“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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The Eighth Child

A family I am friendly with recently brought home their eighth child. A day or two later, as we sat around their dining room table, I wanted to find out what the other children were thinking of their new brother. “His ears are tiny!” “And his nose.” “He’s got pink skin. It’s...
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technician working on cancer research

IVF Extras

She was telling me about her friend, a married woman who, having found it impossible to conceive a child, had turned to IVF. Two embryos were implanted in her womb, but as they were developing problems arose, resulting in a highly dangerous pregnancy from which she could have...
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Prayers of the Faithful

In many contemporary churches, the liturgy of the Eucharist includes a time of intercession for the church and the world. Called by various names, including “Prayers of the Faithful” and “Prayers of the People,” these intercessions are the portion of the liturgy most likely to...
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