U.S. Catholic

This magazine publishes news, opinions and reviews about issues concerning the everyday lives of Catholics.

Articles from Vol. 71, No. 3, March

Border Guardian: In Telling the Story of Immigrants, a Filmmaker Finds Divine Inspiration
"WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW" IS ANY good English teacher's advice. So when John Carlos Frey decided to write a screenplay, it was only natural that the subject matter be the U.S.-Mexico border, a not-so-invisible line that lies less than 100 yards from...
Childish Things
James McMurtry (Compadre Records, 2005) Like his father, novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Brokeback Mountain), singer-songwriter James McMurtry tells stories of small prairie towns and the lives they hold. James does it in...
Does It Pay to Work for the Church? Laypeople Who Make a Living the Church Love What They Do-But Don't Always Love the Pay
Since the beginning Christian leaders have taken these words of Jesus quite literally: "Rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in heaven" (Matt. 5:12). If you worked for the church, you were expected to defray the greater part of your earnings...
Do like the Animals Do: We Might Have an Easier Time Keeping to the Straight and Narrow If We Just Followed Our More Basic Instincts
YOU'LL PROBABLY NEVER HEAR A WORD IN CHURCH about Balaam's ass, and more's the pity. Although the ass is not the only significant animal in scripture, it's the only one with a speaking part. That's more than some apostles got, so maybe it's worth our...
Drawing on Faith: A Friend's Scribbled Crosses Illustrate the Difficult Road to Easter Hope
Every so often my wife Ann, or I will keep a greeting card we receive: a special birthday or anniversary card from a dear friend, a handmade card from one of our nephews, or a card that is uniquely beautiful or touching. Some cards are displayed on...
General Comments
As a daily communicant, I am in the habit of examining my conscience frequently and have had to lighten up on myself and others through the years. Learning to love others and myself no matter what! Joan Hochmuth Salisbury, Md. I don't feel...
Good News in the Mission Field: An Interview with Father Joseph Maria Abella, C.M.F
Over the past half-century the Catholic approach to mission has shifted dramatically. Today's Catholic missionaries continue to proclaim the Good News, but most do so in a far more open and respectful encounter and dialogue with the cultures and people...
If Lent Is 40 Days, Why Are There 46 Days between Ash Wednesday and Easter?
"The 40 days of Lent" has always been more of a metaphor than a literal count. Over the course of history the season of preparation for Easter Sunday has ranged from one day (in the first century) to 44 (today in the Roman church). Officially since...
Innocents Lost: Despite the Grandiose Rhetoric, Millions of the World's Children Remain Left Behind
THE "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" ACT CELEBRATED ITS fourth anniversary in January with only minor pomp as President Bush starred in a lackluster photo-op at a Maryland public school. Could be the understated event signaled the president's reluctant acknowledgement...
Kite Rite: Looking for a Good Metaphor for the Spiritual Journey This Lent and Easter? Go Fly a Kite!
KITE-FLYING IS A VENERABLE SPRING TRADITION, but in our family it also has religious significance. Every Easter, after the last egg is found and church clothes are hung, our family gathers kites, tails, and string and heads to the nearest open field....
Limbo Rocks!
Ask some people today about limbo, and shimmying under a broomstick comes to mind. But for those steeped in the extraordinary mechanisms and machinations of pre-Vatican II theology, limbo is kind of an outer precinct of heaven, close but not quite...
Put Me in, Coach! Instead of Monday Morning Quarterbacking, This Catholic Decides It's Time for Him-And Us-To Jump in and Play
MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN ICE SKATING or gymnastics judge because at the end of Mass I often feel like raising little boards with scores: The music selection was good but the cantor sang too high for me, so I'll give it an 8; the ushers were very...
Spirituality Cafe
"Just as the fish lives and moves and has its being in the water, without needing to know what water is or where it comes from, just as the bird flies through the air without needing to know how it is held, and propelled, by this invisible reality,...
Tactical Terror: Americans Should Take a Lesson from the Past. in Munich, Steven Spielberg Shows How a War on Terror Can Backfire
MORE THAN FOUR YEARS AFTER 9/11 AND THREE years into the war in Iraq, the patriotism and certitude that fueled our country's preemptive attack on Saddam Hussein's regime has dissipated somewhat. Americans have less confidence in the president and the...
The State of Sin: With Lent's Springtime Arrival, We Asked U.S. Catholic Readers What They're Thinking about the Perennial Weeds in Their Spiritual Gardens
WHAT DO CATHOLICS THINK ABOUT SIN? Depends on whom you ask, a U.S. CATHOLIC Reader Survey on sin shows. But one thing many respondents agree on: Sin ain't what it used to be! "What a sin is has changed in my mind as I have grown older," says Joann...
War Correspondent
This month marks the third anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. In some ways it's hard to believe that it's been that long, and in other ways it seems as if it's been going on forever. Reading the news from Iraq each day requires an extra measure...