Whenever the Church has abandoned the notion of beauty, it has lost precisely the power that it hoped to cultivate—its ability to reach souls in the modern world.

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The Greatest Post-Vatican II Catholic Art

Is it any wonder that so many artists and intellectuals have fled the Church? Current Catholic worship often ignores the essential connection between truth and beauty, body and soul, at the center of the Catholic worldview. The Church requires that we be faithful, but must we also be deaf, dumb, and blind? I deserve to suffer for my sins, but must so much of that punishment take place in church?

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Donovan: “Any Catholic who gives their primary attention to alleged private revelation at the expense of Sacred Scripture, the teaching of the Church (especially the Catechism), sacramental practice, prayer and fidelity to Church authority is off course.”

He warned, “The running after spiritual phenomena, such as alleged revelations, is condemned by St. John of the Cross as spiritual avarice. This means that pious souls who would be repulsed by crude materialistic greed think nothing of being greedy to know revelations and prophecies. An exclusive, or even a predominant attention to these matters (especially apocalyptic ones), cannot help but produce an unbalanced spirituality.”

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Comprehensive article explains Catholic approach to healing homosexual disorders

At the present time most Catholics have little to no understanding of the emotional causes of homosexual attractions and behavior nor of the powerful role that Catholic spirituality can play in the healing of this disorder. The reasons for this state of ignorance are numerous and include the scant literature available on the value of the Catholic Faith and the sacraments in the resolution of homosexual attractions and acts; failure of traditional therapy to resolve homosexual behavior; views within the media and educational, social service, health and political fields. In addition, there are many factions within the Church herself that are opposed to and are attempting to undermine traditional Catholic moral doctrine on this issue.

The failure to understand the actual causes of homosexuality impacts those who counsel teenagers and adults with this disorder. Therapists regularly tell those seeking help that the Church’s teaching on homosexuality is insensitive to homosexuals, unscientific, and erroneous. They are advised to accept themselves as being created homosexual by God. Unfortunately, those giving such counsel usually have little awareness of the emotional conflicts leading to homosexual attractions nor of the healing power available with forgiveness and the Catholic spirituality.

In my clinical experience over the past twenty years I have witnessed the resolution of the emotional pain which caused homosexual temptations and behavior in several hundred males and females. Their process of healing occurred, first, through insight-oriented psychotherapy to identify the origins of their conflicts and then through the use of forgiveness and Catholic spirituality. Such a treatment approach is similar in ways to the employment of spirituality in the treatment of substance abuse disorders. In fact, major breakthroughs were made in the management of addictive disorders only after a reliance on God was made the cornerstone of the treatment plan. Prior to that time, traditional psychotherapy alone resulted in minimal improvement. The use of Catholic spirituality in the treatment of homosexuality follows a similar pattern.

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The Apostleship of Prayer and the Art of Offering It Up

On Oct. 15, 1885, a 12-year-old girl by the name of Thérèse Martin joined the Apostleship of Prayer. We know her today as St. Thérèse the Little Flower. Before she became a Carmelite nun, she learned this spirituality of the Morning Offering. In her autobiography she tells the wonderful story about a convicted criminal who was about to be executed, completely unrepentant and bitter, and she began offering up little sacrifices for him. At the last minute, he turned and grabbed hold of the priest’s hand as it was being held out to him. The priest was holding a crucifix. He grabbed the crucifix and kissed the wounds of Jesus three times. Thérèse saw in this the answer to her prayers: that through her offerings of prayers, sacrifices and works this man repented at the last minute. This is the spirituality of “offering it up” that is at the heart of the Apostleship of Prayer and the heart of the Eucharist as well: where we offer our lives with Jesus to the Father in every Mass.

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On the Proper Integration of Anger into the Virtuous Life

Sorrow at evil without anger at evil is a fault, a fault that the Catholic bishops have repeatedly fallen into in their handling of sexual abuse and that the late pope fell into when he tolerated the bishops’ faults. Until just anger is directed at the bishops, until bishops (including the pope) feel just anger at their fellow bishops who have disgraced and failed their office, the state of sin in the Church continues.

Virtue Without a Name

Meekness, which is the virtue that moderates anger, is misunderstood as passivity. Moses angrily confronting Pharaoh was the meekest of men, because he moderated the plagues to allow Pharaoh time to repent. Meekness moderates anger so that it is in accord with reason. Since most people suffer from an excess of anger, the virtue that increases anger in those who are deficient in it so that it is in accord with reason does not have a name, but it needs one.

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The New Catholic Manliness

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Theological curiosity and rigor are not solely male qualities. The mind and the heart, dogma and experience, definition and mystery, truth and love — both men and women need to receive the Faith from all angles and engage it with all their faculties. But we return to natural gender differences again, to what Bollman calls “percentages and proportions” favoring this or that trait: Not only do they want to be spiritual “providers and protectors,” but men will, on average, be drawn more strongly to a religion that provides purchase for their intellects to grasp, distinguish, and, finally, submit to.

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