It’s time to reverse the gun culture in America

Let's admit firearms for recreational use, but what justification is there for automatic weapons? Some say we need automatic weapons to protect ourselves against a government. Where does this disbelief in the functioning of a democracy leave us? It is well past time to unwind the gun culture in America, or accept it and wonder if the next trip to the mall, school or airport will be your last.

Waiting for the next Edison, Jobs or Zuckerberg

The next big inventions may come from teenagers, simply because their curious minds and ability to question the world and how it runs lends itself to solving the societal and technological needs and problems that lead to great inventions.

Teen daughter is pregnant, parents are at odds over what to do

Marriage columnists Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain discuss the case of a couple whose teenage daughter becomes pregnant. It’s a dilemma parents have faced before, but after the shock and anger, the way going forward must be walked carefully and prayerfully by all parties involved.

When being right means doing wrong

Part of being a parent involves responsibility. That means protecting and providing for a child. But as children grow, parents must help them transition from a person who is provided for into a person who can provide for herself, a person responsible enough to do the right thing.

To give thanks for our own good

November brings a favorite celebration for many of us: a special day set aside to consider our blessings and give thanks. Meister Eckhart noted that if the only prayer we ever offer is, "Thank you," that would be good enough. If we make of our life a prayer, then giving thanks would be the foundational act from which everything else flows.

Finding an answer in the parking lot

Consider the events during a week in October. The first one took place on Monday in which Jose Reyes, 12, took a semi-automatic 9 mm pistol to his middle school in Sparks, Nev., shot a fellow student in the shoulder, killed math teacher Michael Landsberry and shot a second student in the abdomen before fatally shooting himself.

Exploring solutions to stop the abuse of alcohol and other drugs

Should we turn our heads away, call the police or shut it down? These questions were posed in an article about Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who was photographed in a house full of young people attending a wild drinking party.

A glimpse into the mind of Pope Francis

In the self-revelatory interview of Pope Francis published by several Jesuit journals around the world in September 2013, the Holy Father mentioned that he had read Alesandro Manzoni's 1828 novel "The Betrothed" three times and had it on a nearby table for a fourth reading whenever the opportunity presented itself. Three times and looking forward to a fourth -- that's a recommendation to be taken seriously. It prompted me to pick up the book and give it a read; one way, I thought, of getting inside the mind of this fascinating pope.

An example of a poverty that frees us

One of the things folks admire about Pope Francis is his decision to live simply. Rather than live in private apartments at the Vatican, he has chosen to live in guest quarters, partly because these are closer to other people and it allows him to live in a community, which, as a Jesuit, he values. But as an archbishop and cardinal, he set the same standard of simplicity, rejecting fancy homes and a lifestyle above that of the people he served. In continuing with this tradition, he's setting a beautiful example, not just for other bishops and clergy, but for all of us.

The dangers of drinking alcohol too early in life

History's proven it: People have been drinking alcohol since the beginning of time. Romans had their wine, Egyptians had their beer and the medieval English had their mead. Despite this long and storied history of partying, humans apparently still haven't learned that drinking too much alcohol can be extremely bad for us.