Lay Witness Magazine

A Light to the Nations: Highlighting Non-Governmental Organizations of Catholic Inspiration

Although United Nations (UN) deliberations primarily concern international affairs, they still affect the lives of citizens in the United States. Prolife and pro-family organizations must be involved at the UN to be effective in shaping a culture of life here in America. The Holy See has asked that Catholic organizations become more active at the United Nations in order to help the Vatican’s efforts to establish a global “culture of peace.” This culture is brought about by promoting and defending respect for human life from conception until natural death as well as integral human development. Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) of … Continue reading

A New Evangelization: Theology of the Body for Everyday

Regardless of what Freud says, most of life is not about sex. For us, life is about eating and drinking, dressing and cleaning, working and playing, laughing and talking, running and dancing, crying and fighting, forgiving and being forgiven. It’s about thanking God and wrestling with God, falling on our knees before Him in perfect contrition and adoring Him for being with us in the midst of the whole beautiful mess. Life is about God. It’s about falling in love with Him and becoming like Him so that we can be with him forever. Life is how we become saints. … Continue reading

Ask CUF: Is All Smoking Sinful?

I fully admit that there are health risks in smoking a cigarette, but a Protestant friend insists that all smoking is sinful. A zero-tolerance approach to all tobacco use seems pharisaical, or at least puritanical. Is there an argument that at least opens the door to occasional smoking? While she warns against intemperate use of tobacco, the Church has not condemned smoking outright. There are, however, strong practical objections to cigarettes that might make the discussion brief. Over a billion people on earth smoke, but an increased awareness of health risks makes the choice seem less reasonable. For example, from … Continue reading

How Does the Church Elect a New Pope?

When the time has come for a new Holy Pontiff to be elected, the members of the college of cardinals gather in the Sistine Chapel and have no contact with the outside world. After each vote they burn the ballots. If no Pope was elected, the smoke is black. If the election was successful, the smoke will be white. What is the College of Cardinals? The college of cardinals refers collectively to the cardinals of the Catholic Church. “College” comes from the Latin word “collegium,” meaning “society” and from which we derive cognates such as “collection” and “colleague.” Cardinals themselves … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: Simeon with the Christ Child in the Temple

This painting by Rembrandt van  Rijn (1606-1669) now hangs in the  National Museum in Stockholm,  Sweden. Painted toward the end of  his life, it was found uncompleted in  his studio after his death. There is a  poignancy to that circumstance since it  depicts the moment in which Simeon,  to whom the Holy Spirit revealed that  “he should not see death before he had  seen the Lord’s Christ,” is saying his Nunc  dimittis—“Now dismiss thy servant in  peace” (Lk. 2:26-29). In other words, I  can die now “for my eyes have seen thy  salvation.” So it must have come from the … Continue reading

Master Catechist: The Power of Faith

In this article Fr. Hardon reminds us that the power of Mary’s virginal conception by the Holy Spirit, as well as the baptismal conception and re-birth of believers as children of God, is a miraculous power that is conditioned on faith–the faith of His spouse, the ever-virgin Mary, the faith of His disciples and Apostles, and the faith of those of us today who consecrate ourselves to Him via the Immaculata who says to us, as she said to the servants at the wedding feast of Cana, “Do whatever He tells you!” —Michael Mohr It is not without deep reason … Continue reading

Mission: Possible–Five Undercover Pro-Life Saints Who Intercede, Encourage, and Inspire

When Catholics think of the pro-life movement, the stories and images frequently recalled are St. Gerard Majella (the Redemptorist priest who is now invoked as the patron saint of expectant mothers), Our Lady of Guadalupe (the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in which she appeared to Juan Diego as a pregnant Mother to Jesus, and Mother to ‘Juanito’ and all people, as she crushes the head of the serpent), St. Joseph (the husband of Mary who is also regarded as a patron of expectant mothers, as well as foster and adoptive parents), and St. Gianna Molla (the 20th century … Continue reading

Murder, By Any Other Name

When I was in medical school in the early 1980s, I saw a number of people die. But I only saw one human being deliberately killed. On a surgical rotation in my second or third year, two or three of us were instructed to go to another hospital in town and observe a procedure. We dutifully lined up against the back wall of an operating room and watched as a woman underwent some sort of suction procedure. It was only later that I was sickened to learn that what we had really witnessed was an abortion—one of 52 million that … Continue reading

Open Mike: Why Still Be Witnesses?

As I sat down to consider our annual pro-life issue of Lay Witness, my thoughts continually returned to the disappointing results of the November election. We were all dismayed by the apparent losses on the pro-life and traditional marriage front. It seems that in many cases “we”—Catholic pro-lifers and those who share our views—simply didn’t have enough votes to turn the tide in favor of a culture of life. Even more, we find ourselves increasingly on the defensive as we’re faced with the second term of the most radically secular administration in United States history. Our religious liberty as Catholics … Continue reading

The Art of Living: What’s New about the New Evangelization: Making Sense of this Critical Endeavor

There certainly has been plenty of buzz about the New Evangelization in recent years. When I present at a parish or diocesan event, I sometimes ask the audience “How many of you have heard about ‘the New Evangelization’?” I’ve been impressed by how many people raise their hands— much more than a decade or two ago. Yet, while there is increased awareness of the term New Evangelization, few seem to possess a strong understanding of what it actually means. When I proceed to ask the audience, “Who can explain what the New Evangelization is?,” practically all the hands go down. … Continue reading