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Our Living Standards Are Not a “Given.” They Are a Gift We Owe to Commerce and Production.

It’s an odd fact of the human condition that we take extraordinary things for granted. As soon as a good thing becomes commonplace, we assume that its presence is just the ordinary state of affairs, and we forget to be grateful for it. On the other hand, the loss of a good thing often causes us to appreciate it anew. This may never be more true than when your air conditioner goes out right before summer hits in Texas.

Recently, my central AC unit stopped blowing cold air. Being springtime in Houston, this was a big deal that was going to get bigger very rapidly as summer began to swelter. I did some preliminary tests, and determined that the compressor was dead. I could have replaced the compressor and extended the life of the rest of the unit, but since the whole system was pushing 20 years old I decided it would be a better investment to chuck it all out and start from scratch.

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Why So Many People Don’t Want to Believe in the Resurrection

“Now if Christ be preached, that he arose again from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again. And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain: and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-14)

 

These words of St. Paul in his first letter to the Church at Corinth get straight to the point. If Christ did not physically rise from the dead, then our religion is vain. He did not have in mind “vanity” in the sense of being excessively proud about one’s appearance, but vanity in the sense of the Preacher of Ecclesiastes: “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

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This is How You Can Become a Saint

“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?” (Luke 5:4)

These words of Our Lord, drawn from the Gospel reading for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, reveal both profound truths about God’s heart — the Sacred Heart — and deeply practical wisdom for our daily life and work.

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The Heartfelt Logic of Mercy: A Prerequisite for Being Christian

“I’m not quite sure how to say this, but I think you’re crazy.” These words were directed to me by a friend I hold in high esteem.

“I respect your right to your own thoughts,” he continued, “but if you ask me, the man’s a serial offender. What he did is unforgivable.”

He was expressing his sincere bafflement at the fact that I have taken upon myself the task of corresponding with and evangelizing the man who murdered my sister more than 20 years ago.

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International Trade Refutes Hobbes’ Theory about the State of Nature

Man in the Jungle

One of the most oft-quoted rationales for the existence of the state is that it ensures peaceful commerce. We are told that without the state acting as “referee” in our commercial lives, there would be an abundance of fraud, contractual defaults, and an atmosphere generally unconducive to a flourishing marketplace.

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St. Thomas Aquinas for Beginners

“We exhort you, venerable brethren, in all earnestness to restore the golden wisdom of St. Thomas, and to spread it far and wide for the defense and beauty of the Catholic faith, for the good of society, and for the advantage of all the sciences.”

These words of Leo XIII are no less certain today than when the Holy Father promulgated them 150 years ago. Indeed, while the neo-scholastic revival flourished for several decades in the wake of Leo’s encyclical Aeterni Patris, the “golden wisdom” of the Angelic Doctor has been conspicuously absent from many Catholic schools and even seminaries in the decades following the Second Vatican Council.

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How I Learned to Love My Sister’s Murderer

I never thought I would be telling this story publicly — let alone living it. I pray that it may speak to your heart on this Gaudete Sunday, the Sunday of Rejoicing.

My sister Laura was abducted and murdered in 1997 by a serial rapist and murderer. I was 9 years old at the time, and Laura was about to turn 13.