Commentary

The Protestant and Catholic Reformations

In the past year there’s been a series of events — especially in Europe — leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on Oct. 31. It was an event that set off more than a century of religious warfare and changed the practice of Christianity worldwide.

Close the distance, not the gate

Nobel Prize–winning author Toni Morrison, assessing the times, asks this question: “Why should we want to know a stranger when it is easier to estrange another? Why should we want to close the distance when we can close the gate?” Except this isn’t a question, it’s a judgment.

What is happening at Mass?

As many Catholics know, the Second Vatican Council famously referred to the liturgy as the “source and summit of the Christian life.” And following the prompts of the great figures of the liturgical movement in the first half of the 20th century, the council fathers called for a fuller, more conscious and more active participation in the liturgy on the part of Catholics.

The heroic witness of Blessed Stanley Rother

OKLAHOMA CITY – On Sept. 14, 2017, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Pope Francis officially advanced Venerable Stanley Rother with the title “Blessed.” The public celebration of this advancement occurred on Sept. 23 at the beatification Mass in Oklahoma City.

Our utmost in dealing with our faith

The complexity of adulthood inevitably puts to death the naiveté of childhood. And this is true too of our faith. Not that faith is a naiveté. It isn’t. But our faith needs to be constantly reintegrated into our persons and matched up anew against our life’s experience; otherwise we will find it at odds with our life. Genuine faith can stand up to every kind of experience, no matter its complexity.

Peter Claver vs. Immanuel Kant

One of the greatest heroes of the social justice wing of the church is, quite rightly, the 17th-century “slave of the slaves,” St. Peter Claver. Born in Barcelona, Claver joined the Society of Jesus and was known, even as a young man, as a person of deep intelligence and piety. Spurred by what he took to be the direct prompting of the Holy Spirit, the young Spaniard volunteered to work among the poor in what was then known as “New Spain.” Arriving in Cartagena, he saw the unspeakable degradation of the captives brought in chains by ship from Africa, and he resolved to dedicate his life to serving them.