Opinion From Herald columnists and readers


September 1, 2017  |  By ROB FAUGHNAN
My favorite part of all of the Star Wars movies is when Luke Skywalker fights Darth Vader in a seemingly endless battle in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Luke ultimately loses this battle, along with his hand. He also loses something far more intimate and valuable: his personal story. With the news that Darth Vader is his father, he realizes that his identity is not what he thought. Defeated, Luke lets go and allows himself to fall to his own death.
September 1, 2017  |  By BISHOP ROBERT BARRON
I vividly remember my first visit to Charlottesville, Virginia.  It was about 20 years ago, and I was on vacation with a good friend, who shared with me a passion for American history and for Thomas Jefferson in particular.
August 18, 2017  |  By FATHER TAD PACHOLCZYK
Couples who struggle to get pregnant are turning with greater frequency to the in vitro fertilization (IVF) industry for assistance. In some cases, they can end up feeling they are “too pregnant” when twins, triplets or quads arise.
August 18, 2017  |  By ANDY BARTON
A recent study, paid for by a cannabis advocacy group, is touting the positive economic impact of legal marijuana in Colorado. The group’s goal is to convince voters in cities like Colorado Springs to allow for the recreational sale of the drug. There are smart, thoughtful people on both sides of this debate and perhaps even more who do not give it much thought. Yet, from a Catholic perspective as well as that of an agency working on the front lines with our poor and homeless, it is clear that legalizing marijuana is bad for our community, and it is particularly bad for those we serve.

THE CATHOLIC REVIEW: Better or Bitter?

Suffering as a Redemptive and Transformative Experience
August 18, 2017  |  By DEACON RICK BAUER

The mettle of our spiritual life is proven not during the times of great joy or spiritual conversion, but more often we find our greatest maturity in times of suffering. Such was true in the life of St. Paul, but like us, he realized the ultimate purpose of his trials only afterwards, through the insights of life’s rear-view mirror, as he writes to the church in Corinth:

And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7–10 (RSV2CE)

August 18, 2017  |  By ROB FAUGHNAN
In 1994, I was 16 and I was sent on a “mission trip” to the Philippines with 20 or so other youth from an evangelical church. We were going to save the Filipinos one city at a time. I remember the plane ride being interminable; no matter how many movies I’d watch or how often I checked the seatback GPS, we never seemed to leave the Pacific Ocean. Finally we arrived to Osaka, a layover before Manila
August 4, 2017  |  By BISHOP ROBERT BARRON
I write these words from the Nuremore Hotel in Monaghan, Ireland, where I am conducting a retreat for the good priests of the Dublin Archdiocese. As I look out at these men, I am reminded of so many of my own relatives on both sides of my family (“Gosh, he looks like Uncle Charlie” and “That one is the spitting image of my cousin Terry”), for I am Irish all the way through. Many of the priests who are making the retreat are retired, and it is edifying to see so many who have bravely borne the heat of the day. Do say a prayer for them.
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