Archive for Spaniard

Legion of Decency Might Sound a Little Corny, but…

In his recent post on “family” films Didymus cautions us to be wary of secular or even anti-Christian elements of some very popular films.  His words give us something important to think about – not necessarily to avoid these films altogether but to at least approach them with due caution. I was reminded of several of the writings of the American Hierarchy during the early 20th century, wherein a series of Resolutions and Statements warned of the wanton and unfettered state of motion pictures of the time. “Unemployment has imposed upon millions of men and women more leisure time… The

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Practical Catholic Junto Book Now Available!

Friends of the Junto, We are pleased to announce the release on Amazon of the Kindle book, The Collected Writings of the Practical Catholic Junto, containing 23 essays gleaned from our private meetings.  Although some of the essays have been converted to posts on the PCJ blog, many are original works that are published here for the first time. We invite you to read this extended collection of our writing. Thank you for your interest in, and support of, our work. St. Thomas More, pray for us!

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Abortion is (Really) Hell

A 2014 article in Britain’s Guardian points out that with the withdrawal of UK troops from Afghanistan the Commonwealth will have seen its first peacetime period in a century.  This dubious consistency extends back into previous eras, as befits an imperial power dominating hundreds of colonies.   Of course it is joined by many other major powers, including the United States, in its destructive tendencies–only two humans in history have avoided the effects of the Fall. The war casualties of the 20th century are breathtaking:  Great Britain: 1.5M; France: 2.5M; Germany: 10M; and the Soviet Union: 30M (including losing 13%

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Ireland’s Flagging Abortion Stance

The Irish Times recently hosted a discussion on their podcast regarding the effort to repeal or reform the Eighth Amendment to Ireland’s constitution. The Eighth was voted in by popular referendum 33 years ago by a 2-1 margin, largely through the influence of the Catholic Church.  The addition to the constitution reads: The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. I don’t pretend to know

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July 4th Intentions

In adoration yesterday I decided to aim my intentions at our country and citizens, on our national birthday. For our country, to turn to God for guidance and wisdom For our country, to adopt a Christian worldview and the associated virtues For our civil leaders, to discern God’s will and act in accordance with it For our county, to end abortion For our bishops and priests, to show manly courage to lead their flocks against the many arrayed secular-atheist-heretical influences For the Catholic laity, to be faithful to the Magisterium and its teachings For myself, to seek the wisdom and

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Catholic Grit

A recently published book by psychologist Angela Duckworth, Grit: Passion, Perseverance and the Science of Success, seeks to quantify the characteristics that make some innately mediocre people succeed and some innately talented people perform just so-so.  Similarly author Paul Tough’s book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Whatever It Takes, describes why character matters and how to instill it in our children.  Both works indicate the importance of “grit” in rising above one’s natural place, whether it be physical challenges, intellectual pursuits, business, etc.  Grit itself might be distilled into a set of synonyms:  perseverance, toughness,

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Quick Link – Austerity vs Tax Increases. What works best?

Junto friends, Hythloday recently shared with us a very interesting video produced by billionaire Ray Dalio, founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, entitled “How the Economic Machine Works.”  Dalio discusses the various factors that affect short and long term business cycles and the levers used to respond. The Junto often discusses economics since it is such an integral part of how we practice social charity as American Catholics.  Thought I’d share this link to a recent interview on the podcast EconTalk, hosted by Professor Russ Roberts of Stanford.  Harvard’s Alberto Alesina argues (against the prevailing sentiment in much of southern

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Abortionomics: Shibboleth of Death

In a recent CSPAN “After Words” interview, criminologist Dr. Barry Latzer discussed his book, The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America, in which he examines trends between the 1960s and 1990s.  Dr. Latzer was asked about two theories regarding the drop in violent crime starting in 1994:  removal of lead from gasoline starting in the mid-70s, and the federal legalization of abortion in the infamous Roe v Wade decision in 1973. The latter theory, offered by John Donohue and Steven Levitt in the May 2001 edition of The Quarterly Journal of Economics, purports to show that children who were

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Life is Changed, Not Ended

Several years ago a Junto friend had offered to me, just after the passing of a loved one of mine, the consolatory advice that “life doesn’t end, it just changes.”  I’ve thought about this phrase many times since, including passing it along on a couple of similar occasions to colleagues.  It summarizes our belief in eternal life, be it in heaven or hell, and the fact that our existence isn’t futile or random, but rather an incarnate response to the life gratuitously given by our Creator out of love alone. Yesterday I was able to tune into CSPAN about halfway

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Just War Doctrine for the Asymmetric World

“Insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ.”  Gaudium Et Spes 78, 6. The theory of a “just war,” the moral factors which govern when to enter into war and how to conduct war, reach back into Biblical and Roman antiquity, through the early days of the Church, from Augustine to Aquinas, Renaissance philosophers, and finally summarized in a few points in the current Catechism.  In the main the principles of a just war have been fairly well preserved:  a legitimate and otherwise peace-loving authority

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