on Humility

The Pillar views it from another angle:

In media, it’s natural that the machinations of powerful and influential people tend to receive the most coverage. Their decision are likely to impact the greatest number of people, and, in general, people want to know about and understand their leaders. That’s natural, and understandable. And covering leaders is important, because journalism provides a mechanism of public accountability in the Church.

But there is a danger, when the work of Catholic media is often to cover Catholics in leadership, of beginning to develop a flawed ecclesiology — one that sees the influential or the powerful as somehow more central to the Church’s identity, or even more expressive of it.

It’s not especially profound or original to say that isn’t true. But it is important. It’s important because the life of the Church is a communion ordered to holiness — and holiness is not the same as power, authority, or worldly success.

In fact, the authority given to ecclesiastical leaders exists only for the sake of fostering and enabling holiness — good Church leaders help ordinary people become holy, bad Church leaders don’t.

Still, any of us can fall prey to a mentality which equates “success” with holiness. And it can be especially easy for Catholics — clerical or lay — who occupy leadership positions to make that same mistake. When that happens, it becomes easy to fall into traps of self-congratulations, or self-assurance, or a sense of being somehow set apart, and unlikely to lose the Lord’s favor by pride or complacency.

But holiness is derived from closeness to Christ, and thus, closeness to the cross. And in my own observation, the Catholics closest to the cross don’t occupy splashy positions of influence. They’re diocesan and parish staffers working long hours with little support, or priests driving hours each week between the parishes they cover, or men and women who have held and taught the faith for decades, only to be written off as “Susan from the parish council” by wags with more schooling than wisdom, more inclination to spout off than to listen.

Often, the men and women closest to the cross also include those who can’t make self-congratulations for worldly success, because they don’t have much of it. The ones who are forced by circumstances to recognize their poverty and insufficiency, their dependence on God’s Providence, the fragile precariousness of life itself.

In reality, all of us are dependent entirely on Providence, and none of us can merit salvation without Christ. But some of us are better positioned for self-delusion.


Excerpt from:










Two suggestions

 for parents wanting to raise their children in the faith:

The first is that, besides practicing the faith themselves, parents talk to their children about it. “If there were only one practical take-away from our research,” the authors write, “it would be this: parents need not only to ‘walk the walk’ but also regularly to talk with their children about their walk, what it means, why it matters, why they care.”

The second suggestion is that parents practice a “general authoritative” parenting style. “Combining clear and implemented life standards and expectations for their children with expressive emotional warmth and relational bonding with their children fosters relationships that most enhance effective religious transmission,” Smith and Adamczyk say.

from CWR


Vocation of Baptism

It's important to remember what lay persons are not called to do. It's also important to avoid clericalism of the laity. A few years ago when I brought a group of scouts through their Pius XII badge, I asked them about the crisis of vocations in the church today. Their response astounded me: they said the real vocations crisis in the Church is in the pews, with lay people not doing their part. That struck me then as exceedingly wise for teenagers. Given what we know about the decline in matrimony, it seems they were right for many reasons. Vatican II did not give lay people access to power; it empowered lay people to give the world access to the Church. Another fan of Welborn's observations since the motu proprio was released summarizes them succinctly:

Why has the “Lay Moment” we’ve been hearing about for so many decades never quite produced the hoped-for transformation?

One interesting answer to that question was recently offered by Amy Welborn (herself riffing on a worthwhile essay by Dr. Larry Chapp.) In short, instead of getting busy being leaven in the world, the laity have spent the years since the Council mostly arguing over who-gets-to-do-what within the Church:

The Second Vatican Council’s vision of a more deeply engaged missionary Church in the modern world has fallen short so far because Catholic laity settled, fairly quickly, on visibility within the life of the church as the choice definition of living out the baptismal promise.

So, in a blink of an eye, your “engaged laity” was all about having an impact on the life of the Church rather than the world – whether that be through liturgy committees, diocesan commissions, getting to wear an alb when you’re lecturing.

I think this is spot-on. Questions about who-gets-to-do-what in the Church are not unimportant. The abuse crisis has underscored the dangers of an insular, self-dealing clerical culture. And laymen and women do invaluable work in parishes and chanceries everywhere. But struggles about who-gets-to-do-what have a way of reducing ecclesiology to a function of power, thereby supplanting one form of clericalism with another. Empowering the laity doesn’t mean aping the clergy.

The mission of the Church is not the responsibility of the diocesan pastoral center or some committee in the parish. It can’t be delegated or outsourced or professionalized. The mission belongs to all of us.


Still waiting

Whatever happened to the concerns of these four prelates?


Fortunately, there is no need to use ethically problematic cell lines to produce a COVID vaccine, or any vaccine, as other cell lines or processes that do not involve cells from abortions are available and are regularly being used to produce other vaccines.


