What Joy of Living? A “Wonderful Feeling” or the Fullness of Action?

By Laetitia Calmeyn|2024-02-05T18:10:00+01:0023 May 2023|Action, Affectivity, Bioethics, Human Life Issues, Image of God, Marriage and Family|

“A wonderful feeling” is the expression found in number 1 of the basic text of the Pontifical Academy for Life, entitled “A Theological Ethics of Life” published in 2022. The document includes several examples of experiences of joy to introduce an ethic of life. But what joy and what life are we talking about? While it is obviously legitimate to experience joy also through feelings, Christian joy cannot be reduced to a feeling. How can joy be a criterion for developing an ethic of life? We will first take up the notions of “life” and “joy” from a theological and biblical perspective so as to extract from them some criteria for discernment also to relate to certain questions addressed in the document of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

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Pope Benedict XVI: A Father and a Teacher

By Livio Melina|2024-03-04T10:04:24+01:008 January 2023|Anthropology, Benedict XVI, Church, Freedom, Image of God, Marriage and Family, Modernity|

I would like to offer my testimony regarding Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI, drawing from my personal experience. “What can I do for you? What can I do for all of you?” were the words with which, on August 1, 2019, he welcomed me to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Thus began a series of personal meetings, seven to be precise, until January 2020, together with a correspondence that continued until his death.

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An Evangelizing Pastoral Ministry and the Truth of Love

By Luis Granados|2024-02-05T17:56:25+01:006 November 2022|Affectivity, Church, Jesus Christ, Marriage and Family, Sacraments, The Twelve Theses, Twelve Theses|

As Pope Francis points out, a true pastoral and missionary conversion is urgently needed. In order to offer an accurate assessment of the present situation of the Church’s pastoral ministry, and to offer an effective proposal for renewal, it is necessary to consider first of all the pastoral care of Christ, the Good Shepherd. We will take Jesus’ dialogue with the Samaritan woman as our inspiration. We hope to show that for the grace of Christ to illuminate and transform our hearts and societies, we need an evangelizing pastoral care rooted in the truth of love. What was Jesus’ pastoral approach when addressing the Samaritan woman? The Lord “addressed her desire for true love, in order to free her from the darkness in her life and to bring her to the full joy of the Gospel” (Amoris Laetitia, n. 294). In this key passage of St. John’s Gospel, the truth of love is presented as an indispensable element and the guiding thread of Jesus’ pastoral ministry.

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Surrogacy and the Desire to Have Children – A Preface

By Stephan Kampowski|2024-03-04T10:05:30+01:0027 June 2022|Bioethics, Body, Human Life Issues, Marriage and Family, Motherhood, Sexuality, Uncategorized, Virtue|

Mater semper certa est. Contrary to the father, the mother is always certain. On account of technological progress, this old Roman adage has lost some of its obviousness. Particularly with the advent of surrogacy, one must now distinguish different aspects of motherhood that were once necessarily united. To answer the seemingly simple question, “Who is my mother?”, today some may find themselves in the situation of having to name up to four or five different women. The question about one’s origin becomes complicated, to the point of becoming almost absurd and unanswerable. History has always known wayward fathers. Until recently, the mother, at least, has been a haven of security, a figure of unconditional acceptance, an assurance of unconditional love within the limits of all things human. What effect will it have on human beings if they become unable to say with any significant clarity who their mother is? Might we approach a society in which the very word “mother” starts losing its meaning?

Man and Woman He Created Them: The Language of the Body, the Language of Love

By Oana Maria Goţia|2024-03-04T11:56:08+01:0016 October 2021|Affectivity, Body, Creation, John Paul II, Love, Marriage and Family, Sexuality, The Twelve Theses, Twelve Theses|

What is our body? Who is our body? In the light of the John Paul II’s Catecheses on human love, one comes to see that the body is the epiphany of our person: made in the image of God, redeemed by Christ and called to find its full meaning in the total gift of self. And, as God never ceases to pour His love unto us, we thus receive, in Christ, a new measure of human love, that we were eternally destined to receive: to be capable of loving one another with the very same love of our Redeemer.

Wheresoever She Was There Was Eden—Introduction to Mark Twain’s “Diaries of Adam and Eve”

By Stephan Kampowski|2024-02-05T21:24:57+01:0019 September 2021|Affectivity, Anthropology, Love, Marriage and Family|

The two stories collected in "Diarios de Adán y Eva" by Mark Twain were written in 1893 and 1905 respectively. Although there is more than ten years difference in their composition, Twain thought it most appropriate to publish them together because of their obvious connections. This first occurred in 1906 in the collection of short stories entitled "The $30 000 Bequest." For Twain Eden is not a place but a person. As the author of the Letter to the Ephesians suggests, husband and wife are meant to be for each other signs of this Person, who is heaven (cf. Eph 5:31-32). Mark Twain stopped at the sign, seeking salvation in human love without connecting it to divine love. But in turning to the sign, he inevitably, perhaps in spite of himself, also touched the greater reality, for which the love of the two is a sacrament: an efficacious sign that already mysteriously contains the reality it signifies.

Review: Matthew Levering, Engaging the Doctrine of Marriage, Cascade Books, Oregon 2020

By Stefan Kaminski|2024-03-04T10:58:44+01:0025 August 2021|Book Reviews, Marriage and Family, Sacraments|

Levering has produced a volume rich in breadth, in source material and in themes. Each chapter achieves three things: a retrieval of important source material; an engagement with contemporary theology (critics included); and a clear endpoint for earthly marriage as an image of the mystical marriage. The book’s clear, eschatological focus is a powerful and needed reminder in the face of a loss of faith, and its content an invaluable resource.

Sexual Difference: The Path to Generative Communion

By Alberto Frigerio|2024-02-05T17:23:39+01:001 August 2021|Anthropology, Body, Marriage and Family, The Twelve Theses|

The biological and psychological sciences attest to the existence of difference between male and female. What is needed now is not continually to repeat this as if it were an obvious truism, but a philosophical and theological reflection in order to develop the necessary conceptual tools for demonstrating its anthropological meaning.

The Family After COVID-19: Family Relationships in the Age of Non-Contact

By Livio Melina|2024-03-04T11:01:33+01:0029 May 2021|Affectivity, COVID-19, Love, Marriage and Family|

The pandemic obstructs our breathing, not only physiologically through the sometimes-lethal effects of the COVID-19 viral disease, but also socially and humanly through the fear provoked by social isolation. ... The family is the place where we can begin to breathe again, within those foundational relationships that give us identity and reveal our role in the world, generating new social relationships.

The Creator’s Blessing

By José Granados|2024-03-04T11:04:00+01:009 May 2021|Creation, Love, Marriage and Family|

Regarding the response of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the possibility of blessing same-sex unions "We can conclude that what is at stake in this debate is Christian hope itself, which passes through the generative capacity of the flesh. Today the Church and society need this hope more than ever."

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