are capable of conversion and, to put the matter more bluntly, is the Gospel still worth converting one's life toward?"
- Flannery O'Connor wrote, "The Southerner, who isn't convinced of it, is very much afraid that he may have been formed in the image and likeness of God." And in "Finding Ourselves in Flannery's Freaks," Fr. Dwight Longenecker explains how, "afraid that we are creatures of eternal glory, we turn away to caress our addictions and obsessions. Our false loves turn us into freaks."
- In "Pius XII, co-conspirator in tyrannicide," George Weigel discusses a new book, Church of Spies, that sheds lights on Pius XII — "Hitler's Pope" — long known to have been involved in one plot to assassinate Hitler and now revealed to have been "complicit in a variety of plots, initiated by patriotic, anti-Nazi Germans, to assassinate Hitler and replace the Nazi regime with a government that would make peace with the West."
- Finally we have a delightful essay from Chesterton in which the scientific enquirer retires to a public house for the primary purpose of observing humanity (and the incidental purpose of drinking a few beers) to see whether pride, in practice, is really the root of all evil. He finds that "Pride is a poison so very poisonous that it not only poisons the virtues; it even poisons the other vices."
- See "If I Had Only One Sermon To Preach." - Meaghen Hale
Editorials of Interest
- The world needs real freedom says Romanian doctor at Synod - Voice of the Family
As Catholic doctors defending life and family, we can see this is, first of all, a spiritual battle. Material poverty and consumerism are not the primary cause of the family crisis. The primary cause of the sexual and cultural revolution is ideological.
- Creative Tensions? - Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Maybe we just have to learn to live with a lot of seeming ambiguity, knowing that only God has all perfection, only the Lord has the answer to these questions that perplex us, and that all we can do is try our best to live as He has revealed, to rely on His grace and mercy, and leave it up to Him to bring order out of this mess.
- Dear Synod Fathers: You missed a step - Crux
What the Catholic Church in the United States does today to lay the groundwork for a lifetime of good if sometimes difficult choices when it comes to sex and marriage, isn't remotely proportional to the times we live in, nor to the significance of sex and marriage within our tradition.
- Five ways the Church can help married and engaged couples - First Things
As lay Catholics, it is insufficient to sit back and expect the Synod fathers to solve the marriage crisis on their own. We are as much the agents of change as they, and coming up with concrete and constructive ways to be helpful is what the Church is asking of us.
- Where Was Our Catholic Culture? - The Catholic Thing
How can you counter the deep decay we all see without an equally deep way to heal it?
- Your #1 job as a wife: it's not what you think - Catholic Lane
Our priest emphasized that our primary job as a spouse is to help each other get to heaven. That one piece of advice completely reframed marriage in our minds. Suddenly, our marriage was not just supposed to make us happier, but holier too.
- Bernie Sanders' Debt To Religious Freedom - The Federalist
If Bernie Sanders didn't have to fight in Vietnam because of his beliefs, why do business owners have to participate in gay weddings in spite of theirs?
- Choose the right path: a message from a repentant murderer - Catholic Gentleman
I feel that religion with its precepts is not something we can live without, but rather it is the real comfort, the real strength in life and the only safe way in every circumstance, even the most painful ones of life.
- "Discern If You Must, but Not in Public, Please!" - Aleteia
This process of wondering repeats itself over and over again because Catholicism is a faith that stands up to scrutiny and has always allowed reason to come out and play in its fields even if things get "a little messy."
- Holding God in the Palm of Your Hand - Aleteia
The Holy Eucharist is above everything else a gift. Christ comes to us as we are, where we are, giving everything. He is the gift.
- In Defense of Christendom - Wall Street Journal
All that the West sees in its own history is the despicable and the destructive; it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure. What Europe needs is a new self-acceptance, a self acceptance that is critical and humble, if it truly wishes to survive.
- Saints, Accidentally - Fare Forward
What we celebrate in the saints is not their piety or perfection but the fact that we believe in a God who gets redemptive and holy things done in this world through, of all things, human beings, all of whom are flawed.
- The Strength of the Hills Is Not Ours: Our Modern Identity Crisis - Mere Orthodoxy
While nature may have lost much of its persuasive power, as demonstrated by the ever-expanding list of gender identities available to us, history has not. It is an encouraging thing that something still exists which can negate the claims of an individual wishing to define their own concept of existence.
- 16th Century Church Re-Emerges from Water After Drought - IFL Science
The church is said to have been built by a group of monks led by Friar Bartolome de la Casas, who arrived in the area with Spanish settlers around the mid-sixteenth century.
- Abortionist Caught With 14 Containers of Aborted Babies in His Car - LifeNews
"The working theory is he may have been performing abortions outside of a clinical setting."
- Notre Dame replaces PE class with mandatory 'cultural competency' lessons - The College Fix
The University of Notre Dame replaced its longtime mandatory physical education course for freshmen with a health, cultural competency and social awareness course that aims to "foster a spirit of inclusiveness on campus."
- Archbishop Miller: Strong Catholic Families Make Strong Catholic Schools - Catholic Education Daily
It's crazy for us to expect great Catholic education when our family system is weak. They work in direct proportionality, not inverse. So the stronger the family, the stronger the school, the weaker the family, almost inevitably the weaker the school.
- Last Word with Farmer-Author Wendell Berry - Modern Farmer
To farm well is to solve structural problems of the same nature as a novelist encounters.
- Love, Dad - City Journal
Now you have headed off to college, a new chapter in your life. Your future is in your hands. Your mother and I are here to advise and enable you. Still, your own choices will shape your future more than anything else.