The Purpose of Beauty

Like many people, I have a love affair with old churches. I lived in Rome a few years ago, and I am surprised I was at all coherent during that period. The wealth of churches—small ones down little cobblestoned side streets, gloriously gaudy ones at the end of large piazzas, and sparse haunting ones with so much history you could almost feel the weight of it—were quite literally everywhere I turned, and left me either speechless or in desperate need of something so say, but with no words that seemed adequate.
And then I went to Greece and lived in the

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Summertime Ideas for Intentional Discipleship (13.C)

I celebrated thirty three years of priesthood on Friday. Every one of them has been happy, but none happier than the years I have spent at Christ the Redeemer. I like everything about being a pastor… except for one thing. Busy-ness. I really hate how busy I am. And, to tell the truth, I really hate how busy you are. What’s worse, I really don’t know how to fix it. In my life, email gets a lot of the blame. At the moment, my inbox has 257 emails, although I spent hours answering them last week. I’m not sure what

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The Lasting Legacies of Peter and Paul

Keeper of the Keys
Most readers are familiar with the various Gospel accounts of St. Peter as the Apostle specially chosen by Christ to “feed my sheep” (John 21:17). Jesus gave to Peter (not to the other apostles) the keys to the “kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19). His name was changed by Jesus from Simon to Peter, because the name “Peter” translated signifies “Rock,” the very rock upon which, addressing Peter, Jesus said he would build his Church (Matthew 16:18), against which the gates of hell would not prevail. Likewise Jesus said to Peter, and to Peter alone, “Whatever you bind

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The Persistence of China’s Underground Church

On this solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul – and a blessed one to all our readers – it is good to know that there are still principles for which the Church is willing to stand, even unto death: Last year’s agreement between the Vatican and the Chinese Communist government – details of which are not fully known to the public – is fraught with controversy. In ‘normalizing’ relations between the Church and China, it seems to be attempting the impossible, for how can one make normal the inherent abnormality – indeed, the deep, intrinsic evil – of Communism?
Hence, the

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Peter and Paul Against AntiChrist

A blessed solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, put to death under Emperor Nero in 67 Anno Domini, which, according to calendar reckoning then customary – for counting the years from Our Lord’s birth did not become a thing until Dionysius Exiguus began the practice in Scythia Minor in 525 – would have been 820 A.U.C., ab urbe condita, or just over eight centuries from the legendary founding of Rome.
Peter was, according to tradition, crucified upside-down, not considering himself worthy to die in quite the same manner as the Lord of all history, Who had predicted three or so decades

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On Pope’s Day, Two Priorities: "Witnesses"… and Processes

By custom the “last day of school” at the Vatican – marking the end of the Curia’s working year and opening the 10-week summer recess – the centerpiece of this feast of Saints Peter and Paul is usually the morning Mass which the Pope concelebrates with the world’s new archbishops named over the last year (video), at whose close they receive a box containing the Pallium, the symbol of their office.

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The Sacred Heart and Prayer for Priests

A blessed Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a feast which has its origins in the early Middle Ages, when a renewed emphasis upon Christ’s humanity dawned upon the world, led by saints such as Bernard of Clairvaux and Francis of Assisi, on into the visions devotio moderna of Saint Mechtilde (+1298), Saint Gertrude (+1302) and, most of all, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (+1690). A Mass for the feast was instituted by Pope Innocent VI in 1353, and, prompted by the visionary nun Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart

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