Archive for August, 2014

Maternity and Divinity

Maternity brings to mind a quartet of virtues that a mother possesses in a pre-eminent way:  creativity, tenderness, enthusiasm, and godliness.

Creativity:

Joszef Cardinal Mindszenty, the courageous defender of the Church during the Communist occupation of Hungary, had an exceptionally strong affection for motherhood. In his book, The Mother, he penned an eloquent tribute to all mothers, emphasizing their particular closeness to God: “The most important person on earth is a mother....

“Being Released” and other Euphemisms about Death

Being “released” sounds so ordinary, perhaps even positive. To the citizens portrayed in Lois Lowry’s The Giver (a recently released movie and young adult fiction favorite), being released is an accepted part of community life.

According to the narrator, 12-year old Jonas: “There were only two occasions of release which were not punishment. Release of the elderly, which was a time of celebration for a life well and fully lived; and release of a newchild,...

Notification or Consent: A Question of Parents’ Rights

Otto Van Bismarck was once famously said, “Politics is the art of the possible”. But just because something is possible does not mean it should be done. In 2011, a debate emerged among pro-life policy makers in Texas regarding whether it was appropriate to change Texas’ parental notification/consent law regarding abortions on minors into a purely parental notification law. Both sides truly want to usher in a Culture of Life, but it has raised...

Blasphemy Against Mercy

Back in 1997, I was browsing a bookshop and came upon a book that truly shocked and horrified me. A feminist theologian had written a book wherein she argued that the two greatest “crosses” Catholic women must bear are the Catholic Church’s opposition to women’s ordination and its opposition to abortion. I could hardly believe that blasphemy had reached this level, but there was no denying my senses, as much as I might have...

On the “Increased Need” in Family Planning Services

This month the Guttmacher Institute released a report stating that women’s “need” for publically funded “family planning services” rose by 22% from 2000 to 2012. Federally funded health centers provided a large majority of the services indicated. These clinics receive support from the federal government through a law known as Title X, which allocates funds specifically for “family planning and related preventative health services.” The report claims that hundreds of thousands...

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Cultural Revolution in Orwell’s 1984 and America’s 2014

In Orwell’s novel Winston Smith, the protagonist, finds himself living in an inhuman world he cannot recognize as normal or natural. Aware of life in London before the Revolution and now experiencing the chilling new world of Big Brother and the Party in Oceania, Winston feels alienated, enslaved, and dehumanized. He has vague fond memories of the past he recalls from his childhood, but his current life as a government employee in the Ministry...

Courtship and Marriage

He was Mr. Basketball, the Houdini of the Hardwood. He was blessed with long arms and peripheral vision. These gifts together with being ambidextrous and having extraordinary court sense, introduced a new blend of ball-handling and passing skills that revolutionized basketball. He guided Holy Cross College to a national championship in 1947 and the Boston Celtics to six National Basketball championships. He led the NBA in assists eight straight years and was...

Battling Depression: A Catholic Perspective

The shocking events that have unfolded this week with the suicide of actor Robin Williams, have stirred up many controversial conversations on depression, mental illness and suicide. What makes depression, bipolar disorder, addiction and suicide so difficult to understand? How can we understand the relationship between spirituality and psychological well-being?

Depression, or Major Depressive Disorder, ranks among the more common medical illnesses, affecting up to 6.9 percent of the population. It is more than...