CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - December 19, 2012

NEW RESOURCES    EDITORIALS OF INTEREST    EDUCATION MATTERS

Note from the Managing Editor:

The world seems full of death right now.  So many people we know — or know of — have died or are dying at this time.

But the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is not of the same order.  It was a modern day slaughter of the Holy Innocents.  Prayers are what we can offer at a distance.

I've been running a lot of things by Archbishop Charles Chaput lately and under normal circumstances I'd go to someone else for comments about the horror of what happened in Newton, CT. 

But Archbishop Chaput was the archbishop of Denver at the time of the Columbine tragedy.  He was there on the ground for that and has a perspective born of awful experience.   His comments — transcribed from a Hugh Hewitt show interview — are below.

Please allow me, once again, to urge those of you who who have not sent us a donation this Advent to please do so.  You can go here to donate. Bless you for your help.

The "O Antiphons" are seven jewels of liturgical song, one for each day until Christmas Eve.  They are described as summing up all our Advent longing for the Savior.  Below is the beautiful O Antiphon for the 19th of December.

O Root of Jesse, Who standest as the Ensign of the people, before Whom kings shall not open their lips; to Whom the Gentiles shall pray: come and deliver us, tarry now no more.

And finally, let me to wish all of you a holy and a joyful Christmas. - J. Fraser Field

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Quote of the Week:

"Only the person who renounces self-importance, who no longer struggles to defend or assert himself, can be large enough for God's boundless action." - Saint Teresa of Avila



New Resources:

Why We Say Yes to the Dinner Invitation - Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J. - from The Joy of Full Surrender
Archbishop Charles Chaput, on the Tragedy in Newtown, CT - Hugh Hewitt - Hugh Hewitt Show transcript
Fr. Schall: Looking Back, Looking Ahead - Hadley Arkes - The Catholic Thing
Does Belief in the Afterlife Diminish Man? - Donald DeMarco - Crisis Magazine
God and man at Loyola - Father Raymond J. de Souza - National Post
The gay intimidation campaign reaches toward the Pope - Phil Lawler - Catholic Culture
Father Schall in play - David Warren - Essays in Idleness
The real Father Christmas - Charlotte Allen - Wall Street Journal
Rejoice Jerusalem - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
3rd Sunday of Advent - Father John Horgan - CERC

Editorials of Interest:

The Lord Is With Us in Our Most Tragic Moments - NCRegister
Loss of the innocents - Ross Douthat - New York Times
Gehenna in Connecticut - Commentary
Response to Newtown: Even in the face of horror, there is hope - LifeSiteNews
The Pope, the Slowest Tweeter - NRO
The Reawakening of the Church of France - Chiesa
Evidence Noah's Biblical Flood happened, says leading archeologist Robert Ballard - ABC News
Peter Kreeft on "If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists." - Prager University (Youtube)
Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2012 - Gatestone
Books for Christmas - On the Square
A traditionalist avant-garde - The Economist
HHS Mandate Decision - Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Another Ordinary Year in America - Crisis
"Admitted" Hah! Good one! - Patheos
Faith is not a crutch — it's a burden - Catholic Herald
The truth about the Maya 'apocalypse' - Telegraph
Most sex abuser priests are psychologically normal - Reuters
World population: 32% Christian, 23% Muslim - Pew Forum
The Decline of Evangelical America - New York Times
A Severe Mercy - indiegogo
The Mission of Christian Families - Carl Anderson - Columbia Magazine
The Tiffany Legacy - George Weigel - NRO

Education Matters:

The Final Gladness - Father James V. Schall, S.J. - Youtube
Vatican official warns of mediocrity in American Christianity - CNA
Education must respond to changes in ways of learning, Pope tells new ambassadors - VIS
How to Raise Boys Who Read - Wall Street Journal
The Catholic University of America Rejects Gay Student Organization - Campus Notes
Study: Most Catholic Colleges No Longer Require Catholic Theology - Campus Notes
The End of the University as We Know It - The American Interest
How education hijacked brain research - Mercatornet
Is Israel an Apartheid State? - Prager University
Amsterdam has to ban pot smoking around schools - Family Edge


NEW RESOURCES:

Why We Say Yes to the Dinner Invitation - Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J. - from The Joy of Full Surrender

Divine action, being limitless in its plenitude, can take possession of a soul only to the extent to which that soul is emptied of all trust in its own action.

