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February 21, 2018

Note from the Assistant Managing Editor:

During Lent, we seek out suffering — which seems illogical.  But "suffering is the Christian's power."  The Cross itself was a the victory to end all victories; through it Christ conquered sin and death.  Sin and death!  Read "Doing the Will of God."

Fr. Landry writes "Formulating A Plan of Life for Lent and Beyond."  The three keys are prayer, fasting, and giving alms.  "The fast I ordinarily recommend is threefold: to drink mainly water throughout Lent, give up condiments on food, and forsake sweets and snacks between meals.  That's a type of fast that not only is healthy, but at the end of 40 days will fill you with the discipline that it takes to be a disciple!"

There has been a recent suggestion to formulate a Catholic blessing for same-sex couples who are civilly married or seeking civil marriage.  Archbishop Charles Chaput offers some clarity.  "Why would a seemingly merciful act pose such a problem?  Because blessing persons in their particular form of life effectively encourages them in that state — in this case, same-sex sexual unions."  See "Charity, Clarity, and Their Opposite."

"Five Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, Part 1" from Mary Eberstadt is an essential read.  The first paradox is that, even though birth control is cheap and reliable, there has been a rise in extramarital pregnancies and abortion.  "Contraception enables sexual encounters and relationships that would not have happened without it.  In other words, when couples use contraception, they agree to sex when pregnancy would be a problem.  This leads to a desire for abortion."

Finally, in the same vein as Chaput, Fr. George Rutler offers clarity on "The Clarity of Cardinal Cupich."  "Cardinal Cupich has cited Newman on conscience to represent the very opposite of what Newman lived and exhausted himself to declare: that conscience must be informed by the Holy Ghost and not left to wander about like a ghost of the subjective human ego, validating uninformed impulses."

God bless you all this week! - Meaghen Hale

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"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important." - C.S. Lewis

New Resources

Doing the Will of God - Madeleine Delbrêl - from The Joy of Believing

Not only sharing the resources that he has, whether material or spiritual, but giving the one thing that God has given him as his very own: his life.

Formulating A Plan of Life for Lent and Beyond - Father Roger J. Landry - National Catholic Register

The season of Lent is a special time for Catholics.

Charity, Clarity, and Their Opposite - The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. - Catholic Philly

Confusion is bad. It's bad for the individual soul, and it's bad for the health of a society.

Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin - Heather King - Magnificat

Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin came to be known as the Apostle of the Alleghenies.

How despots exploit Vatican foreign policy - Father Raymond J. de Souza - Catholic Herald

The Holy See is doing little to challenge authoritarian regimes.

Five Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, Part I - Mary Eberstadt - The Catholic Thing

Except for the Internet, it's hard to think of any other single phenomenon since the 1960s that has re-shaped humanity around the world as profoundly as this particular revolution.

10 Reasons Why Catholics Don't Evangelize - Father Dwight Longenecker - National Catholic Register

Preach the gospel at all times. The use of words is necessary.

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago is all for clarity. - Father George W. Rutler - Crisis Magazine

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago is all for clarity.

1st Sunday of Lent - Father John Horgan - CERC

What is reprentance? What is Lent for?

Editorials of Interest:

Fr. Bowden's Meditations for Lent - The Amish Catholic
Lenten Fasting Biohacks - First Things
The Taming of the Adolescent Male - The Imaginative Conservative
Have children. - Aleteia
The Healing Power of Tears - Catholic Exchange

Editorials of Interest

Cardinal Cupich: 'Let's not make it just about sins of the flesh' - Catholic Herald

The cardinal believes reception of Communion depends on conscience. Does his reasoning add up?

Cardinal Muller: there can be no 'paradigm shifts' in the Church - Catholic Herald

Talk of paradigm shifts 'seems to be a relapse into a modernist and subjectivist way of interpreting the Catholic faith', he said

Archbishop Charles Chaput: After latest shooting, we should pray and be angry - Catholic Philly

Archbishop Charles Chaput issued the following statement on February 15, the day after a shooting at a Florida high school left at least 17 people dead.

Bishop declares French Catholic nun's cure a Lourdes miracle - Crux

A French bishop declared as a miracle the cure of a Roman Catholic nun who was an invalid for nearly four decades and recovered after making a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

Fr. Bowden's Meditations for Lent - The Amish Catholic

It is difficult and painful to human nature to face the thought of a penitential life, but it must be done if we would be His true followers.

Lectio Divina for the First Week of Lent - USCCB

Choose one thing your parish (or a parish near you) is doing this Lent and make participation a priority during this season.

America magazine's survey of women in the Church - Catholic World Report

An intriguing finding of the survey is that most Catholic women consider the care for the poor and the Eucharist as the two most essential elements of Catholic life.

Daily fasting and no dairy: how Eastern Catholics observe Lent - Catholic Herald

The Maronite Catholic Church asks for daily fasting from midnight to noon.

Lenten Fasting Biohacks - First Things

Jesus clues his church in to the strange reality that being hungry and human — and not being in control — is a necessary part of the way we are made.

New law allows for larger safe zone for abortion providers, but LHSC says they don't need it - CBC

Officials at London Health Sciences Centre says pro-life protesters haven't restricted access to abortion services.

Rocket launch prompts talk of living on Mars: what's a Catholic to think? - Catholic World Report

Whether we are on earth or Mars, human nature remains the same.

The Taming of the Adolescent Male - The Imaginative Conservative

The other reason for all those rules of etiquette for young men is they were part of a process of teaching young men to start looking at women not merely as play mates but as a potential spouse.

10 Ways to Determine if You're Settling or Just Being Realistic - Verily

When it comes to romance, we overthink everything.

The Burdensome Myth of Romantic Love - First Things

The Western fixation on romantic love creates a crushing burden for mere mortals. It engenders a powerful myth regarding love, courtship, and marriage: that a fallible human partner can not only share our passions but sate our existential yearnings.

The sexual revolution devours the young - LMS Chairman

Girouard argues that we need to see the difference between normal flirtation and violent sexual assault, and that children need to be educated in this difference also.

Don't be Too Proud To Ask For Help When You Have Problems - Catholic Stand

The process of recognizing that you have a problem and then coming to the point where you actually do something about it is like a journey. I think that very often the journey is not a pleasant one.

Have children. - Aleteia

Children make us overcome all limits.

The Healing Power of Tears - Catholic Exchange

"Blessed are you that weep now," Jesus tells the crowd, "for you shall laugh." To the surprise of no one who's ever enjoyed a good cry, science bears out Jesus' prescription.

One Teacher's Brilliant Strategy to Stop Future School Shootings — And It's Not About Guns - Reader's Digest

Here's how one schoolteacher takes time each week to look out for the lonely.

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

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