Archive for March, 2013

The Forgotten Eucharistic Vision of Virgil Michel

Father Paul Marx O.S.B., the founder of Human Life International, wrote his dissertation on the life and work of Virgil Michel O.S.B. (1888-1938), who was one of the leaders of the liturgical movement in the United States. Michel is famous in some circles for a syllogism that summarizes the focus of the papacies of the early 20th century:

Pius X tells us that the liturgy is the indispensable source...

Neither Conservative nor Liberal: Solving the Conundrum

Pope Francis presents a peculiar problem for the modern world. On the one hand, he is well-known for his concern for the poor and his strong commitment to Social Justice. On the other, he unequivocally opposes abortion. By virtue of the former commitment he qualifies as a “liberal.” But his opposition to abortion would make him eligible for the label “conservative.” How is it possible for one man to embody two seemingly mutually...

Ever Ancient, Ever New: The Grandeur of God

The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And...

The Fall of the Inter American Court of Human Rights

In 1973, abortion activists in the United States discovered that it is easier to change the constitution by securing sympathetic justices on the Supreme Court instead of using the means intended by the nation’s founders, the Constitutional Amendment process. The strategy is simple: once you have a majority of justices sympathetic to your cause, find victims whose story has the necessary elements, reach out to friends in the media, and proceed to bring a...

Protecting Life and Love

Significantly, the inauguration of Pope Francis was on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. In his homily at the inauguration Mass, Pope Francis emphasized the role of Saint Joseph as the protector of the Holy Family and the Church. The Supreme Pontiff as the Vicar of Christ is the protector of the Faith of the Church, which has been...

Cookie Cutter Christians

A hostess for a Catholic radio station once told me of a Protestant gentleman who was making a pitch to get on her show. The point he wanted to make for the benefit of her radio listeners is that it is not important for Christians to hold the same views, but far more important that they avoid becoming “cookie cutter Christians.” The hostess offered him a polite but emphatic, “Thank you, but no...

The Vicar of Christ, Not a Tool

It was with shocked excitement that I took a moment to register the name of the new Holy Father. This wasn’t who we were expecting; none of my friends or coworkers had mentioned his name as a possible contender for the office. But there he was, looking slightly shell-shocked, Pope Francis: the first Jesuit Pope, the first Latin American Pope and the first Pope to choose the name “Francis.”

Along with my joy that we...

Ever Ancient, Ever New: Hired Man

“Home is the place where when you have to go there, They have to take you in.”

“I should have called it Something you somehow haven’t to deserve.” – Robert Frost, “The Death of the Hired Man”

Warren, the father figure in the poem, makes the first statement, and Mary, his wife, responds with the second sentence. Silas, an irresponsible hired hand on the farm who leaves Warren in the busiest time of the year,...