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January 18, 2017

Note from the Assistant Editor:

"Everything is a gift," begins our reflection.  Even faith itself is a gift.  This realization of our own helplessness frees us.  See "Increase Our Faith."

Amoris Laetitia is the neuralgic issue du jour in the Catholic Church.  If you have avoided the discussion, now might be a good time to read up (especially since the dubia and the recent Maltese disaster).  The piece by Fr. Raymond de Souza is excellent — balanced, informative, and predictive.  See "Debating 'Amoris Laetitia': A Look Ahead."

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is this week, and we publish a reflection on this great man below.  "At a moment in American life when vindictiveness seems to mark both sides of the political spectrum," it is good to "Remember a man of peace and conscience."

Martin Scorsese's Silence has received a lot of press; Monica Migliorino Miller writes a balanced, comprehensive review: "Scorsese's Silence: Many Martyrs — Little Redemption."  While the film could provoke "thinking and debates," it is not a "Christian" film.  "Believers hoping for a film that explores Christian ideas from an authentic Christian context — should skip this one.  Silence should also not be seen by the young, or those whose faith is not strong as the theology in this movie is complex, clever and seductive."

Another timely piece as the US Presidency changes hands is Fr. James Schall's "On the Worst President."  "Who could have imagined even a decade ago that the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion traditions would be under fire for holding back the social engineering that Mr. Obama and his friends foisted on the country."

We also publish the fifth in a series by Fr. Robert McTeigue: "God's holy weapons against Satan, Part 2: The gift of kingship."  The work of holiness is constant, but "we endanger ourselves unnecessarily if we believe that we are alone, or if we believe that we must rely on our own strength.  God will not leave us helpless when He calls upon us to do His will."  As Msgr. Charles Pope writes in one of the editorials, we must hope — "desire and expect from God both eternal life and the grace we need to attain it."

To hope! - Meaghen Hale

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"If you do not live out your faith enthusiastically, maybe you don't have any faith." - The Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

New Resources

Increase Our Faith - Father Tadeusz Dajczer - from The Gift of Faith

Faith is the acknowledgement of one's own helplessness — the belief that one owns nothing, that everything is a gift. It is the awaiting of all gifts from God....

Debating Amoris Laetitia: A Look Ahead - Father Raymond J. de Souza - National Catholic Register

It was officially the Jubilee of Mercy, with its attendant graces. But 2016 was more the "Year of Amoris Laetitia" (The Joy of Love).

Remembering a man of peace and conscience - The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. - Catholic Philly

Catholics can take a lesson in the courage to follow a well-formed Christian conscience from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Scorsese's Silence: Many Martyrs — Little Redemption - Monica Migliorino Miller - Crisis Magazine

This movie is not about Christian martyrs. It's about Christians who avoid martyrdom.

On the Worst President - Father James V. Schall, S.J. - The Catholic Thing

From the first time I saw Mr. Obama, his First Inaugural, I said to myself, "This is a classical tyrant."

God's holy weapons against Satan, Part 2: The gift of kingship - Father Robert McTeigue, SJ. - Aleteia

Fifth in a series on spiritual warfare: Jehu and the power of duty

Medical correctness - Anthony Daniels - The New Criterion

For the politically correct, nothing is too large or too small to escape their puritanical attention.

The perspective of eternity - Father George W. Rutler - From the Pastor

We do not need Einstein to tell us that time is variable, or can "bend."

2nd Sunday in OT - Father John Horgan - CERC

We have to know who Jesus Christ is in order to know him personally.

Editorials of Interest:

The Malta Mess - Catholic Herald
The Maltese disaster - Catholic World Report
Bioethics in 2017 - First Things
Higher Education in Hell - Public Discourse
Grace Enough - America Magazine

Editorials of Interest

WATCH: Pope Francis announces his January 2017 prayer intention - YouTube

Join your voice to mine in praying for all who contribute through prayer and fraternal charity to restoring full ecclesial communion in service of the challenges facing humanity.

