Racism is sinful and antithetical to Christian faith

Growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, it seemed that television programs were too often broken up by a jarringly familiar announcement: "We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin." Solemn and unadorned, those words never meant good news, and even as a kid I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. If breaking news occurred during school hours, our principal spoke unexpectedly over the loudspeaker.

Charlottesville and America’s original sin

I vividly remember my first visit to Charlottesville, Virginia. It was about 20 years ago, and I was on vacation with a good friend, who shared with me a passion for American history and for Thomas Jefferson in particular. We had toured a number of Civil War battlefields in Maryland and Virginia and then had made our way to Jefferson’s University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Finally, we ventured outside the city to the little hilltop home that the great founder had designed and built for himself, Monticello.

After the cross, exuberance

It’s funny where you can learn a lesson and catch a glimpse of the divine. Recently, in a grocery store, I witnessed this incident:

Ordinary goodness and the spiritual journey

The spirituality writer, Tom Stella, tells a story about three monks at prayer in their monastery chapel. The first monk imagines himself being carried up to heaven by the angels. The second monk imagines himself already in heaven, chanting God’s praises with the angels and saints. The third monk cannot focus on any holy thoughts but can only think about the great hamburger he had eaten just before coming to chapel.

The unhappy cost of resentment

It's not only love that makes the world go round. Resentment too is prominent in stirring the drink. In so many ways our world is drowning in resentment. Everywhere you look, it seems, someone is bitter about something and breathing out resentment. 

May your kingdom come, but not yet

A friend of mine likes to joke about his struggles in growing up.

When I was in my 20s, he quips, I felt that by the time I was 40 I would have grown up enough to let go of my bad habits. But, when I turned 40, I gave myself an extra 10 years, promising myself that by age 50, I'd have conquered these habits. Well, now I'm in my 50s and I've promised myself that by age 60, I'll be more mature and more serious about the deeper things in life.

Why does the church say birth control is wrong?

Shouldn’t a couple have the right to determine how many children they have?

By Father Cal Christiansen

Q: I attended a mission recently where the missionary priest said that anyone who practices artificial birth control is committing a mortal sin. I don’t agree with the church on this issue and I think that contraception should be allowable, especially under certain circumstances. It seems to me that most young Catholic couples use birth control; are they all in a state of mortal sin like this priest said? Please help me understand this difficult teaching of our church.

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