At the November meeting of the United States bishops, I heard an impassioned case for the canonization of Nicholas Black Elk, a Lakota Indian medicine man who converted to Catholicism and eagerly took up the task of catechesis within his community. My prayer is that, if the cause of Black Elk moves forward, we might one day invoke him as a real icon for catechists in the Catholic Church.
The seventeenth century “slave of the slaves,” St. Peter Claver, dedicated his life to caring for the needs of slaves as they arrived in Cartagena from Africa. According to St. Peter Clever, social justice includes and prioritizes evangelization, a mission which flies in the face of Immanuel Kant's argument that religion is basically resolvable into ethics.
Jean Twenge’s book “iGen” about the generation born between 1995 and 2012 is one of the most fascinating—and depressing—texts I’ve read in the past decade. Her chapter on religious attitudes and behaviors among iGen’ers unambiguously indicates what is leading this most unreligious generation in our history away from the churches.
Why is the Mass so important? Why is it the “source and summit” of the Christian life? It is the most beautiful encounter between friends and it is an anticipation of the play that will be our permanent preoccupation in heaven.
George Weigel’s latest book, “Lessons in Hope: My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II,” is the third panel in a great triptych he has composed in honor of the most consequential Catholic figure of the second half of the twentieth century.
There are two basic approaches to religion throughout the world. The first, found in much of the East, is a religion of karma, and the second, prominent in the Abrahamic religions of the West, is a religion of grace. We devotees of a religion of grace have to know that the gift is not for us alone; rather the generosity of God is meant to awaken a like generosity in us.
Though it rather clearly reflects the anti-Scriptural prejudice of the cultural elite today, Darren Aronofsky's latest film “mother!” might actually serve to prompt a re-examination of the deeply ecological themes that run right through the Biblical narrative and the great theological tradition.
While filming for our “Pivotal Players” series, I had the chance to view the skeletal remains of St. Ambrose, the great fourth-century bishop of Milan. However, when I posted pictures on social media, many people were a bit put off. Why do Catholics venerate dead bodies and relics? Answering this question throws light on some pretty interesting issues in Catholic theology.
Matt Spicer’s dark comedy “Ingrid Goes West” is a telling and penetrating critique of the iPhone culture that has swallowed up so many young people today, and it artfully explores the shadow side of living in virtual reality.
I vividly remember my first visit to the home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia. The splendid Monticello estate with its sordid slave-quarters underground. One could literally see at this great American house the divide, the original sin, that has bedeviled our nation from its inception to the present day.