Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dorothy Day on State Aid

Of course...as Pope Pius XI has pointed out, in times of crisis the state must intervene for the common good.  In times of depression, in times of national catastrophe, the state had the duty to take care of the homeless, the poverty-stricken.  But even in those times, it is to be understood that all Christians, all men of goodwill, do their share first, in order to relieve the state of much of the burden.  It is only after we have used all our own resources that we should call upon the state.  It is only when our own insurance, our bank savings, our families, our own church can no longer care for us that we should look to the state.--Dorothy Day, quoted in William D. Miller, Dorothy Day: A Biography, pg. 281-282.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Healing the World

Hope for the future. Excerpts:
...London and Madrid were dramatically drawn alternatives to the problem of being alone. On one hand there were young people who embraced a framework in which destructive violence united them in a demonstration of power. On the other were those who embraced a framework that demands something arduous of them in service to others.

The pilgrims in Madrid were given a special catechism, to which Pope Benedict wrote an introduction.

“I invite you: study this catechism,” he wrote. “This catechism was not written to please you. It will not make life easy for you, because it demands of you a new life.”

Youth culture offers a great deal aimed precisely at pleasing, even indulging, the young. But what the young need is a more sturdy framework than one assembled from their own appetites and immature ideas. There is plenty of bad news from Europe this summer; the good news is that its oldest framework, the Christian gospel lived fully, is still on offer, and has not lost its power to attract the young.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thinking the Civilization of Love

Why celebrate World Youth Day? Excerpts:
...A fascinating essay in last week’s New York Times by film critic Neal Gabler lamented the death of in-depth thinking: “we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé.”

Maybe in New York, but not in Rome. Gabler obviously hasn’t read much of Benedict XVI on morality, philosophy, aesthetics, economics and social responsibility. But many of the Pope’s young fans have. In a world where ideas no longer sparkle, his explode with possibilities. And they’re free. Any bets on what the next generation will be thinking?...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Catholics! Marching Orders!

Russell Shaw summarizes the lay Catholic's responsibility for the new evangelization. Excerpts:
There are two simple steps any lay person can and should take right now to be part of the new evangelization, without waiting for the Pope or the Synod of Bishops or their pastor to give them their marching orders.

The first is to be exemplary in living out the faith with courage and conviction — not just on Sunday but every day of the week. People of faith attract attention nowadays, sometimes favorable, sometimes not. That’s evangelization.

The second is to study the faith to be able to explain it intelligently and defend it when it’s attacked. That also is evangelization. If you aren’t already doing these two things, start now.
In short, love God, his Church, and your neighbor so much, you just have to introduce them to one another.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Cost of World Youth Day

to the beleaguered Spanish economy was...oh, wait...Excerpts:
This story suggests that a great deal of the WYD expenses (70-80%) were covered by donations from Catholic parishes and dioceses in Spain, and the remainder from corporate sponsorship (mostly Catholic organizations).

Furthermore, the two million pilgrims spent a great deal of their own money while in Spain. The head of Madrid’s chamber of commerce estimates that World Youth Day events brought at least 160 million euros (=230 million dollars) into the Spanish economy...

Frankly I think that estimate is still low — if the average pilgrim spent $300 while in Spain (that’s getting by pretty cheap) the total windfall to the Spanish economy would be over $600 million.

Plus, nearly all the reports I’ve read which comment on the question note that the pilgrims were particularly neat and tidy. Soccer hooligans trash cities, pilgrims respect them.

So Spain, you’re welcome. Two million tidy, paying customers...
Funny how that works out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Simply Catholic

An interesting article on conservative dissenters from the body of Catholic social teaching.  Excerpts:
...In each case the Church is setting forth Christian morality, in one case concerning sexuality and the family, in the other concerning our life in society, especially with regard to our economic activity. And in each case Christian morality is in conflict with powerful drives stemming from our fallen human nature. While Catholics seeking to be loyal to the Church are rightly aware of the need to subject the sex drive to God’s law, they are usually less aware of the need to subject our desires for money and material goods in the same way. But neither drive can be left to rule itself. Holy Scripture is as full of warnings about the dangers of riches and their pursuit as about the dangers of sexual immorality. If we are to be fully Catholic we must recognize both areas of morality and be obedient to Christ’s law as taught by the Church. Otherwise, whatever strategy we may adopt to justify ourselves, we will in fact be dissenters from Christ’s teaching rather than faithful Catholics...
And when we fall--go to confession.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What Do You Do When The Devil Comes Calling?

Who ya gonna call? Excerpts:
...I always wear my cassock on Sundays, so I still had on the full cassock, collar and cincture with my Benedictine scapular on top. I made my way to a modest home on the edge of town and knocked on the door. The wife was taken aback. "Wow! I haven't seen a Catholic priest like this forever!"

I asked some questions about the problems, explained the complexity of the supernatural and paranormal phenomena and said that usually a house blessing was all that was required to clear things up. Then I asked where they go to church. "Well, when we do go we attend DaySpring". That's one of the Protestant mega churches in town.

"And I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything. I'm just curious..." I asked, "But why did you call me instead of one of your pastors fro DaySpring?"

"We knew it was a Catholic priest who would know what to do about demons and all that stuff."...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seeing What's There

Interesting people.  Excerpts:
...Maisie was English, Edwardian, proper, upper-crust, ferociously Catholic, witty, likable, and incredibly intelligent. Born into a family of writers and editors, Maisie’s mind was as keen and expansive as Frank’s, and she was steeped in centuries of tough-as-nails English Catholicism. His family was poor; hers had money. For years, the Wards had rubbed shoulders with the major figures in the English Church. This heady atmosphere, cloudy with incense and ringing with Latin and chant and the glorious echoes of generations of recusant English Catholics, was immensely attractive to Sheed. He gravitated immediately to Maisie and her live-wire Catholic world...

Frank and Maisie worked with many of the great names of 20th-century Catholic literature: Fulton Sheen, G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, John Hugo, Arnold Lunn, Dorothy Day, Ronald Knox, Caryll Houselander, Clare Luce, and Evelyn Waugh. He moved easily among these writers with an amiable self-effacement that won many admirers...

Invariably, Sheed started his guided tour of the faith with a preliminary discussion about reality itself. For him, there was no point in tackling issues such as the papacy or infant baptism unless one had first laid the proper groundwork. He approached apologetics the way a builder approaches a project: Start with the foundation, build the first floor, and then raise the building from there. If the foundation was laid properly, a structure of any height could be built upon it.  As far as Sheed was concerned, no one was more insane than the man who ignored or denied the existence of God...


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