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Archbishop Charles Chaput, on the Tragedy in Newtown, CT - Hugh Hewitt - Hugh Hewitt Show transcript

You were in Denver when Columbine happened as the shepherd of the Archdiocese of Denver.† So I don't know if you are reliving that nightmare now.† But what are you reactions to today?

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Fr. Schall: Looking Back, Looking Ahead - Hadley Arkes - The Catholic Thing

In the early 1980s, I was on an extended leave from Amherst, visiting at Georgetown. One unanticipated gift of that stay was a new colleague who would be an enduring blessing, James Schall.

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Does Belief in the Afterlife Diminish Man?
- Donald DeMarco - Crislis Magazine

It is commonly asserted, especially among atheists, that belief in an afterlife cools oneís enthusiasms for this life on earth.

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God and man at Loyola
- Father Raymond J. de Souza - National Post

Bizarrely, Quebec is insisting that Catholics declare they are agnostic about Catholicism.

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The gay intimidation campaign reaches toward the Pope
- Phil Lawler - Catholic Culture

In his annual message for the World Day of Peace — a statement of nearly 3,600 words — Pope Benedict XVI devotes one sentence to the campaign to redefine marriage.

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Father Schall in play
- David Warren - Essays in Idleness

We would not have another day pass without acknowledging the retirement of Father James V. Schall from Georgetown University in the District of Columbia, to a Jesuit community in Los Gatos, California.

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The real Father Christmas - Charlotte Allen - Wall Street Journal

A history of the real figures who contributed to our notions of jolly Old Saint Nicholas.

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Rejoice Jerusalem - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor

It is ironic that the scintillating Graeco-Syrian Saint Luke was martyred, according to tradition in Boeotia, a humid and swampy part of central Greece whose people were said to be not interested in philosophy or much of anything beyond their uneventful daily lives.

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3rd Sunday of Advent - Father John Horgan - CERC

Father Horgan's Gaudette Sunday homily.

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EDITORIALS OF INTEREST:
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The Lord Is With Us in Our Most Tragic Moments - NCRegister

Archbishop William Lori, the former bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., reflects on the Newtown tragedy.

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Loss of the innocents - Ross Douthat - New York Times

The Christmas story isnít just the manger and the shepherds and the baby Jesus, meek and mild. The cross looms behind the stable - the shadow of violence, agony, and death.

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Gehenna in Connecticut - Commentary

Gehenna, a synonym for Hell, is a real place, or so the Bible tells us. You can see it today.

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Response to Newtown: Even in the face of horror, there is hope - LifeSiteNews

The nation sat, transfixed and morose, as it tried to process the senseless murder of 20 children and half-a-dozen adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning.

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The Pope, the Slowest Tweeter - NRO

Why would the Vatican be interested in Twitter?

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The Reawakening of the Church of France - Chiesa

Its public opposition to the law on homosexual marriages is finding agreement even among non-Catholics and nonbelievers. The archbishop of Paris at the lead of the new course. The experiment of the "creative minority"

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Evidence Noah's Biblical Flood happened, says leading archeologist Robert Ballard - ABC News

Robert Ballard, a leading underwater archeologist who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985, says he has found evidence in the Black Sea for the flood described by the Book of Genesis.

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Peter Kreeft on "If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists." - Prager University (Youtube)

The existence of good and evil can be used to prove the existence of God.

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Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2012 - Gatestone

"Why these acts? Why are we not safe?"

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Books for Christmas - On the Square

Some suggestions for works to give to others or to read during the holiday season yourself.

