You are here: Home Faith Update
President Obama’s re-election and the prospect of a second Obama administration, freed from the constraints imposed by the necessity of running for re-election, have created a crisis for the Catholic Church in the United States. In the thought-world and vocabulary of the Bible, "crisis" has two meanings: the conventional sense (a grave threat) and a deeper sense (a great moment of opportunity). Both are applicable to the Church in America these next four years.
Christmas is about many things: a birth, a Savior, festivity, fellowship, food, mirth and merriment, all blessings and benefactions that account for its widespread and enduring popularity. But there is an essential feature of Christmas that is often overlooked, and one, therefore, that warrants special emphasis.
My family and I became Catholics 15 years ago. As a welcome gift, my sister gave me a T-shirt emblazoned with "The Top Ten Reasons to Remain Roman Catholic."
Now that I have a few years under my belt, I’ve come up with some reasons of my own.
So here they are: Cram’s 35 Reasons to be Roman Catholic.
In the tense hours waiting for Hurricane Sandy to arrive, I sat in the living room, reading the Gospels, and occasionally I looked out the window to see the trees swaying ominously in the wind.
Q. How ancient is the liturgical celebration of three different Masses on Christmas? And how ancient, too, is the placement of the Crèche in our churches for the Christmas season?
Q. In teaching catechetics, I have been told that I shouldn’t use the phrase that a human being is "a soul plus a body." What is wrong about this? Isn’t it in fact a correct description?
A lot of what we do – the way we behave, the way we misbehave, our good habits and our bad habits – we learned from our parents. Blame it all on dad and mom, which is what some of us have been doing since we were kids.
In his 1958 book, Reflections on America, the great French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain (who took refuge in the United States during World War II) claimed that Americans, for all their commercial endeavors, "are the least materialist among the modern peoples which have attained the industrial stage." Well, that was then; this is now, and it isn’t Jacques Maritain’s America anymore. Still, there remains a link between money-making and idealism in these United States that is distinctive, and perhaps even unique.
America has just celebrated the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, our very first Native American saint, "the Lily of the Mohawks." I reviewed her history in a recent "Faith Perspectives" column.