Archive for the ‘Mitchell Kalpakgian, Ph.D.’ Category

The Gift of Abundant Life

In one of the comic episodes from Don Quixote, the peasant and goatherd Sancho Panza unbelievably becomes the governor of an island much to the amazement of his wife who can only exclaim,” ’My mother used to say: ’He who would see much must live long’. I say this because, if I live longer, I hope to see more.’ ”

I have been thinking about this proverb recently for several reasons....

Bishop Sheen’s Spiritual Classic on Marriage: Three to Get Married

As the crisis of the family in the twenty-first century persists, it validates the words of Sister Lucia dos Santos, the oldest of the witnesses to the apparitions of the Holy Mother in Fatima in 1917. She wrote in a letter to Carlo Cardinal Caffara in 1983 that “the decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family.” Three to Get Married, one of the great spiritual...

God’s Ordinary and Supernatural Presence

In With God in America, a collection of the writings of Father Walter Ciszek, S.J.—a holy priest imprisoned in Soviet camps for twenty-three years who is under consideration for canonization—a chapter entitled “The Presence of God” distinguishes between God’s “ordinary presence” throughout creation and His “supernatural presence” in a person’s soul. In the sunrise and sunset and in the course of the four seasons, God’s Divine Providence manifests its ordinary presence because “God...

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 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...

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....

Daily Bread and Manna in the Wilderness: The Sign of God’s Providence

In the journey of the Israelites to the Promised Land God provided daily food through the gift of manna. However, it was under one condition. They were not to save or store extra manna for the following days because it would spoil. “Manna kept is worms” as the saying goes. Likewise, in the Lord’s Prayer the petition for food is for “our daily bread,” not enough for a week, month, or year. God...

Words That Perform Spiritual Works of Mercy

Much of the moral life depends on the proper use of words and the manner of speech. What one says and what does not say make a difference in all human relationships. Without sacrificing truth or integrity, a person can speak the truth with gentleness, kindness, and civility instead of with harshness, coarseness, or insensitivity. Living the moral life also requires that all persons express gratitude, pay compliments, and offer praise to the deserving...