Pro-Life is Pro-Woman

Pregnancy Discrimination is not something you hear very many feminists decry:

Based on government data over almost a half century, we show that women “surged forward as they resorted less and less to abortion.” The brief demonstrates, for example, that as abortion rates and ratios began to sharply decline beginning in 1990, the percentage of women in the workforce with college degrees increased by 70 percent, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 114 percent (more than twice the national average) and for women of color by 467 percent. We argue that women’s social and economic advancement is due to changes in cultural attitudes and circumstances, as well as laws reflecting those changes — laws that are completely unrelated to abortion.

In fact, the evidence suggests that the availability of abortion, and its foundational acceptance of the male reproductive model as the norm for full participation in society, has retarded women’s authentic equality and their full flourishing. This argument is developed in a second brief that I co-authored on behalf of Advancing American Freedom and several public policy groups, noting that pregnancy discrimination continues to be a pervasive problem in the American workplace. “[W[omen continue to suffer from pregnancy discrimination in all walks of life, from Olympic track stars to stockbrokers and big firm lawyers to Walmart bakery workers.”

Both briefs argue that unrestricted access to abortion in some instances encourages pregnancy discrimination by employers who, based on the Court’s unfounded assumptions and abortion activists’ public rhetoric, see pregnancy as just one personal choice among many. This continuing discrimination is particularly infuriating given that pregnancy discrimination has been against the law for over 40 years.  -from

Cruz magazine's interview of the woman writing an amicus brief against Roe


Romans 7

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.



First rule: don't assume it's about Mary.

“Mary’s role as the supreme model to follow in our common vocation to holiness and discipleship finds its ultimate triumph and reward in her assumption. Our certainty of Mary’s return to God, body and soul, prefigures our own resurrection and final union with God.”  -Fr. Richard Gribble

Because everywhere that Mary goes, the Lamb is sure to go (that Lamb being the Mystical Body of Christ of all members united in communion with Him)


Re-thinking St. Joseph


Holy Matrimony

 Fr. Tad has some wisdom to share about the importance of marriage and family life:

Putting our human accomplishments into proper perspective can be challenging. We can be tempted, like many commencement speakers, to invert the relative order of their importance. In the face of unrelenting pressure to change the world, climb the career ladder, build a nest egg, acquire expensive homes, and travel the globe, we can easily convince ourselves that marriage and children are a hindrance.

...The commitments we make and faithfully fulfill are a source of stability and strength, particularly against the backdrop of life's turbulence and uncertainty. While there are conflicts, boredom, trials, and other challenges, the consequential adventure of marriage and family life offers a fulfilling pathway toward human flourishing.

O'Malley notes that this is a narrative that young people are interested in: "They want to hear how to be happy, and they want this happiness not to be tied to their accomplishments." 

...In a sense, marriage and raising a family are becoming revolutionary acts in today's world. They declare something positive and hopeful about the future and push back against the fear and insecurity that plague our human condition.

He quoted Professor O'Malley in an article you should read here.


All you holy brides and grooms

 A Litany of Married Saints (For private use)

from New Liturgical Movement

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Zachary and Elisabeth, pray for us.
Saints Aquila and Priscilla,
Saints Flavian and Dafrosa,
Saints Basil and Emmelia,
Saints Marius and Martha,
Saints Severian and Aquila,
Saints Claudius and Praepedigna,
Saints Claudian and Bassa,
Saints Macedonius and Patricia,
Saints Philetus and Lydia,
Saints Vitalis and Valeria,
Saints Exuperius and Zoe,
Saints Timothy and Maura,
Saints Felix and Blanda,
Saints Artemius and Candida,
Saints Getulius and Symphorosa,
Saints Nicostratus and Zoa,
Saints Aurelius and Natalia,
Saints Felix and Liliosa,
Saints Marcellinus and Mannea,
Saints Boniface and Thecla,
Saints Theodotus and Rufina,
Saints Cerealis and Sallustia,
Saints Eustace and Theopistis,
Saints Paul and Tatta,
Saints Dadas and Casdoa,
Saints Andronicus and Athanasia,
Saints Chrysanthus and Daria,
Saints Galatio and Epistemis,
Saints Adrian and Natalia,
Saints Claudius and Hilaria,
Saints Olympius and Exuperia,
Saints Melania and Pinian, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the intercession of Holy Mary, Mother of God, St. Joseph, her most chaste Spouse, and all holy husbands and wives, fathers and mothers now reigning in Thy Kingdom, may everywhere gladden us, so that, while we commemorate their merits, we may experience their protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. Amen.

from Sophia Press

 Bishop Hay reminds Christians that:

Our salvation is not only our own business, the affair that properly belongs to ourselves, but it is, in fact, our only necessary business; the only thing for which we were sent into this world.”

[In the nearly thirty-five years Hay served as bishop, he published written works, played a major role in Scotland’s eventual acceptance of Catholicism, and endeavored to reform seminaries.]


Get Religion gets it


"So what is the crucial fact on which these two activists agree? Did you spot it?

"Here it is: The left is old and running out of time. The right is young and has rising numbers of priests in its ordination pipelines.

"The right fears being punished or crushed by progressives in high places. The left fears that its biological clock will run out. Very different fears, but fears linked to a few facts on which they agree."

How long, o Lord, will we suffer this generation?

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