Children Are Not the Future (They Are the Present)

  “We need to take care of the children; after all, they are the future.” Lots of people say this—you may have said it yourself. It’s a common sentiment in the church, I’ve found. When talking about Sunday school or catechism (or whatever a particular church calls it),...
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A Paradox of Death

    Death is our ancient enemy, and yet in many lives there comes a time when we should not resist death but accept it. This is a paradox, and it poses a basic question: how to accept death while continuing to affirm the sanctity of human life. An elderly woman was...
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The Child Is Real

  He came to a midweek theology class I offered but not to Sunday church. He was drinking the truths about God like the young adult he was, totally innocent of Christianity. Creation, the cross, the resurrection, the importance of the body: All of this was news to him....
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“There’s Nothing Wrong with This Child!”

  A brilliant novel from 2021 that is mostly about life lived in “the portal,” that is, on social media, makes, mid-course, a dramatic turn and engages the world of the flesh. The sister of the unnamed female narrator conceives a child who is prenatally diagnosed with a...
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Against Sudden Death

  In the Great Litany one finds the following petition: “From lightning and tempest; from plague, pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder, and from sudden death, Good Lord deliver us.” Why is “sudden death” in this list? What is wrong with sudden death? Most people...
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The Child Is Real

He came to a midweek theology class I offered but not to Sunday church. He was drinking the truths about God like the young adult he was, totally innocent of Christianity. Creation, the cross, the resurrection, the importance of the body: All of this was news to him. Theology was...
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To Change the World

    “The future belongs to people with children, not with things,” wrote Charles Chaput in First Things a few months ago. If you are young and you want to change the world, counsels the Catholic archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia, then “get married, stay faithful to one...
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God Has All of Us in Mind

  I have recently returned from a seven-week pilgrimage, walking the traditional Camino Francés across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. I was part of a host of pilgrims that this year will number several hundreds of thousands. As we peregrinos passed through villages and...
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Appendix A: Why Have Children?

The point of having children is to increase the number of the saints. In the 1979 Prayer Book—which in this regard sets forth a more traditional exposition than its U.S. predecessors—children are one of the three intentions God has for marriage. “The union of husband and wife . ....
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The Optimism of Adam

When ashes are imposed at the beginning of Lent various words are spoken, but the traditional ones are “Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” These reach back to the first human being, the Adam, into whom God breathed life after forming him from...
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