Friday, February 28, 2014

Liberty Is Liberty, and Love Is Love

The latest chapter in America's ongoing struggle over how to deal with teh gheys in public life has come to a predictable close. Arizona's proposed law, which would permit business owners to refuse to participate in activities which would conflict with their religious beliefs, was met with the Governor's veto.

Although such a law could apply in a variety of situations and to those of multiple faiths, it was fairly obvious that the bill was passed to prevent Christian business owners from having to lend their services to same-sex marriage ceremonies. Multiple lawsuits by aggrieved same-sex couples in other States, which consider sexual orientation a protected class in their public accommodations laws, have resulted in rulings against Christian business owners. Arizona has no such law on the books, and the bill's supporters sought a preventive measure to circumvent such litigation. But for what it's worth, much of the discussion surrounding SB 1062 treated "religious freedom" in nondenominational terms. What is the Catholic response to those with same-sex attraction, and how do Catholics live out their faith in the public square?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth..."

Praised Be Jesus!

I hope this post finds everyone in good spirits — and warm! Traditionally, on February 14, the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Valentine, and the secular world has adopted the feast as a holiday celebrating romantic (and, in many cases, erotic) love. This feast causes a lot of hard feelings and usually results in mushy Facebook posts, resentful memes, and angry words from those who are bitter about their single state. I've also heard people murmur that all the erotic undertones are not a dignified for the feast of a martyr of the Church.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Have You Given All?

Praised Be Jesus!

I hope that everyone's doing well! This little write-up is going to be a bit different from my normal reflections and spirituality articles. (Well, maybe not completely different.) The next cycle for Marian Consecration begins on February 20, which will end with the Consecration on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation. What is Marian Consecration, you ask? Marian Consecration is an act in which we give our whole lives, graces, good works, and our own personal holiness into the hands of the Blessed Mother to do with, where it is needed. There have been many Saints throughout the centuries who have promulgated Marian Consecration, but none has perfected it in the way of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, who created the process of 33 days of preparation based on one of his greatest works, True Devotion. I have made my Marian Consecration three times (two of those times in the same year), and I'm preparing to begin the process again with the Legion of Mary for the Annunciation, and I can attest that the Consecration has let loose an abundance of graces on my life.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CAPTION THIS: When Divine Met Delicious

"I greatly appreciate this gesture, Signor della Vecchia, but I really would have preferred white chocolate!"
(Full story here. Picture c/o: Vatican Radio English)
Mon Dieu! The response to our last caption contest was so overwhelming, we couldn't pick just one winner. So, in the style of the Olympics (minus the exposed wires, contaminated water and confusing toilets), we present the bronze, silver and gold captions:

Friday, February 7, 2014

God Enters His Temple

Thus says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; And suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek, And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire,or like the fuller’s lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver,and he will purify the sons of Levi,Refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD. Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in the days of old, as in years gone by. —Malachi 3:1-4

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pro-Life and Atheist: The Secular Case for the Unborn, Continued

Secular Pro-Life represented at the 2014 March for Life
Many of you have undoubtedly read our first post profiling two individuals who do not believe in God, yet happen to agree with the Church that innocent, unborn human life deserves protection. We have been fortunate to add a third person to that list. Without further ado, here is the second part of our series:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Vampire Weekend: Waugh Revisited

In keeping with our reviews of popular media in a Catholic context, the latest entry in our Leisure As Culture series is a triple feature: a joint music, book, and television review. Vampire Weekend is a recent addition to my music library, while Brideshead Revisited has been a favorite book of mine since before I began college. Both share a connection that may not seem obvious. A story of pre-WWII English Catholic aristocracy and rocknrolla? Sure, the band’s image is that of well-dressed university-age fellows, but that’s merely a superficial similarity. It’s VW frontman and songwriter Ezra Koenig who draws the connection to Brideshead in a New York Times article:
[The band’s three albums] reminded me of ‘Brideshead Revisited’... The naïve joyous school days in the beginning. Then the expansion of the world, travel, seeing other places, learning a little bit more about how people live. And then the end is a little bit of growing up, starting to think more seriously, about your life and your faith. If people could look at our three albums as a bildungsroman, I’d be O.K. with that.
If this were how I started every tennis match, I'd be O.K. with that. (Obscure VW reference for the uninitiated here.)