Br László Erffa, LC
The following dialogue is based on parts of a speech Pope Benedict XVI gave in Assisi at a meeting with religious leaders to pray for world peace on October 27, 2011. Of course, this conversation between the Holy Father and a young agnostic never actually took place, but if it did, here’s what it might have sounded like.
Pope: Nice to meet you! I was told you were an agnostic, John: You believe there might be a God somewhere but you don’t believe we can be really sure. Is that your position?
Br Joseph A’Hearn, LC
At the airport a few days ago I saw a billboard that said, “Speak out for those who have no voice.” I would have expected to see that text accompanied by a photo of an unborn baby. Instead, the photo was of a whale. “How long,” I thought, “will people look at a few barely significant shrubs and miss the forest?” It is good to protect endangered animals out in the wild, but no one is more endangered these days than a baby in the womb, and the value of a human life is infinite.
39 years of pain from legalized abortion have not deterred Americans who are convinced of the supreme value of life. Neither could any amount of pouring rain stop between 400,000 and 500,000 pro-lifers from marching through the Nation’s Capital on Monday in the largest crowd to-date of Roe v. Wade protesters, according to city officials.
Br Jared Loehr, LC
Why do pirates risk shipwreck, scurvy, and starvation to find treasure when they could much more easily get a toy treasure chest in a Happy Meal? Though they share the same name, one is worth risking everything for, while the only risk to get a Happy Meal is scraping the car door on the drive-through intercom.
There are two types of love, too. When we say they we are looking for love we can either mean the toy or the treasure. Read more
Br Robert Wills, LC
When you were making your New Year’s resolution for 2012, did you consider that it might be your last? The deadline for the most popular end-of-the-world prediction (December 21, 2012) is less than a year away, yet although it’s received so much attention, very few have actually changed their behavior. Rather than a specific date, it’s important to be prepared today, for in fact, the Lord can come on any day, whether in the form of an unexpected death or even the end of the present world.
Will America be prepared when the Lord comes? The recent film Captain America: The First Avenger gives us a surprisingly prescient forecast. Captain America is a superhero who almost perfectly embodies the American Ideal, a mirror by which to evaluate our society’s strengths and deficiencies as we draw closer to Judgment Day. But be forewarned: There are spoilers ahead.
Br Elias Sayegh, LC
Throughout history, man has always been in a search for meaning. On his search, man has uncovered some maxims which have helped him to understand himself and the meaning of life. The ancient Greeks carved the phrase: “Know Yourself” on the Temple of Delphi. Many years later, Aristotle completed this maxim with his teaching “Possess yourself in virtue.” Finally, Christ completed this process by his teaching, which basically says “Give yourself in love.”
The human being is the only animal capable of reflecting on himself and of knowing himself. For this reason, knowing oneself is fundamental for those who want to live a truly human life and not just an animal one. Some time ago, a priest gave a talk to a group of 125 women. He was telling them that in order to know themselves better and to find peace, they should try to have some moments of silence throughout the day in order to reflect, pray, etc. He even suggested that they take off their headphones while exercising so that, little by little, they could get used to silence. At the end of the conference, a woman around 35 years old, raised her hand and said, “Father, what happens is this: when I’m in silence, I don’t like many of the thoughts that pass through my head.” The other women immediately nodded in agreement.
Br Joshua Gregor, LC
Ask any Catholic what Church teaching says about how we’re supposed to live, and he’ll probably spout off a list of various things we’re not allowed to do. “You shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal,” etc. These are all true and good, of course, but alone they paint quite a limited picture of what Christian life is all about. The goal of Christian moral life is not primarily to avoid evil, but to do good.
Original photography by Br Juan Camilo Chaverra, LC, of the Christmas Room created by the Legionary brothers in Thornwood this year.
Br László Erffa, LC
If you have read your way through John L. Allen’s elaborate work on ten trends he perceives as changing the Catholic Church (The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church, Doubleday Religion, 2009), you might have been left with the same impression I had: Lots of interesting facts and stories, but something is missing. Something essential is missing. We all could easily have come to his conclusions that the encounter with Islam or with Evangelical Christians will have an impact on our lives as Catholics. But we also know, and with much more certainty, that this is not everything: The Church is really only marginally influenced by those external factors.
Br Ryan Harkins, LC
The other day in philosophy class, something caught my attention. It was concerning John Locke (1632 – 1704), an English philosopher who is probably a familiar name to you: A vast amount of the ideas he came up with are very much rooted in American thought and culture due to the close interest the Founding Fathers took in him. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and the rest praised John Locke and stacked his books in their libraries.
What struck me was this: Read more
Br Joshua Gregor, LC
When I drive by a Protestant church, there’s almost always a sign out front that says something like “come join us for worship” or “Services: Sundays at 10:00.” When I see those, it makes me really glad to be Catholic, because as Catholics we receive something far greater than what they receive on Sundays. We have the sacraments, and, most specifically, the Mass.