All posts filed under: ARTICLES

A New Song for the New Evangelization: In the Beginning

Published by Carolyn Pirtle

Few things impact the celebration of the liturgy more concretely than music. Ask any Mass-goer exiting the church to recap the Gospel and he or she may begin to resemble the proverbial deer in the headlights. However, ask that same person to name any hymn sung during the liturgy and you’re not only more likely to receive an actual answer (or even a serenade), but you’re also likely to receive a...

An Interview with William C. Mattison III

Published by The Editors

  William C. Mattison III, author of Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues (Brazos Press, 2008), provided Church Life with the following written interview on virtue in the Church and the world today.

Mary, Icon of Evangelization: Queen of Heaven and Earth, Hope of the Downtrodden

Published by Fr. Virgilio Elizondo

When I was a young boy praying the Rosary, the title of the fifth glorious mystery (La Coronación de la Virgen Maria como Reina del Cielo—the Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven) led me to visualize a beautiful woman, dressed in royal clothing and wearing a lovely crown of glowing jewels. This was not surprising, since I was formed to imagine the Virgin Mary as an angelic woman, totally beyond ...

The Feast of the Assumption as the Olympiad of Christian Hope

Published by Timothy O'Malley

Glorious things are spoken of you, O Mary, who today were exalted above the choirs of Angels into eternal triumph with Christ (Entrance Antiphon, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Elite athletes exist at the edge of the possible and the physically absurd. Consider for a moment the 31st Olympiad underway in Brazil.

  • The marathon runner, who pushes his or her body beyond human limitati...

The Raised Hand

Published by Luke Slonkosky

You can tell a lot by the timing, posture, and movement of a raised hand. The quick and sudden, mid-sentence hand raise often catches my attention and I anticipate a thoughtful inquiry into my lecture. The slow, slouching, ninety-degree elbow raise frequently precedes the request for the bathroom and freedom from the current attack of information and instructions. The shaking, waving, over-eage...

Encountering Christ, the Eternal Word

Published by Megan Shepherd

Within the Catholic high school, formation often becomes fragmented. Differences in staffing, resources, and approaches to ministry lead to a lack of integration among different dimensions of the spiritual life. Students study religion in class, go on retreats, celebrate Mass, and earn service hours, often overseen by different departments or staff members.

Improving Catholic Homilies, Part 3: Explain the Liturgy

Published by Christian Smith

I have in parts one and two of this series dedicated to improving Catholic homilies suggested two major pieces of advice. First, avoid homilies that are unfocused and difficult to absorb by driving home only one important point per homily. Second, avoid sentimental moralism by grounding every homily message in the Good News of what God has done for us as the foundation of anything we might need...

The Sweet Burden of the Moral Life

Published by James Keating

Our faith in Christ bids us to become “perfect” as our Heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48). Such an invitation to perfection is often perceived as an “impossible” (Mt 19:26) goal, since the moral life is perceived as a burden, an unbearable weight.

The Universality and Idiosyncrasy of Sainthood

Published by Danielle Nussberger

Every saint is idiosyncratic. On the face of it, this seems so self-evident that we might wonder why it even needs to be said. Of course, St. Ignatius of Antioch is different from St. Ignatius of Loyola. Obviously, St. Teresa of Ávila is not St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Even when saints bear the names of the holy men and women who preceded them, they are never carbon copies of their namesakes. Each ...

The Silent Prayer of the Humble Heart

Published by Lawrence S. Cunningham

The Catechism begins its discussion of prayer with a flat assertion: “Humility is the foundation of prayer” (§2559). Many people resist the term “humility,” either because they mistake it for humiliation, or they consider humility a sign of weakness, or—to borrow a cliché much in use today—a symptom of low self-esteem. Humility, however, is that virtue by which, as St. Thomas Aquinas rightly sa...