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January 31, 2018

Note from the Assistant Managing Editor:

We begin this week with Fr. Jacques Philippe on "The Call of Jesus."  "I believe we can be fulfilled as human beings only to the extent that we perceive and respond to the calls life addresses to us day in and day out."  All of these calls lead us to the best version of ourselves.

"How Can I Possibly Believe That Faith Is Better Than Proof?"  But so Christ says when he tells Thomas, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."  Peter Wehner suggests it is because God desires a relationship with us and "it is better to be the object of someone's trust rather than the last person standing after a series of logical deductions."

I have always thought being "nice" a rather shallow goal compared to being "good."  It is this problem Scott Hahn discusses in his Foreword to Ulrich Lehner's "God Is Not Nice."  "We may instinctively like a nice God.  But will we make sacrifices for him and to him? Will we make the effort to get out of bed early to praise his name?  Will we be willing to die for him?"

I love "The Politics of Hope" from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.  Instead of the divisive divisions of left and right, liberals and conservatives, democrats and republicans, he presents: society.  "Society is about all the things that bind us together as a collective group bound to the common good, without transactions of wealth or power.  In a society we help our neighbours not because they pay us to, or because the state forces us to, but simply because they're part of the collective 'us.'"

A very Christian view, or so the ancient pagans would say: their charity was motivated by returns, and "since the poor could not return the favor, they received little charity."  But the followers of Christ saw the whole world, including non Christians, "as brethren demanding our concern."

Finally, a great piece from Fr. James Schall "On the Strange Function of Absolutes."  We can't escape them.  (See?)

God bless you all this week! - Meaghen Hale

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"Beauty is vanishing from our world because we live as though it did not matter." - Roger Scruton

New Resources

The Call of Jesus - Father Jacques Philippe - from Called to Life

"Call" is the keyword....

How Can I Possibly Believe That Faith Is Better Than Proof? - Peter Wehner - New York Times

Why is it that, according to Jesus, faith is better than proof?

Foreword: "God Is Not Nice" - Scott Hahn - from God Is Not Nice: Rejecting Pop Culture Theology and Discovering the God Worth Living For

Stripping away the niceties with a sling blade, Ulrich Lehner shows that God is more strange and beautiful than we imagine, and wants to know and transform us in the most intimate way.

'The Politics of Hope' - Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks - Jonathan Sacks

Based on his book The Politics of Hope, Rabbi Sacks analyses the rise in the 'politics of anger' in the West today and explores whether it might be possible to create a different kind of politics: the 'politics of hope'.

On the Strange Function of Absolutes - Father James V. Schall, S.J. - Crisis Magazine

Most people today "absolutely" maintain that they do not hold or live by "absolutes."

How pagans viewed Christian charity - Rev. Ben Johnson - Acton Institute

Every year's end means that people of faith will be deluged with two things: wishes for a Happy New Year and appeals for charities of every conceivable variety.

An evening with William Lane Craig - Bishop Robert Barron - Word on Fire

Ten years ago, when I was a visiting scholar at the North American College in Rome, I fell into a spirited conversation with one of the seminarians about the state of evangelization in America.

Not peace but a sword - Father George W. Rutler - From the Pastor

The German word "kitsch" is hard to define, other than "tacky" or "tasteless."

Editorials of Interest:

Pope Francis Regrets - First Things
Kindness Is Not the Same as Love - Community in Mission

Editorials of Interest

Full text of Pope Francis' in-flight press conference from Peru - Catholic World Report

In a conversation with journalists on his return flight from Peru to Rome on Sunday, Pope Francis discussed the people of Peru and Chile, clerical sexual abuse, his recent in-flight marriage celebration, and the Amazon region, among other topics.

Pope Francis says the first fake news was told in the Bible - Crux

At a time when "fake news" is spreading, Pope Francis is calling on journalists, "protectors of the news," to rediscover the dignity of their profession and the responsibility they have to communicate the truth.

Pope Francis Regrets - First Things

Bishop Barros has posed, from the beginning, the most serious challenge to Francis's image as a pope with zero tolerance for abusers and their accomplices in the hierarchy.

After papal meeting, Cardinal Zen says Vatican 'selling out' Church in China - Catholic Herald

The cardinal revealed details of a private audience with Pope Francis

Dear Friends in the Media - Cardinal Zen

The retired cardinal of Hong Kong and outspoken religious liberty activist recounts his recent meeting with Pope Francis and his worries that the Vatican is selling out true Catholics in China, even as the Communist regime is stepping up repression.

American religious groups vary widely in their views of abortion - Pew Research

The Catholic Church is steadfastly, publicly against abortion, yet more Catholics approve than disapprove of it.

March for Life in Paris draws 40,000 despite heavy rain - CNA

More than 200,000 abortions are performed each year in France, according to government statistics.

The Link Between Contraception and Abortion - First Things

Every expert invited to the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences to discuss population and contraception advanced the opinion that abortion, though regrettable, is indispensable.

Why the Pro-Life Movement Will Live Long and Prosper - First Things

Logical dots overruling Roe connect all over the place outside of organized religion.

Why this man says abortion isn't just a woman's issue - Catholic World Report

"As a man, I have something in me that wants to protect the vulnerable from violence. That is what men do."

Evil, Not Homeschooling, Caused The California 'House Of Horrors' - The Federalist

If local governments can't protect the children in their own schools, what makes anyone think they can protect children in home schools they are only going to inspect once a year?

What's destroying some Catholic marriages? The answer may surprise you - Catholic World Report

Most often the natural response of anger morphs into sinful anger, which is motivated by a desire for revenge. This sinful anger has a devastating effect on relationships.

'The good Lord has guided me well': 113-year-old nun reflects on blessings - Catholic World Report

Sister André told La Croix that she worked until she was 104 years old. What she misses now is that she can no longer "read, write, draw, embroider and knit." However, she said that she still enjoys seeing the blue sky when the weather is nice.

Nuns, guns and the Wild West: the extraordinary tale of Sr. Blandina - Catholic World Report

Billy the Kid, a notorious bank and stage-coach robber of the Wild West, met his match in the most unlikely of people when he met Sister Blandina Segale.

Kindness Is Not the Same as Love - Community in Mission

Kindness too often looks merely to relieve whereas true love looks to heal, something that often involves painful choices.

A Philosopher Embraces New Urbanism — At Home and In the Classroom - The American Conservative

The Congress for the New Urbanism is an organization of architects, city planners, and citizen activists devoted to the retrieval of classic urban form and the creation of walkable city neighborhoods.

Is Latin America still Catholic? - Catholic Herald

After a half-century of precipitous decline, Latin America, home to 39 per cent of the world's 1.3 billion faithful, will no longer be majority Catholic by 2030.

The prime moment Jordan Peterson's 'gotcha' was heard around the world - Rex Murphy

Sweet are the uses of adversity, as Shakespeare said. Which is why a previously little-known psychologist is Canada's newest intellectual star

Jordan Peterson debate on the gender pay gap, campus protests and postmodernism - YouTube

Clinical psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson's views on gender have amassed great controversy — and a huge online following.

Pedro Ballester: "An athlete along the track of love" - Opus Dei

A large crowd joined Archbishop Arthur Roche and thirty concelebrating priests for the funeral of a young man who followed Christ heroically in a three-year battle with cancer.

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

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