Lay Witness Magazine

A New Evangelization: Sounds and Silence

Once, long ago, the Kartause Maria Thron was a shrine to silence. The Carthusian monks who lived, worked, and prayed within its white-washed walls, spoke rarely if ever, their vow of silence pregnant with their “yes” to God. Then came the dissolution of the monasteries by Emperor Joseph II in 1782, and the Kartause, which for more than 500 years had been home to some of the holiest monks in Christendom—grew more silent still. Occasionally, invading armies— Napoleon’s, Hitler’s, Stalin’s—set up camp in its cells and chapels, shattering the quiet with troops and horses and rifle fire. But they always … Continue reading

And You Will Be My Witnesses: Unwrapping the Catechism’s Teaching on the Meaning of Christian Witness

To a world increasingly determined to forge for itself a meaningful life apart from God, the Church counters with a call to renewal that would result in the witness of holiness, that is, the witness of a fully human, abundantly meaningful, compellingly beautiful, and contagiously joyous life. The witness of joy to the beauty of faith and to the fullness of life in Christ is the secret power of the New Evangelization. Following Vatican II and Bl. Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict addresses the expanding and deepening secularism according to which modern man understands himself, defines his life, and … Continue reading

Ask CUF: Are Shopping and Attending Festivals in Keeping with the Lord’s Day?

Arts and Crafts Festivals are held in our area on weekends several times a year. I usually visit these artist displays on Sundays and may occasionally buy items. Are these kind of things in keeping with observance of the Lord’s Day? “This is the day which the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24). Jesus incurred the displeasure of the Pharisees when He and His disciples failed to observe the Sabbath in the customary manner. In fact, the rabbis had developed a list of thirty-nine categories of work that were prohibited on the Sabbath. … Continue reading

Ask CUF: Can I Attend Festivals, Shops on Sundays?

Arts and Crafts Festivals are held in our area on weekends several times a year. I usually visit these artist displays on Sundays and may occasionally buy items. Are these kind of things in keeping with observance of the Lord’s Day? “This is the day which the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24). Jesus incurred the displeasure of the Pharisees when He and His disciples failed to observe the Sabbath in the customary manner. In fact, the rabbis had developed a list of thirty-nine categories of work that were prohibited on the Sabbath. … Continue reading

Becoming Kateri: Welcoming Kateri Tekakwitha to the Communion of Saints

The long-awaited canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha marks a significant moment in the life of the Church in North America. Although indigenous men and women from Latin America have been honored as Saints in recent years, the canonization of “the Lily of the Mohawks” is an unprecedented tribute to the faith and culture of Native Americans of the United States and Canada and to the spirit of courageous hope that has been such a defining characteristic of Catholics in the New World. Born around the year 1656 in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon (near what is modern-day Auriesville, New York), Tekakwitha … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Three Archangels with Tobias

This painting, circa 1470, by Francesco Botticini (1446-1498) hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. It is certainly in the style of the full-blown early Renaissance, when the beauty of the human form inspired by ancient Greece burst upon the scene. The mysterious interior reality of the angelic spirits is thus expressed through the medium of the human body in all its nobility, grace, and bloom. Actually, this is not far from the biblical description of the appearance of angels: “Then Tobias going forth, found a beautiful young man, standing girded . . . ” who later turned out … Continue reading

Mary, Star of the Sea

Chris Sparks From the Sep/Oct 2012 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Mary, Star of the Sea Hail Queen of Heaven, the ocean star, Guide of the wanderer here below Thrown on life’s surge, we claim thy care Save us from peril and from woe. Mother of Christ, star of the sea Pray for the wanderer, pray for me Mary suffuses the Lord of the Rings, as demonstrated by Stratford Caldecott in The Lord and Lady of the Rings (Touchstone, January/February 2002),[1] tucked behind the “star of the sea,” the star of Elbereth, most beloved of stars, which shone over the … Continue reading

Master Catechist: On Belief in God

The mystery of faith is ever-fresh in the mind of the believer and ever-challenging to the mind of the unbeliever, especially the ironically called “rationalist.” Fr. Hardon crystallizes this reflection in this article and sums up the issue: “In a word, faith is part of our very nature as rational human beings. However, it is one thing to believe in other people (human faith) and something else to believe in God (Divine faith). To be still more clear, Divine faith properly so called is the assent of our intellect to what God has revealed, not because we comprehend what God … Continue reading

Open Mike: Years of Faith

It is with great joy that the staff and members of Catholics United for the Faith welcome the Year of Faith called for by Pope Benedict. It’s convenient, for the sake of retrospection, that two bookends—the Years of Faith in 1967 and beginning this October—can give us a framework to evaluate our fidelity to the mission of Catholics United for the Faith. It’s no coincidence that CUF was founded during the Year of Faith promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1967. This year promoted the faith so as to encourage defense of the Church from dissenters within and sought to … Continue reading

Passing on the Faith: Helpful Hints for Catholic Parents

St. Teresa of Ávila attributed her parents to laying down the foundation of her faith through their pious example. (Pious, by the way, is not a dirty word. “Everyone,” Lumen Gentium tells us, “is called to holiness.”) The Carmelite reformer and Doctor of the Church says, “I had a father and mother who were devout and feared God.” She adds, “It helped me, too, that I never saw my father and mother respect anything but goodness.” Parents have a powerful impact on the faith lives of their children. Where do parents receive the wisdom and strength they need to educate … Continue reading

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