Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

In Defense of Duty

The aftermath of America’s deadliest shooting in Las Vegas has brought to light many acts of heroism between strangers.  I found one extraordinary act in particular of special interest.  A woman chose to stay with a dying man for four hours.  Something deep inside her told her that she could not allow another person, even one who was a complete stranger, to die alone.  This was a more intensely human act than...

The Dastardly Sin of Betrayal

As Dante the pilgrim descends into the ninth and final circle of hell in the lowest and darkest pit of the Inferno in The Divine Comedy, he sees immersed in ice the traitors to family, to benefactors, to guests, and to country. The cold hardheartedness of these sinners who returned evil for good and ingratitude for love justifies the punishment of the frozen lake, a body of ice more thick than the Danube...

The push and pull between a true and false conscience

By Fr. Basil Cole, O.P.

When it comes to speaking of the Incarnation of Jesus, theologians and the authority of the Church are very careful not to speak loosely or confusedly about the very being of the Lord Jesus. He is both the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity and possesses in a union with the essence of a human nature. Catholics acclaim at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, “Blessed be Jesus Christ, True God and True man.”...

Plan One From Outer Space

The life of every person is an unfolding story. The plot, however, is not always clear.  We plan our lives, but our best laid plans are often turned awry. It has become a cliché that if we want to make God laugh, we tell Him our plans. Our petty plans are spoiled by the whims of chance or sabotaged by the plans of others. And when our plans fail, we adopt another...

What We Can Learn About Near Death Experiences

By Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh

Her name was Dorothy and she was my mother.  She left us 21 years ago. Two years before she died she was hospitalized for a serious illness. At one point she suffered a cardiac arrest and nearly died. She survived her experience and was able to go home after recovering from her near death scare. I made it a point to visit her the summer after she came home. She couldn’t wait to tell me about her experience.  Several months...

The Blurring of Logical, Natural Distinctions

The mind naturally distinguishes between the true and the false, recognizing the difference between the real and some substitute or imitation for the authentic, between the true and the ersatz, the natural and the artificial. So many errors of judgment and foolish and immoral decisions begin by the failure to recognize these logical, inherent distinctions that form the structure of reality. For example, subtle but vital distinctions separate appearance from reality: love from...

Is it a sin to be judgmental?

By Fr. Basil Cole, O.P.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is quoted as saying: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn and will not be condemned.” Is our Lord demanding that his followers become naive? And while he is not a “Thomist” who makes distinctions but a divine-human who expressed himself with a Semitic mind frame of reference, further distinctions have to be made in light of revelation to understand the Lord correctly.

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Iconoclasm in Flannery O’Connor’s “Parker’s Back”

One of the virulent attacks on Catholic and Orthodox churches in the past has assumed the form of “image-smashing,” the literal meaning of the Greek word iconoclasm. Eamon Duffy’s book on this subject entitled The Stripping of the Altars explains how the Protestant Revolt in England denuded churches of statues, paintings, stained glass windows, vestments, and every vestige of ornamental beauty that adorned churches to glorify God and express the beauty of holiness....