Cardinal Gerhard Muller: No "correction" forthcoming - CNS

The Church is "very far" from a situation in which the pope is in need of "fraternal correction" over Amoris Laetitia, because the Holy Father has not put the faith and Church teaching in danger.

The Malta Mess - Catholic Herald

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, founded in 1099, is moving through a period of turmoil involving, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Pope Francis, and the Orders two most powerful leaders. The question is: Why?

The Maltese disaster - Catholic World Report

In my view the Maltese bishops have effectively invited the Catholics entrusted to them (lay faithful and clergy alike!) to commit a number of objectively gravely evil acts.

Fatima visionary to Cardinal: "Final battle between God and Satan will be over marriage and family" - Aleteia

He went, and while he was talking to Padre Pio he had a great mystical experience, in which he experienced, very strongly, the mercy of God. Now he is one of the best priests I know. There you have it. It all began like that.

Abortionist Quits After St. Thomas Aquinas Visits Him in a Dream - NC Register

"These children are the ones you killed with your abortions," said St. Thomas, and Stojan awoke in shock and fear. He decided he would refuse to participate in any more abortions.

Bioethics in 2017 - First Things

Do you know what's happening with Assisted Suicide, Futile Care Decisions, Cloning, DNA Altering, Medical Conscience Protections, Animal Testing? No. Well, you may not be interested in the new bioethics, but the new bioethics is interested in you.

Catholic parents forgive suicide bomber who killed their son in Pakistan - Catholic Herald

Pakistan's 190 million population is overwhelmingly Islamic, with Christians making up just two percent.

EXCLUSIVE: Killing Africa: Stop Taxpayer Funding of Illegal Abortions in Africa - The Stream

Africans overwhelmingly reject abortion, and its presence on the continent is entirely imposed by — and receives funding from — the West.

Francois Fillon could become the face of France's Catholic revival - Spectator

"Since the terrorist attacks, there are people who were no longer practising but are returning little by little to the church. They are returning to the ceremonies because they have a desire to affirm their Christian identity."

Italian firm restoring Nativity Church: Like touching heaven - Yahoo News

The Italian firm restoring one of Christianity's holiest sites — the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem — says it's more than halfway finished with the 14 million-euro project.

More Than 20 Faith Leaders Bless Planned Parenthood's New D.C. Clinic - dcist

"In almost every message to our staff, I talk about our doing sacred work," says Dr. Laura Meyers, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. "This confirms the sacredness of the work we do."

RIP, William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist - Aleteia

The legendary horror writer who penned The Exorcist has passed away at the age of 89.

Scientists say your "mind" isn't confined to your brain, or even your body - Quartz

Our mind is not simply our perception of experiences, but those experiences themselves.

Higher Education in Hell - Public Discourse

A politicized education is illiberal by its own inner compulsions. It has almost the hideousness and chaos of hell itself, so inextricably coupled it is with the mire and passions of the passing day.

If You Are Too Triggered by Lessons About the Crucifixion, You Cannot Be a Religious Scholar - National Review

Students in a Bible course at the University of Glasgow are being given trigger warnings before being shown images of the crucifixion — and permission to skip those lessons altogether if they are worried they'll feel too uncomfortable.

Rescuing the Word "Hope" and Recovering Its Biblical Meaning - Community in Mission

The theological virtue of hope is confident expectation — but not possession.

Why I'm not afraid to love my husband more than he loves me - For Her

Loving my husband without expectations attached isn't weak or stupid. It's brave and rewarding.

Christus Apostata: Scorsese's Silence - The Catholic Thing

Scorsese's Silence is not a Christian film by a Catholic filmmaker, but a justification of faithlessness: apostasy becomes an act of Christian charity when it saves lives, just as martyrdom becomes almost satanic when it increases persecution.

Grace Enough - America Magazine

Andrew Garfield on the Ignatian journey that led him through Silence.

Shared Communion With Protestants? - Patheos

Edward Pentin writes here about the possibility that "in special cases" Protestants might be admitted to receive the Body and Blood of Christ at a Catholic Eucharist.

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

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