The Primitive Cruelty of Modern “Love”

Several weeks ago, Saint Valentine’s Day at my school came and went. There was no dance. There was no concert. There was no ice cream social. There was no party for trading little gifts. There was no showing of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon or Marty or Goodbye, Mr. Chips or Casablanca. There were no … Read more

Running From Hell: Thoughts on Love and Sin

Running from hell is a lousy way to approach God. This seemed to be the consensus of many post-Vatican II Catholics who saw the pre-Vatican II era as a generation beholden to the fear of sin and subject to rules drawing sharp lines over which a good Catholic did not cross. As a high school … Read more

Judge Not

Behind these two words “judge not” (Matthew 7:1) stand the champions of moral relativism. Before the wall the relativists erect with these two words, Christians drop their weapons, seemingly defeated by a rampart they thought was meant for their own defense. The Gospels are the ultimate love story and from their midst not only do … Read more

Who Are We?: Catholic Faith in Light of the HHS Mandate

Who do they think they are? Such must have been the thought of many Catholics when the Obama Administration ruled that Catholic institutions must provide contraceptive services to their employees. We responded with outrage, indignation and, perhaps most of all, surprise over an assault on our complacently assumed right to religious freedom. As a Catholic community many of … Read more

Hating Love: The Legacy of the ’60s Generation

To an alien traveler just saucered in from a far distant part of the universe, it would be quite clear that our two speakers above were not talking about the same thing. In fact, it would be quite reasonable for our peripatetic alien to believe that Mr. Lightfoot and St. Paul were talking about two … Read more

Contracepting Contraception

Is a life worth a dollar?  Is it worth a hundred dollars? Is it worth a million plus dollars? These seemingly innocuous questions are frequently put to us by those advocating cause A, B or C.  The only answer, and the one they expect to hear, is that life is priceless and, consequently, their cause … Read more

Simone Weil’s Reflections on the Cross

At the European Court of Human Rights two British women are trying to establish their right to wear crosses in public. We have been used to hearing about battles in courts throughout the world concerning the public display of crucifixes (or the Ten Commandments), as well as the wearing of religious symbols in general. The … Read more

Of Love, Hollywood Heroes & Harlequin Romances

My friend Carol is a writer of medical romantic fiction. This does not mean that she writes warm hearted prose about anatomical procedures; she does not pen sugary sagas about surgery or candlelight accounts of cardiac attacks. No, she writes ‘female fiction’–known in the trade as Harlequin romance. She writes about nurses who are in … Read more

Womanhood Surrendered

The following review first appeared in the October 2007 edition of Crisis Magazine.   Women and the Common Life: Love, Marriage, and Feminism, by Christopher Lasch and Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn, W.W. Norton and Co., 1997, 196 pages, $19   Christopher Lasch’s Women and the Common Life, a collection of essays compiled with the help of his … Read more

Missing From MLK Memorial: God

  Four days after police arrested Rosa Parks for refusing to surrender her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, the young Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. explained the Christian foundation of the civil rights movement he was about to lead. “I want to say that we are not here advocating violence,” … Read more

Priests: “Resolve” to Love the Laity

The Church was also in need of change, but only to the extent that she needed to look again at how she could most effectively change the world. We have allowed a missionary council to be domesticated. The greatest failure of the post-Vatican II Church is the failure to call forth and to form a … Read more

Gift Books of Christian Wisdom: A Syllabus for Our Era

Despite the recent, precipitous decline in Western education, most people do realize that going to college entails reading books. Of course, thoughtful men question the kinds of books which students are getting assigned these days. As a remedy, I’d like to list books almost no one in college will mention to students. Hopefully, they will … Read more

King Henry VIII, Come Save Us!

The following is an excerpt from The Bad Catholic’s Guide to Wine, Whiskey, and Song, which can arrive gift-wrapped in time for Christmas if you order today.   It’s obvious that any tome whose authors hope will be carried into bars and used as a songbook must include a heartrending love song. While it’s true … Read more

A Portrait of Dietrich Von Hildebrand

The name Dietrich von Hildebrand is not, perhaps, as well known as it should be among intelligent and literate Catholics — or, for that matter, among Christians of any ilk. He is a man whom Pius XII referred to as “a 20th-century doctor of the Church.” Those who remember this pontiff will recall that he … Read more

A Girl’s Lament: Sex, Love, and America’s Teens

Forty years ago, the sexual revolution broke through the last barricades of Victorian propriety. A whole generation drifted toward moral anarchy in its fitful pursuit of sexual liberation. At the end of the day, the casualties of this revolution surround us—AIDS patients, aborted children, and single mothers. But only recently have the intellectual elite come … Read more

Two Hearts in One

Whole books with titles like A Treasury of Christian Prayer attest to the fact that the Church can dip into vast pools of prayer and come up with any number of prayers that it might set before us for our contemplation. Some of them, such as the “Prayer of St. Francis,” are very popular and … Read more

Love Is Not Feelings

Last week, we talked a bit about the meaning of concupiscence in the Church’s moral tradition. The good news about concupiscence is that it is not sin but merely the “tinder for sin,” and therefore temptation is not a revelation of what a disgusting disappointment we are to God, but is in fact the field … Read more

Money Matters (But Not the Way You Think)

  St. Matthew, patron saint of bankers, pray for me. This is how I open and close each day. I am a banker and in the business of buying and selling money. There is a common misconception among the faithful that having money is bad, and having a lot of money is really bad. Conversely, … Read more

Tokens of Love

Four-year-old Daniel recently gave me a picture he drew of me. In the pencil and crayon drawing, I stand smiling, arms outstretched, surrounded by hearts and flowers. I was struck by the fact that it is an especially loving and adoring image. A shrine, perhaps, to Mama. My own mom, a mother of nine children … Read more

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