Given the ruminations of Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, one might have thought that the absolute limit of scientistic arrogance had been reached. But think again. Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, was quoted in a recent news article asserting that “science” is on the verge of providing a complete understanding of the universe — an explication, it goes without saying, that precludes the antiquated notion of God altogether.
For many on the left, Paul Ryan is a menace, the very embodiment of cold, indifferent Republicanism, and for many on the right, he is a knight in shining armor, a God-fearing advocate of a principled conservatism. Mitt Romney’s choice of Ryan as running mate has already triggered the worst kind of exaggerated hoo-hah on both sides of the political debate. What is most interesting, from my perspective, is that Ryan, a devout Catholic, has claimed the social doctrine of the Church as the principal inspiration for his policies.
In the sixth chapter of St. Mark’s Gospel, we find the account of Jesus sending out the Twelve, two by two, on mission. The first thing he gave them, Mark tells us, was “authority over unclean spirits.” The first pastoral act they performed was to “drive out many demons.” When I was coming of age in the 60's and 70's, it was common, even in seminaries, to dismiss such talk as primitive superstition or perhaps to modernize it and make it a literary device, using symbolic language evocative of the struggle with evil in the abstract.
Why don’t we follow all the laws of the Old Testament regarding circumcision, kosher diet, etc.? Didn’t Jesus say that not a jot or tittle of the law would pass away?
The Torah, or law in Hebrew, was put in place to keep the community holy and to distinguish it from all other people. It also pointed toward and prepared for the ushering in of the new creation promised by God through the prophets. For Christians, Jesus is this long anticipated new creation. In other words, the law, or Torah, was consummated in Christ. The law has not passed away, but has been fulfilled.
The heartbreaking account of the martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity was written by Perpetua herself and continues to mystify and edify Christians today.
St. Perpetua became a Christian in 203 A.D. during a period of persecution. Her father was against her decision and attempted to dissuade her.
In an earlier issue, we looked at why the Church teaches us to reject contraception. I’ve received some shorter questions on the topic and will hit as many as I can here.
Isn’t NFP simply the same as contraception?
Not at all. The Priests For Life website gives us some great reasons why: