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February 14, 2018

Note from the Assistant Managing Editor:

"We must deny ourselves."  This is pretty much all you need to know when it comes to the mortification of Lent.

But Lent is more than mortification.  It's also about recognizing — once again — our inevitable failure to do what we should, to love as we should, and to be who we are meant to be.  In other words, it is the recognition that we need a saviour.  I think you'll be consoled and edified by Father Anthony Gerber's thoughts in "Lent Is Not Simply About Self-Improvement."

Mary Eberstadt is just on fire, and her piece "Why the pro-life movement will live long, and prosper" is exactly what you need to hear.  "The logical dots overruling Roe connect all over the place outside of organized religion: between the scientific truth about unborn life, and the consequent obsolescence of the blob-of-cells theory; between rising solicitude for animal life, and enduring concern for human animal life; between the truth about the joy of existence, especially youthful existence, versus the sad desire to see less of it.  All of these are lines that can be drawn without setting foot in a house of God — which is why they are, more and more."

We are our brother's keeper, and Anthony Esolen explains this simple rule for modesty.  "Charity, forbearance, an honest admission of one's susceptibility to sin, and consideration for the susceptibility of others, particularly members of the opposite sex, whose feelings are sometimes quite different from ours, should govern our choices in dress, speech, and physical deportment."

Finally, we have Fr. George Rutler on the coinciding of Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day, which provides a stark contrast between love and sentiment.  "The martyr Valentine loved so much that he sacrificed his life for the love of God.  To reduce him to some sort of cupid, is never to finish the picture."  See "It is finished!"

A blessed Lent to you all. - Meaghen Hale

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"Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think." - Pope Benedict XVI

New Resources

We Must Deny Ourselves - Father Léonce de Grandmaison, S.J. - from We and the Holy Spirit: Talks to Laymen: The Spiritual Writings of Léonce de Grandmaison, S.J.

Mortification is directed at the correction of two contrary faults which often coexist within us in varying degrees at different moments.

Lent Is Not Simply About Self-Improvement - Father Anthony Gerber - Patheos

When you die and come before God for your judgment, these are the words with which the devil will accuse you.

Here's what you need to know about Ash Wednesday - Philip Kosloski - Aleteia

A simple guide to the solemn day that marks the beginning of Lent.

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent (Mark 1:12-15) - Magnificat - Magnificat

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert (1:12).

Why the pro-life movement will live long, and prosper - Mary Eberstadt - First Things

We're asked today to reflect on the future of the pro-life movement in an increasingly secular age.

Modesty and Charity - Anthony Esolen - The Catholic Thing

Do not lay a snare in your neighbor's path.

10 Ways to Grow in Prayer - Father Ed Broom, OMV - Catholic Exchange

Prayer is the key to salvation.

It is finished! - Father George W. Rutler - From the Pastor

Artists rarely think that they have completed a work.

Editorials of Interest:

Benedict XVI's Abdication, Five Years Later - National Catholic Register
Let's Ban Porn - NY Times
Eternal Rome - First Things
A Letter on Loneliness - The Amish Catholic

Editorials of Interest

Benedict XVI: 'I Am on a Pilgrimage Towards Home' - NC Register

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has written a short letter to an Italian national newspaper to say that "with the slow decline of my physical forces, interiorly, I am on a pilgrimage towards Home."

Cardinal Burke: It is a "source of anguish" to hear suggestions "that I would lead a schism" - Catholic World Report

"The truth of the matter is marriage is not an ideal. It is a reality," says Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke in a lengthy new interview with Chris Altieri. "What frightens me a great deal about the present situation of the Church is what I would call a politicization of Church life and of Church doctrine."

Archbishop Chaput: Memory, Sex, and the Making of "The New Man" - Catholic World Report

The full text of the speech given by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput at the "Into the Breach" men's conference held in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, February 3rd.

Archbishop Chaput: blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples is not permitted - CNA

"This in no way is a rejection of the persons seeking such a union, but rather a refusal to ignore what we know to be true about the nature of marriage, the family, and the dignity of human sexuality."

The World Over: Chilean Abuse Crisis and the Pope's Response - YouTube

Elizabeth Yore, attorney and child advocate, examines the Chilean clergy abuse controversy.

Formulating a Plan of Life for Lent and Beyond - NC Register

Those who get results are generally the ones with better strategies implemented with perseverance. That's true, too, of the spiritual life, which is too important to wing.

Benedict XVI's Abdication, Five Years Later - National Catholic Register

All the immense good that he accomplished will continue to bear fruit. But his decision to abdicate will occupy the first place evaluating his legacy.

Kids banned from Chinese churches - CNS

Authorities had asked clergymen to post signs prohibiting minors from entering religious venues, prayer houses and other church premises. "They also threaten churches that they cannot be used if they refuse to post the signs."

ACLU Argues All Americans' Speech Must Be Curbed To Make Transgender People Comfortable - The Federalist

Three transgender people want to obtain Alabama licenses that describe them as their opposite sex. The ACLU says to protect their free speech, everyone else should be limited.

Meet the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome: his name is Lucas! - Today

The 2018 Gerber baby is Lucas Warren, a 1-year-old from Dalton, Georgia who is the first child with Down syndrome to be named a Gerber baby since the contest's start in 2010.

With teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there's a likely culprit - The Conversation

In just the five years between 2010 and 2015, the number of US teens who felt useless and joyless, classic symptoms of depression, surged 33% in large national surveys.

Andy Warhol's devotion was almost surreal - Catholic Herald

"Faith, when embraced, anchors the creative."

Men without conviction, churches without people - First Things

Radical secularization has transformed Christianity's heartland into the most religiously arid half-continent on the planet.

The Criminal Mind and the Moral Imagination: What Psychopaths Can Teach Us About Conscience - Public Discourse

Just as evil may be understood as the absence of good, darkness as the absence of light, cold as the absence of heat, the absence of conscience presents itself as profoundly dehumanizing and destructive.

#MeToo: Movement or witch hunt? - The Factual Feminist

The #MeToo movement has the potential to correct long-tolerated abuses and to lead to a new era of understanding and respect between men and women — if it doesn't get hijacked by gender activists.

Learning to love what God has made - Aleteia

When we see that we are "wonderfully made," how can we do anything other than embrace our identity, dignity and destiny as men and women made by and for God?

Let's Ban Porn - NY Times

I think the part of the #MeToo movement interested in discussing sexual unhappiness and not just sexual harassment clearly wants to talk about pornography, even if it doesn't quite realize that yet.

Eternal Rome - First Things

I was fifteen when I first saw Rome. .

A Letter on Loneliness - The Amish Catholic

If only for a moment, you will know what it is to be "alone with the Alone." Then will your heart become one with His. Then will you know a communion that obliterates all loneliness and a joy that erases all grief.

The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage - TED Talks

You might think you're in control of unwanted emotions when you ignore them, but in fact they control you.

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

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