Commentaries

Peace through the strength of a loving heart

Fear suddenly gripped me as I viewed Washington, D.C.'s National Archives exhibit on the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. I lived through it but never realized that planes carrying nuclear bombs were airborne, and our submarines and silos were prepared to launch nuclear warheads. It led me to think, “How can a nuclear holocaust be avoided?”

Eradicating child marriage today

When I was growing up in Hong Kong, I listened with amazement to the stories about girls who were married off when they were hardly 12 years old. I was relieved that such an old-fashioned practice had vanished. Cramming for exams didn't seem so bad after all. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Splitting the Catholic vote

The findings of a national study on the relation of faith and political views appear innocuous on the surface. But a drawback to such surveys is that they advance the idea of splitting that which is inseparable, often found useful to those in politics who want to split the Catholic vote to achieve their ends.

The crucial importance of the Catholic high school

If I ruled the world of Catholic education from kindergarten through graduate studies, and if I were pushed up against a wall of choice and told I could have only four years under explicitly Catholic auspices, I would without hesitation take the high school years. I'm convinced that the potential for a positive educational impact is greater in the secondary school years than in any other four-year block of time allocated to the formal educational process. Every year from K through the Ph.D. is important, but there is something special about those years between elementary school and college. Why?

After Sandy: Patience, hope and the work of the church

What we have seen and experienced in the last two weeks has been mind-numbing. Since we have weathered many hurricanes in the past, it is hard to believe that such a storm could create such havoc in our communities as Sandy did. The power may have been pulled, but the church has never stood stronger as when one person reached out across the street and brought his brother or sister to shelter. This is the work of the church of Jesus at its best.

Roses bloom in November, in the form of modern-day miracle workers

"Mooommm…” I cried. “Peter escaped from his cage! Can you help me find him?” Peter was my golden-haired, fluffy hamster − my first real pet.  Peter was lovable, adorable and so very clever. Peter’s attempts at freedom were a semi-regular occurrence, so there I was once again, sitting on the basement steps with head in my hands — crying — at the impending reality that Peter was gone forever. “Oh Missy,” my mom would say, “it will be OK.  Say a prayer to St. Anthony.  He will help us find him.”  St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around. Something is lost and can’t be found.

Archbishop Chaput on the politics of secularism

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput talks about the need to defend religious freedom and how religious points of view have a place in the public square.

Nothing to be thankful for? Think again

Whether you live with the extreme pressures of daily life or your daily stressors are compounded by illness and pain, as Thanksgiving nears it might be difficult to feel truly thankful. Yes, lifting up thanks for family, friends, a place to live and food to eat are the obvious. But that deep, resonant, soul-inspiring sense of gratitude that springs from a well of comfort and joy may seem far away, if not unreachable. And yet, despite everything, when I truly look at the year that has passed, I can say that I am very thankful.

What’s wrong with our election process?

Without exception, everyone I've spoken to about the presidential race has said, "I can't wait until it's over." They weren't looking forward to the next elected president taking office; rather, they were fed up. One woman told me, "We've been over saturated with commercials and have indigestion!" Another man said, "The negative atmosphere has poisoned us." Another bemoaned, "We've lost our sense of values, especially civility." And then there was the observation: "All we heard was 'you said that and I say this.'"

What the years have to teach

Recently my young cousin shared a video of her daughter, just a few months old, playing in her jump-up seat. A jump-up is a child's contraption which hangs from a door frame, tethered by a sturdy but flexible elastic band. The baby sits, her legs dangling, while she watches the world and enjoys a soothing bouncing motion. The humor in my cousin's video was that her daughter, Elizabeth, had discovered that with a little extra effort, the jump-up can take her careening toward the door frames. Although not exactly rappelling off the walls yet, Elizabeth is happily shaking it up. Elizabeth, who has an older sister, seems to be living up to the second-child stereotype: discovering adventure in all things.