HSI Features Season 8
Dying to Live by Msgr. Charles M. Mangan
It is likely that Catholics who regularly attend Mass have heard more than once an explanation of St. John 12:24—"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit"—similar to this: Our Lord Jesus Christ was referring to His own death and its incredible, long-lasting spiritual dividends to help His listeners to understand that all of Christ’s followers must die in order to live.
Mile-High Musings on the Mystery of Sex, Love, and Life
by Regis Martin
I am writing this amid the high hills of Utah where, surrounded by snow, ice, and the occasional moose, I have been asked to give a weeklong retreat to a small Cistercian community of monks. Go figure. Feeling entirely inadequate, of course, I nevertheless soldier on, addressing souls so steeped in the spiritual life that, like water to fish, it is the very medium in which they live. What can I say? How am I expected to add to the sum of their wisdom? God obviously has a sense of humor, and soon we shall all be collapsing into gales of laughter.
Heroes and Saints
It is a truism that children need role models. Parents, surely, are solemnly obliged to fill this role. But children also need models that are larger than life. Hence, the enduring place of myths and fairy tales. Their only glaring weakness, however, is that their robust and immortal characters are not real. When we look to real people who are larger than life, we are confronted with a choice between secular heroes and genuine saints.
by Donald DeMarco
The Theology of the Body and Health Care
Pope John Paul II’s “theology of the body” is commonly viewed as papal teaching on sexual ethics. While this is certainly true, it is so much more than that, speaking to a variety of other day-to-day matters. For example, in that it concerns the human body, it informs people with bodily ailments and those who care for them. Indeed, the theology of the body speaks to the healing professions: nurses, therapists, doctors, religious, chaplains, and all who tend to people when they are ill.
by John M. Travaline, M.D.
The Ideal Movie
by Fr. Scott A. Haynes
Fiat lux. "Let there be light" (Gen. 1:3). In an instant, what scenery filled the screen! And the characters, what a motley crew! Just as in the Bible, one often finds the good and bad shoulder to shoulder. Scoundrels, villains, and misfits flank the heroes and heroines of film. Movie connoisseurs find an endless variety of symbolism in the cinematic art form, because movies portray the forces of good and evil in every venue possible.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Envy by Aneel Aranha
History tells of a statue that was erected to Theogenes, a celebrated victor in the Greek public games. The erection of this statue so excited the envious hatred of one of his rivals that he went every night and strove to throw the statue over by repeated blows. Ultimately he succeeded, but alas, the statue fell upon him, and he was crushed to death beneath it. Such generally is the end of the man who allows himself to be carried away by the spirit of envy.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Avarice
by Aneel Aranha
Greed can make us do a lot of wicked things. A survey conducted in the United States a few years ago revealed what some people were willing to do for money. In exchange for $10,000,000, 25% of the people surveyed said they would be willing to abandon their entire family, 25% said they would be prepared to abandon their church, 23% said they would become prostitutes for a week or more, 16% said they would give up their American citizenship, and 7% said they would be willing to kill a stranger!
Ten Hard Facts Confronting Benedict XVI in the Holy Land by Deal W. Hudson
The Holy Father, his entourage, and the international media are preparing to visit the Holy Land in May. Pope Benedict XVI will undoubtedly encourage further peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. But the prospect of a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict has become more remote, as the situation on the ground is constantly changing. Here are the facts as they stand now, and which will confront the Holy Father when he arrives in Amman, Jordan.
The Old Testament: Why Can't We Just Get Rid of It?
by John Bergsma
Let’s face it: The Old Testament can be hard to take. Parts of it are full of famines, wars, and people who should have known better doing terribly immoral things. God seems to be angry a lot. He gives the people of Israel hundreds of laws that sometimes don’t make sense, other times seem harsh, and always seem boring. When the Israelites break these laws, God sends plagues that kill lots of people.
Contraception: The Bitter Pill
Each month, to test our courage, my wife Lisa and I stand before an auditorium full of couples about to marry in the Catholic Church and explain to them the Church's teachings about sexuality. The crowd is generally not happy to be there. Many are not Catholic and few, needless to say, want to hear what the Church has to say about sex and contraception. They've heard it already on the afternoon talk shows from renegade nuns. This is, moreover, the upper east side of Manhattan, a tough market for Humanae Vitae.
by George Sim Johnston
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