Schooling people in the ways of ongoing discernment produces a greater receptivity to the tradition of the church and at the same time creates the freedom that will make them more responsive to the will of God throughout their lives.
The open and generous nature of the American people has the capacity to astonish and push boundaries. We crowdfund, sign petitions, dump buckets of ice on ourselves, and embrace new ways of relating to our environment.
I always tell myself... that the faith I have is a gift, so I shouldn't take that for granted. And so when people are struggling and feel they have no faith at all, I shouldn't say, 'Well, it's their fault.'
I did my doctoral dissertation on the lectionary readings that we use at mass and how you have biblical texts that have been taken out of their original Bible context and put together for mass, and now they form a new text. Out of that new text, there is an interplay of new meaning.
People are looking for a way in which their spiritual life can be deepened. They are finding it in some of our Catholic parishes and sometimes not in others, and that opens the door for them to go elsewhere.
I try to be sensitive to the power of language, to the power of language that God uses to reveal something about what Christ is doing in our time. That is why I'm always excited about preaching, because there is always something new.
If we create a framework for decision-making that is biased toward life, supportive of families, and fair to people of all circumstances, our policies, legislation, and commercial decisions will be vastly different.
Voting for a candidate solely because of that candidate's support for abortion or against him or her solely on the basis of his or her race is to promote an intrinsic evil. To do so consciously is indeed sinful. That is behavior incompatible with being a Christian.
Some of the greatest Christians I know are people who don't actually have a kind of faith system that they believe in. But, in their activity, the way they conduct themselves, there's a goodness there.
I believe the assertion that every human life has an inherent and inalienable value will only be strengthened if we apply this principle to the morality of defending both convicted criminals and the lives of the unborn.