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A traditionalist avant-garde - The Economist

The Economist notices the rising popularity of the Latin Mass among the faithful in England, and remarks that the congregations seem disproportionately young.

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HHS Mandate Decision - Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Did you hear about the decision last week by U.S. District Court Judge Brian M. Cogan in the lawsuit brought by the Archdiocese of New York, ArchCare, and three plaintiffs from the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island, against the administration for the unconstitutional HHS mandate?

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Another Ordinary Year in America - Crisis Magazine

The student congress at Harvard, America's most prestigious "institution of higher learning," as the euphemism goes, has voted to provide funds to a campus group promoting sadomasochistic sex.

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"Admitted" Hah! Good one! - Patheos

Whenever the Church restates something every educated CatholicĖbut no ignorant reporter - knows, the news is always treated as though the Church is finally capitulating to the beseiging hordes of modernity.

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Faith is not a crutch — it's a burden - Catholic Herald

It is much easier not to be a Christian.

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The truth about the Maya 'apocalypse' - Telegraph

According to the Mayan calendar, the world comes to an end Friday. How this story got started, whom it is affecting, and why they should get their excuses ready for the weekend.

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Most sex abuser priests are psychologically normal - Reuters

A German study claims over two-thirds of the priests who abused boys were psychologically "normal," and that celibacy had little to do with their aberrations. Many questions, therefore, remain.

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World population: 32% Christian, 23% Muslim - Pew Forum

A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Major Religious Groups as of 2010.

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The Decline of Evangelical America - New York Times

It hasn't been a good year for evangelicals. I should know. I'm one of them.

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A Severe Mercy - indiegogo

Be a part of the sanctioned Film adaptation from the classic Vanauken novel.

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The Mission of Christian Families - Carl A. Anderson - Columbia Magazine

Vital to the new evangelization is the Christian familyís task to guard, reveal and communicate love

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The Tiffany Legacy - George Weigel - NRO

Louis Comfort Tiffany made beautiful things for churches, not society matrons.

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EDUCATION MATTERS:

Vatican official warns of mediocrity in American Christianity - CNA

A Vatican official says candidly: "I think that it is time to profoundly reevaluate the role of Catholic education".

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The Final Gladness - Father James V. Schall, S.J. - Youtube

The National Marriage Project has released its 2012 report, calling for a national agenda to reverse the decline of marriage in Middle America

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Education must respond to changes in ways of learning, Pope tells new ambassadors - VIS

During a December 13 meeting with 6 new ambassadors to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the importance of education, saying that recent changes in the way young people learn have caused "human, cultural, social and spiritual ruptures hitherto unknown in the history of humanity."

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How to Raise Boys Who Read - Wall Street Journal

Hint: Not with gross-out books and video-game bribes.

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The Catholic University of America Rejects Gay Student Organization - Campus Notes

In the same week that the University of Notre Dame approved of a gay student organization, The Catholic University of America denied official recognition to a gay student organization on campus, reportedly citing a concern that it could become an "advocacy group."

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Study: Most Catholic Colleges No Longer Require Catholic Theology - Campus Notes

Catholic colleges that have maintained a strong religious identity also have the strongest core curricula, according to a new study from The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS).

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The End of the University as We Know It - The American Interest

Severe financial contraction in the higher-ed industry is on the way, and for many this will spell hard times both financially and personally. But if our goal is educating as many students as possible, as well as possible, as affordably as possible, then the end of the university as we know it is nothing to fear. Indeed, itís something to celebrate.

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How education hijacked brain research - Mercatornet

Some governments and schools are considering high-cost brain training programs despite a lack of evidence of any educational benefits.

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Is Israel an Apartheid State? - Prager University

Is Israel an Apartheid State? Dennis Prager provides the definitive answer.

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Amsterdam has to ban pot smoking around schools - Family Edge

The mayor of Amsterdam this week announced a ban on smoking marijuana — at school, the AP reports.

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