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July 19, 2017

Note from the Managing Editor:

Unfortunately, toward the end of his life, Thomas Merton became enamoured of oriental mysticism and New Age meditation practices.  As a result, I've always been reluctant to get enthused about Merton and his writings.  That said, some of Merton's early writings are truly excellent.  Our lead article this week, "The False Selves of the Evil Tenants," is one of the excellent ones.

Having just returned from a pilgrimage in England, I was touched to read the story of "Our Lady of Walsingham". 

And then for some uplift there's Anthony Esolen's "Measure, Weight, and Number".

Next, I was pleased — and am always edified — to read anything by Professor Janet E. Smith.  And so I think will you be after reading "Fr. James Martin's weak and wobbly bridge."

And finally, we'll be taking a summer break from putting out the update in order to catch up on some administrative tasks, work on a revised grant proposal, locate some organizations that want to advertise on CERC (email me here if you know any prospects), and spend some vacation time with family and friends.  You'll receive your next update on September 6.  Until then, God bless you all and let's keep each other in prayer. - J. Fraser Field

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"Woman naturally seeks to embrace that which is living, personal, and whole. To cherish, guard, protect, nourish and advance growth is her natural, maternal yearning." - St. Edith Stein

New Resources

The False Selves of the Evil Tenants - Father Thomas Merton - New Seeds of Contemplation

Every one of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self.

Our Lady of Walsingham - Magnificat - Magnificat

According to tradition, in 1061 Richeldis de Faverches, a devout Saxon noblewoman, had an extraordinary prayer experience. 

Fr. James Martin's weak and wobbly bridge - Janet E. Smith - Catholic World Report

Fr. Martin is correct: a bridge must be built between the Catholic Church and those struggling with same-sex and trans-gender issues. But it cannot be built of tissue paper of "suggestions" based on rhetorical questions and sophistry.

Measure, Weight, and Number - Anthony Esolen - Magnificat

When I tell people that my first love was not poetry but mathematics, they usually knit their brows and wonder what brought about that leap across a chasm.

The seven capital sins of the Internet - Daniel Esparza - Aleteia

According to one of the founders of LinkedIn, each social network corresponds to one of the seven deadly sins.

4 Danger Signs of Cult-Like Behavior, and 4 Antidotes - Father Dwight Longenecker - National Catholic Register

What are the antidotes? One of the antidotes is the Catholic parish system.

C. S. Lewis' "That Hideous Strength" - Mitchell A. Kalpakgian - Crisis Magazine

Lewis' novel portrays the clash of two world views that reflect the cultural wars of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries — the civilization of love versus the culture of death.

Poland crucified - Father George W. Rutler - From the Pastor

It was not the West's proudest moment when President Roosevelt complained to Stalin at the Yalta Conference that "Poland has been a source of trouble for over five hundred years."

Editorials of Interest:

Chastity vs. Tyrannical Sex - Catholic World Report
Books Versus Screens - First Things

Editorials of Interest

Pope Francis: The Struggle behind the Curtains - Monday Vatican

Though the resignations of Cardinal Pell and Vatican General Auditor Libero Milone might be linked and the connection between them considered as part of a resistance to Vatican financial reform, there are more complex issues to deal with.

A New Path to Sainthood - CNA

Pope Francis declared a new category of Christian life suitable for consideration of beatification called "offering of life" — in which a person has died prematurely through an offering of their life for love of God and neighbor. It's like martyrdom but not quite.

Bishop responds: No, abortion isn't a Canadian 'core' value - Catholic World Report

Bishop Crosby compared Prime Minister Trudeau's decision to pledge $650 million in support of abortion and reproductive rights to the nearly $120 million pledged in response to severe food shortages, striking heavily in many parts of Africa.

Book Review: By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment - OnePeter5

The restoration of what Aquinas calls "the equality of justice" by inflicting on the offender a harm proportionate to his offense is known as retribution, and it one of the three traditional purposes of punishment.

Charlie Gard vs the duty to die - Aleteia

The always-voracious culture of death is relentless, but glimmers of hope exist as we fight on.

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, jailed for calls for greater democracy, dies at age 61 - Aleteia

Liu's 11-year sentence was for "subversion" and followed his action as a co-founder of Charter 08, a petition calling for democracy, the rule of law and an end to censorship.

The Sufis: Islam's Anti-Terrorists - The Stream

Westerners tend to think Islam's recent trajectory is one of resurgent Wahhabi-inspired extremism, but growing numbers of Muslims are adopting Sufi practices that promote peace, hope, and harmony among religions.

A Bride and Groom; The Bride and Groom - Word on Fire

St. Paul spoke of the love of husband and wife as a great "mystery," that is to say, a sacred sign, which speaks of Christ's love for his body, the Church.

You Went to the Wedding. Now What? - Catholic Stand

By attending the wedding ceremony, you are agreeing that decades from now you will still be witnessing God's Grace in this couple and encouraging them to choose love.

Chastity vs. Tyrannical Sex - Catholic World Report

"The moment sex ceases to be a servant," observed G.K. Chesterton, "it becomes a tyrant." Evidence for the destructive consequences of tyrannical sex abounds in wrecked relationships, wrecked families, and wrecked lives.

I thought casual sex would be empowering, but it was the opposite - Verily

My experience persuaded me that marriage is the only context in which sex can truly be between equals.

A Genderless Child?: When Ideology Becomes Abuse - The Stream

There are many stories these days of government trampling parental rights, but what happens when parents are the ones doing the trampling?

How Erasing Sex Distinctions From Law Kills Privacy And Consent - The Federalist

Gender-inclusion legislation removes from persons, particularly females, the right of consent concerning their bodily privacy in spaces like change rooms and showers.

Normalizing Incest and Other Perversions: It's Already Happening - The Stream

GSA (Genetic Sexual Attraction) is a "real topic of discussion at the moment, with numerous stories of long-lost family members who reunited only to discover an intense sexual attraction, being bandied about all over the place."

Burying Mom: Grief, Temptation, Grace - Catholic Exchange

Previous temptations to unbelief are overcome by the grace of faith that is real, not imagined.

Mercy Doubled: On Consciously Saying, "I'm Sorry" - Aleteia

If you didn't mean to be a pain in the neck to someone, admit you were and ask the person to forgive you.

What is the most dreaded virtue? - Aleteia

Correcting our misunderstanding of humility, a virtue that leaves us nowhere to hide.

Books Versus Screens - First Things

What use will we have for the transcendental — the good, the true, and the beautiful — when all that keeps our attention is comfort and entertainment?

Catholic Classical Education on the Rise - First Things

Opening and maintaining a private religious school in the 2010s can be extremely difficult. But in the crowded landscape of independent schools within the Greater Boston area, St. Benedict Elementary is thriving.

Settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and infinite delight - Catholic World Report

Science cannot give us a philosophy, not can it give us an ethics; it cannot give us a philosophy, because it immerses man in nature and avoids the important subject of his destiny. It cannot give us an ethics because science by itself is amoral.

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman and
St. Justin Martyr, pray for us

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