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February 5, 2020

Note from the Assistant Managing Editor:

We begin this week with these beautiful words from Pope Benedict XVI.  "[God] says to us: 'I know you don't understand me yet.  But trust me: believe me when I tell you I am good and dare to live on the basis of this trust.  Then you will discover that behind your suffering, behind the difficulties of your life, a love is hiding.'"

Father Raymond de Souza pens a thought-provoking piece on Christian leaders supporting Donald Trump.  He asks, "Can the policies and the person be separated? Should the latter matter if the former are good?" As a friend once told me, "Even a bad person can do good things."

On Sunday, January 26th, Kobe Bryant, his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others (including two more young girls) died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.  In another excellent piece from Father de Souza, he writes, "Kobe the athlete was always better prepared than anyone else.  The crash reminded so many that being ready, being prepared for death is of primary importance.  And readiness for death shapes the way we live."

California is a land of earthquakes, and there's nothing like a sudden, unexpected shake to put things into perspective.  Right now we are experiencing the gusty Santa Ana Winds, and they're rattling the apartment enough to remind me nothing is guaranteed in this life.  This week, let's all remember not to wait to make amends and say I love you.  - Meaghen Gonzalez

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"The one perfectly divine thing, the one glimpse of God's paradise given on earth, is to fight a losing battle — and not lose it." - G.K. Chesterton

New Resources

How to Enter the Narrow Gate - Pope Benedict XVI - The Yes of Jesus Christ: Exercises in Faith, Hope and Love

The first thing should be that God is present in our life.

Preface - Ryan N.S. Topping - The Case for Catholic Education

Ryan Topping is one of today's most exciting and dynamic writers. In this book he tackles the crucial subject of education with a delightful lucidity which is both engaged and engaging.

Pilgrimage into Poverty - Anthony Esolen - Magnificat

I'm writing this month about Lourdes, and my fingers should tremble.

The Jews Are a Sign - Casey Chalk - The Catholic Thing

The Jewish people and their faith are more than a historical curiosity — they are one sign of the credibility of the God of Revelation.

Trump giving Christians one holy headache - Father Raymond J. de Souza - National Post

Can the policies and the person be separated?

Ticking Clocks and Kobe Bryant - Father Raymond J. de Souza - Convivium

Last week's helicopter crash that killed the basketball star and eight others leads Father Raymond de Souza to ponder Jesus' warning about death and thieves in the night.

A genuinely transgressive act - Roger Kimball - The New Criterion

Regular readers of this column know that we are often engaged in a species of cultural pathology.

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

The Feast of the Presentation recalls the old man Simeon chanting thanks for having lived to see the Messiah.

Editorials of Interest:

The bullies and that book - Denver Catholic
Greta and the rise of the crankocracy - The Conservative Woman
Mourning Kobe - First Things

Editorials of Interest

Spending time with my spiritual father - Word on Fire

It would be impossible to summarize what turned out to be a three-hour dialogue with the Bishop of Rome in the scope of this brief article, but I can mention a few major motifs.

The bullies and that book - Denver Catholic

The cacophony over the Benedict/Sarah book, From the Depths of Our Hearts, did serve two useful purposes: it spoke volumes about the character of the venomous, and it clarified some of the dynamics roiling the Church as the pontificate of Pope Francis approaches its seventh anniversary on March 13.

Cdl Zen urges cardinals to stop the 'murder of the Church in China' - LifeSite

'Your Eminence, can we passively witness the murder of the Church in China by those who should protect and defend her from her enemies?'

President Trump remarks at March for Life - YouTube

President Trump addressed the annual March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. He was the first U.S. president to speak in person at the event.

Ugandan archbishop forbids receiving Holy Communion in hands - CNA

"Due to many reported instances of dishonoring the Eucharist that have been associated with reception of the Eucharist in the hands, it is fitting to return to the more reverent method of receiving the Eucharist on the tongue."

South Dakota House passes ban on transgender surgery for minors - CNA

A bill aiming to ban sex-reassignment surgery and puberty-blocking medication for minors passed the South Dakota House of Representatives by a vote of 46-23.

China calls them 'kindness students.' They"re actually victims of cultural genocide. - WP

Should China be allowed to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in one city while running concentration camps in another?

Data leak reveals how China 'brainwashes' Uighurs in prison camps - BBC

Leaked documents detail for the first time China's systematic brainwashing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in a network of high-security prison camps.

Physical, political persecution against Christians in Nigeria getting worse - CWR

An interview with Fr. John Bakeni, Diocesan Secretary, Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria, speaking on behalf of Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme.

Pilgrims Visit Site Of Jesus' Baptism, Now Cleared Of Landmines - Religion Unplugged

One of Christianity and Judaism's holiest sites plagued by war between Israel and Jordan reopened for Epiphany pilgrimages in January after years of the Israeli government clearing the area of landmines.

To kill or not to kill? That is the question. - Mercatornet

Does providing euthanasia and assisted suicide entail killing or does it not?

Greta and the rise of the crankocracy - The Conservative Woman

A crank may actually be quite clever, but he's in possession of One Big Idea (or maybe two) that drives him to promote it interminably and with no sense of proportion or practicality.

There Is No 'Catholic Feminism' - Crisis Magazine

Despite the distinction between Catholic feminism and secular feminism, they are equally incompatible with Catholicism.

Most scientists 'can't replicate studies by their peers' - BBC

Science is facing a "reproducibility crisis" where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests.

Progesterone treatment 'could prevent 8,000 miscarriages a year' - iNews

Women with a history of miscarriage, who have early bleeding in their pregnancy, could benefit from progesterone.

Lessons in Marriage Learned and Shared - Catholic Stand

What follows is an open letter I have written to the daughter of a very good friend. She is a young lady who is a firm believer in God and a faithful Catholic and is to be married in the spring.

We Need This Virtue Because Screens are Changing Us - The Catholic Gentleman

Will you make it through this article?

Graffiti artists take icons from the church to the street - RFERL

In Moscow, large-scale Orthodox icons rendered in spray paint decorate bridges and underpasses. They're the work of artist Aleksandr Tsypkov and fellow creators who believe that everyone, not just church-goers, should be able to see religious art.

Catholic basketball superstar Kobe Bryant killed in crash - Crux

Following the untimely death on Sunday of Los Angeles basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, a practicing Catholic who had previously credited a priest with saving his marriage, the city's Catholic archbishop offered prayers and condolences to his family.

Mourning Kobe - First Things

In the cult of Basketball, Kobe was a willing high priest.

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

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