The Deep Magic

Eulogy for Louis H. Anders, Jr. My fondest childhood memories are of drinking in the stories my father read to me by the fireside at night. With one foot propped on the hearth, and his elbow on the mantelpiece, dad opened his own heart to me and my brother through the books he loved. None […]

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The Problem of Piety

Piety is an important Christian virtue, closely allied to the virtues of justice, mercy, and religion. St. Thomas ranks it as one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. For St. Augustine, piety is the wisdom God gives to worship God rightly. Scripture says that piety (godliness) “has value for all things, holding promise for […]

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Prudence and the Pandemic 

. How should Catholics think about public policy during the pandemic? Even within our own diocese of Birmingham, Catholics disagree about the steps necessary to preserve public health. The tensions can run quite high and differences reflect disagreement about more than epidemiology. The coronavirus has exposed clashing ideological visions of the common good.    There […]

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St. Paul the Murderer

. St. Paul was a murderer. This is the most salient fact about his personal history up until the moment he met Christ. He was so “zealous” for God and for the law that he persecuted those he thought were God’s enemies. Scripture says he was “exceedingly enraged” against them, followed them to foreign cities, […]

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Charismata

The Catholic Church teaches that God grants charismatic gifts: prophecies, speaking in tongues, healings, and other sorts of miracles. The Church also allows Catholic participation in the “charismatic movement,” a modern development that encourages Christians to seek these gifts as a regular part of their spirituality. Many Catholics have experienced spiritual renewal in their own […]

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Missionary Discipleship

I began to think seriously about becoming Catholic fifteen years ago. When I had almost made up my mind, I made an appointment with Msgr. Muller at Our Lardy of Sorrows parish in Homewood. “Father,” I said, “I think I need to become Catholic.” I’ll never forget what he said. “Are you marrying a Catholic?” […]

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Galileo Affair

In popular imagination, the Galileo affair stands as a striking example of dogmatic tyranny and the suppression of free thought. Galileo worked out empirical and mathematical proofs for Copernicus’s heliocentric theory of the solar system. That theory seemed to contradict not only Scripture but also the reigning scientific theories of the day. Galileo fell under […]

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