20 January 2013

Cuomo's Conscience?

After naming Governor Andrew Cuomo to demonstrate the component of "circumstances" when evaluating the (im)morality of an action, thought you'd like to see what has been in the news recently:

Governor Andrew Cuomo's Anti-Catholic Agenda

The Question of Governor Cuomo and Excommunication

Cuomo's Extreme Abortion Bill

As a native Long Islander, I am grateful that New York is shepherded by ordained men like Cardinal Timothy Dolan, among others. Don't forget that Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Center (my "home" diocese!) will be giving the homily at this year's Red Mass. Click here for details...


10 January 2013

Les Misérables

I'm not sure who runs the "Catholic Moral Theology" website where I found the article, but this entry on "Doing Moral Theology with Les Misérables" is a great read for anyone beginning to get familiar with terms like "virtue ethics" and "consequentialism"...

If you haven't yet seen Les Mis, it is not to be missed. See it TODAY. I'd love to talk about it in our class. Hugh Jackman's breathtaking portrayal of Jean Valjean will remain forever etched in your hearts and minds. I'm in the middle of the 1500+ page text, and I can't wait to see Tom Hooper's film for the 2nd time (tonight!) with my book club.  Read this - "Capturing the Essence of Les Mis" - as well.

UPDATE (11 Jan): Seeing it a second time has only made me want to see it yet again. Here's another great read on the film: Deacon Greg Kandra's "Six Things that Struck Me about Les Misérables"


06 January 2013

"A Better Concept of Freedom"

George Weigel on Fr. Servais Pinckaers, OP's interpretion of Aquinas' "freedom for excellence":
"A Better Concept of Freedom"
This article appeared in First Things 121 (March 2002): 14-20.

A slightly different version appears here: (click link)


01 January 2013

Mary, Model of the Moral Life (re-post)

Mary is the radiant sign and inviting model of the moral life. As Saint Ambrose put it, "The life of this one person can serve as a model for everyone",and while speaking specifically to virgins but within a context open to all, he affirmed: "The first stimulus to learning is the nobility of the teacher. Who can be more noble than the Mother of God? Who can be more glorious than the one chosen by Glory Itself?". Mary lived and exercised her freedom precisely by giving herself to God and accepting God's gift within herself. Until the time of his birth, she sheltered in her womb the Son of God who became man; she raised him and enabled him to grow, and she accompanied him in that supreme act of freedom which is the complete sacrifice of his own life. By the gift of herself, Mary entered fully into the plan of God who gives himself to the world. By accepting and pondering in her heart events which she did not always understand (cf. Lk 2:19), she became the model of all those who hear the word of God and keep it (cf. Lk 11:28), and merited the title of "Seat of Wisdom". This Wisdom is Jesus Christ himself, the Eternal Word of God, who perfectly reveals and accomplishes the will of the Father (cf.Heb 10:5-10). Mary invites everyone to accept this Wisdom. To us too she addresses the command she gave to the servants at Cana in Galilee during the marriage feast: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5).

Mary shares our human condition, but in complete openness to the grace of God. Not having known sin, she is able to have compassion on every kind of weakness. She understands sinful man and loves him with a Mother's love. Precisely for this reason she is on the side of truth and shares the Church's burden in recalling always and to everyone the demands of morality. Nor does she permit sinful man to be deceived by those who claim to love him by justifying his sin, for she knows that the sacrifice of Christ her Son would thus be emptied of its power. No absolution offered by beguiling doctrines, even in the areas of philosophy and theology, can make man truly happy: only the Cross and the glory of the Risen Christ can grant peace to his conscience and salvation to his life.
Veritatis splendor 120 ‐ Ioannes Paulus PP. II ‐ Encyclical Letter (1993.08.06)