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June 14, 2017

Note from the Assistant Editor:

How do we enter into the Sacred Heart of Jesus?  "Only by paying the high price of loving."  Christ already showed us this cost on the Cross.  See "United with the Sacred Heart."

Catholicism affirms the conviction that "God wishes to be adored by people who are free."  In "Interreligious dialogue with edge and purpose," George Weigel asks, "Can Islam make such an affirmation?"

We reprint an interview with Robert R. Reilly on his new book, Surprised by Beauty: modern music for the soul.  He gives a thought-provoking analysis of modern music, particularly the tendency to embrace ugliness as a means to transcendence.  But "ugliness is pain without hope.  Beauty is painful.  It disturbs us.  It awakens in us longings that cannot be satisfied by anything within our experience."

In my freshman year at Ave Maria University, we discussed the clash of civilizations — the idea that some conflicts are driven by civilizational or identity differences that cannot be reconciled.  In "How identity politics destroys freedom," Roger Scruton says there "is a certain kind of Muslim identity in which family, not nation, is the source of obligation."  But western civilization is based on the latter.

Funnily enough, it's the weakening of the family that is leading to the weakening of the west.  David Warren points out that "most of northwest Europe's current political leaders are childless" — and they are legislating for childless populations.  What's a logical solution for countries without a replacement birthrate?  Immigration.  Which can lead precisely to the problems Scruton discusses.  See "Children of the Childless."

Finally, we have Fr. Rutler on "The Feast of the Holy Trinity."  "Since creatures cannot enter the Creator, he makes himself known by coming into his creation."  Let us welcome Him.  - Meaghen Hale

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"Oh, Adam's sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that might do you good." - C.S. Lewis

New Resources

United with the Sacred Heart - Ruth Burrows - from Through Him, With Him, in Him: Meditations on the Liturgical Seasons

This Heart is a pierced Heart.

Interreligious dialogue with edge and purpose - George Weigel - The Catholic Difference

The evening of September 12, 2006, was, in a word, memorable.

Let's stop using "conscience" as a mere excuse for a lazy immorality - Father Robert McTeigue, S.J. - Aleteia

Part II of a series: Using "my conscience" as the universal excuse for all behavior.

Six days, 50 years ago, that changed the world. - Father Raymond J. de Souza - National Post

Our world was significantly shaped 50 years ago this week by war in the promised land. Six days changed the Middle East; a week changed the world.

Surprised by Beauty: modern music for the soul - Robert R. Reilly - Mercatornet

A new book offers a listener's guide to the recovery of modern music.

How identity politics destroys freedom - Roger Scruton - "Crisis of Liberty in the West" conference

Sir Roger Scruton delivered the following address at the Acton Institute's "Crisis of Liberty in the West" conference in London on December 1, 2016.

Children of the Childless - David Warren - The Catholic Thing

A "factoid" was brought to my attention by the Italian journalist Giulio Meotti.

The Feast of the Holy Trinity - Father George W. Rutler - From the Pastor

The Feast of the Holy Trinity follows Pentecost because it is only by the inspiration of the Third Person of the Trinity, who leads into all truth, that the mystery of the Trinity can be known.

Holy Trinity - Father John Horgan - CERC

What is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith? What is its most important teaching? In the order of importance, the first truth that we uphold and cherish as Catholics is the Holy Trinity.

Editorials of Interest:

Europe's "Suspended Communities" - The American Interest
A Conversation - City Journal
Examination of Conscience - The Catholic Thing
Identity in Relationship - Ignitum Today
Is College Working? - The American Interest

Editorials of Interest

Why the Church Cannot Reverse Past Teaching on Capital Punishment - Catholic World Report

If Pope Francis were to teach that capital punishment is "absolutely" immoral, he would be contradicting the teaching of scripture, the Fathers, and all previous popes, and substituting for it "some new doctrine."

10 amazing facts about the power of the Eucharist - Aleteia

A friend recently told me that her father used to help her mother in the kitchen with the most tedious of tasks.

Bishop Robert Barron: Kathy Griffin and the Vanishing of Argument - Word on Fire

Students are not arguing with their opponents but bullying them, drowning them out, intimidating them, physically attacking them. This is not only irrational; it is deeply disrespectful, for it fundamentally denies the humanity of their adversaries.

Fr. Paul Scalia: 'That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion' - MRCTV

An interview with Fr. Paul Scalia on his new book of reflections on Catholic doctrine and devotion.

A Priest's Warning: You Can't Ignore God and Still Expect His Blessings - ChurchPOP

We must be agents of God's mercy: neither ignoring or enabling sin, but always calling to holiness.

Here's The Real Case For Why Progressives Should Be Pro-Life - The Federalist

Human dignity is universal. And it is knowable by all reasonable people, however they see matters supernatural.

Most Pro-Life Laws are Based on Sound Science - National Review

Pro-abortion groups and much of the media want you to think otherwise.

George Weigel: Thoughts on the Western Wall, Fifty Years Later - Catholic World Report

Younger Israeli scholars, deeply immersed in their Judaism and keen students of political philosophy, are trying to articulate a Jewish theological rationale for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

Europe's "Suspended Communities" - The American Interest

The imperative of integrating immigrant communities in Europe into their host nation's cultures has taken on a new urgency.

A Conversation - City Journal

Educational expenditures must increase, we're told, though we know the problem lies elsewhere.

Tolerance Will Not Stop Terrorism - The Stream

Islamic theology drives the terrorist. Jobs, education, and all the benefits of the West will not deter him.

Conversion as a lifelong journey in the Faith - OSV

As Pentecost approaches, we are reminded to view conversion as a process, not just a single event in our lives.

Conquering Evil with Good Through Prayer - Catholic Stand

The Holy Father's quote above is a reminder to all of us that in order to 'conquer evil' we must pray to God.

Examination of Conscience - The Catholic Thing

How do we see ourselves the way God sees us? One good way is with the tried-and-true, daily examination of conscience.

Identity in Relationship - Ignitum Today

For humans, identity is found in relation to others.

Jesus Christ is the Only Sure Way to Heaven - NC Register

When you follow Jesus, He doesn't change what you do. He changes what you want to do.

The Problem With Instant Gratification - Catholic Stand

Through virtue, we are able to freely practice good and fight temptation. Without virtue, it becomes difficult and even impossible to control our passions and desires, giving the best of ourselves.

Is College Working? - The American Interest

Freshmen and seniors at about 200 colleges across the US take a little-known test every year to measure how much better they get at learning to think. The results are discouraging.

Are we less free than a 1950s housewife? A look at contraception. - Catholic World Report

What started as a means to liberate women seems to have taken an ironic twist.

Teaching your teen to chart her cycle could literally save her life - Aleteia

A study of over 100 women who had been hospitalized after attempting suicide confirmed that "The majority of suicide attempts by women occurred during their menstrual period when the estradiol and progesterone levels are at their lowest."

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

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