19 September, 2019

That Old Time Religion

One of the frequent laments heard since the Second Vatican Council is that Catholics have forgotten their centuries-old heritage, and as a result, that heritage has not been transmitted to new generations of the faithful. Things that Catholics took for granted in the 1950s and earlier, such as knowledge of basic doctrine, familiarity with forms of prayers, such as the Rosary, and with sacramentals such as the brown Scapular or the Miraculous Medal - so many younger Catholics know little or nothing of these and hence have been robbed of so much of their religious heritage. And this is a lament that I fully agree with. But there is another aspect of the Faith and its practice which we contemporary Catholics have also largely forgotten. This is the Church's commitment to the social apostolate, championed so boldly by the popes since Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, but now, in the dreary culture war that afflicts the United States, either lost sight of or even labeled as socialistic. Our Catholic forebears were not socialists, but as supporters of the social doctrine of the Church they were often radicals, and we have forgotten just how radical they were.

05 September, 2019

The Homeless

The issue of the homeless in society is starting to get more attention in the news in the United States. Unfortunately, I suspect that this is only because of the upcoming presidential election. It would be unfair to say that this issue gets no attention at other times, but it does seem to me that the level of attention has increased as a topic of interest for our federal elections. While any public attention to this issue is welcome - it is a real issue that needs to be addressed - it does seem that the form of attention and the ways of addressing it leave a lot to be desired. I think this is true from both a general perspective as well as a specifically distributist one.