Archive for May, 2013

The Month of Mary

While there do seem to be some devotions to Mary in the month of May which began in the Middle Ages, it was not until the Jesuits started promoting and popularizing the Marian devotion in the 19th century that May became Mary’s month. This was done in part because of the solemn definition of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, whereby she was given the freedom from original sin by the Holy Spirit.

It is possible...

The Power of Communication: A Reflection on Euphemism

Let’s face it, we all do it. At a fine restaurant we would much sooner politely inquire for directions to the “restroom,” then brashly ask: “Where’s the toilet?”

It is a natural human tendency to perform a degree of instant self-sanitization of our phraseology, in order to accommodate our current audience, or, to quote the immortal Mary Poppins, to add the proverbial “spoonful of sugar” to help the medicine go down.

The...

On the Willingness to See the Truth

A friend and I were recently discussing the status of our culture and the possible direction that our country will be moving in the next three or four decades. What stood out in our conversation was something that is quite the norm in our modern liberal democracy, namely, the willingness to hold to particular beliefs and opinions regarding a vast array of social and religious issues. This mindset is further mixed with an almost absolute...

Brian Jones

Brian Jones is currently a graduate philosophy student and an adjunct professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas (Houston) . He has works published in the New Blackfriars Journal, Catholic Social Science Review, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, Catholic World Report, Crisis, and Homiletic and Pastoral Review. Brian received a B.A. and an M.A. in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He and...

Ashley Noronha, S.T.L., Ph.D. cand.

Ashley Noronha, S.T.L., Ph.D. cand., is an American living in Rome, teaching Media Training for Priests for various orders, seminaries and organizations all over the world. She is the Rome Correspondent for the Relevant Radio Network and works at the Pontifical Council of Social Communications. She is a Professor of Communications & Leadership.  She has served as the Coordinator of the 2012 Covering Religion in Rome journalism seminar and the 2012 Church...

The Cost of Cloning

Some achievements are heroic, some advance technology in a way that changes lives for the better, and others exist solely to bring a measure of fame to the doer. Despite a flurry of media coverage, a recent report of cloning human embryos seems likely to take its place joining a plethora of Guinness records such as the largest ball of yarn and the highest number of consecutive somersaults. But while this accomplishment involves multiple...

Why Did Christ Come?

Years ago, when my children were both young and endearing (they are still endearing but not so young), they would often ask me when I thought God would open the clouds and come down.

“How should I know?” I would invariably reply. “I’m only a theologian. Go ask your mother!”

It must have worked, too, because I am no longer asked that particular question. Other questions have come to visit and vex me: “Can...

Christian Evangelization is Not Mere Dialogue, It is a Debate

Recently, there was a great brouhaha over an Army Equal Opportunity training briefing on extremism that was presented to Army reservists. Slide twenty-four identified Catholics, Evangelical Christians, and Orthodox Jews as religious extremists on par with Al-Qaeda and Hamas.

The Catholic Archdiocese for Military Services lodged a formal complaint with the Department of Defense and the offending slide was removed. The Army stated this was an isolated incident and in...