As a parent, I have a ton of things that I want to teach my children. I want to give them the skills and values that I believe will help them grow into healthy, well-adjusted members of society. Resilience is one of those skills.Read Article
One of the great tragedies of the American educational system is the way that it compartmentalizes learning. Learning and education, so it suggests, can only happen in a specific place and in a specific way. Thus, students must be in a classroom with books and a teacher in order for learning to happen. The problem is not so much the standardized format of instruction, but rather the subtle message that it sends.Read Article
Learning is a life-long pursuit and chances are, at one point or another, you’re going to sign up for some program of study in your adult life. You may be working on a degree, certificate, training program, leadership/management program, new job training, or even just taking up a hobby. The task of undergoing schooling so many years after you completed your last phase of education can be daunting. Yet, it’s a challenge worth taking on.Read Article
We live in a society that doesn't read. In 2013 a quarter of Americans didn’t read a single book
. Ouch. What a waste. (Author’s Note:
It’s interesting that the median number of books was age and community agnostic, but not income agnostic!)Read Article
If you have a question about what the Church teaches, just go read the documents. Start with the Catechism
and then go and read supporting documents. There's no need to be confused or lost in ambiguity. There’s no need to hem and haw about what She says or teaches. The Church is an open book for anyone, Catholic or otherwise, to understand why She teaches what She does.
Online news is both a blessing and a curse. You can get up-to-the minute updates, but oftentimes the initial reporting is wrong. You can read stories from across the country and around the world, yet the stories are usually filtered depending on the bias of a particular news organization. Perhaps the worst part about online news sources is that the vast, vast majority of content is simply republished content from another source.Read Article
Last December, during one of our regular visits to my parent's house, my dad handed me a book of his to read. This happens from time to time; a book that he got a great deal out of will end up in my temporary library to enjoy. Since I've committed to a habit of regular reading this year, my book queue is able to take on these random offerings. The latest book he recommended to me was What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense by Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, and Robert George. Published in 2012, Drs. Anderson, George, and doctoral candidate Girgis lay out a reasoned, logical, and thoughtful argument for what has been termed "traditional marriage," for the sake of this article and blog, we’ll just call it marriage.
Reading this book, I was profoundly struck by many aspects of the work, from the approach to the solid logic. In 97 pages, these authors succinctly laid out a defense of marriage without any dependance on any particular religion, rather, by relying on philosophy, logic, and social science. Unlike most of the "arguments" on marriage today and the op-eds with pseudo-logical arguments that devolve into nothing more than attacks ad hominum, against the man, What is Marriage? refuses to lower itself to this new low of public discourse. Instead, the work argues for marriage against all attempts to revise its definition, not merely against any one person or revisionist viewpoint.
The authors point out one of the reasons why it seems that arguments for marriage are much weaker to the public than those arguing for a revisionist view of marriage. Astoundingly, marriage can be found in every culture in an almost identical framework, regardless of religion or political structure of a society and culture. As such, there hasn't been a need, even until the past three decades of the human experience, to develop a cogent argument for it's benefits since they were completely self-evident. Marriage provided stability for children, growth for society, and pressure for men to help with the raising of children they have begotten. However, as challenges to marriage have recently arisen, the need to articulate the unique properties of marriage has become urgent.
This book isn't about same-sex "marriage.” In fact, it spends almost no time at all discussing the issue. Instead, as the title suggests, it reviews the basic question of "What is Marriage?" It goes over the fundamental aspects of what makes a marriage, including the organic bodily union (sex), its permanence as a stabilizing factor, and a complete rejection of the notion that marriage is based solely on intensity of emotion. It also views the consequences of a legal implementation of a revisionist view of marriage which eerily mirrors the warnings of Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae against contraception, all of which have come to pass.
While this book provides the most cogent and well researched argument for marriage, on either side of the issue, I found that it isn't simply a scholarly work designed to rebuff poor logic. Reading it, I found myself inspired in my vocation and further in awe of the Sacramental marriage that I entered into with Alison. I saw my role as husband and father to be more unique and more sublime. By examining the philosophical underpinnings of marriage, and relating them to the experiences of people in every culture throughout time, I found a deeper sense of satisfaction as being a part of the institution of marriage. I better understood my role in society and the value of the support that I lend to Alison in raising Benedict.
What Is Marriage? is about more than defending an argument, it's about affirming and educating married people. It helps us to more deeply understand what our marriage truly is, why the organic bodily union is so important, and how we're helping to build our society. It will also help you teach your kids why marriage is different and what it takes to have a great marriage.
I highly recommend you pick up a copy of What is Marriage? This book will affirm you, it will inform you, and it will help you grow in your marriage. Sadly, we've stopped putting a premium on logic in debate, but this book will show you how rich and powerful sound logic can truly be.
Since late last summer, I’ve had a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. It’s my first newspaper subscription, having before gotten the majority of news from websites. I must say, there have been a lot of unexpected difference in the print news as opposed to digital news. I’ve grown to hate 24 hour news networks.Read Article
A routine is perhaps the greatest tool in the toolbox of parenting. Kids do wonderfully with routines. Not only do they provide consistency, but they give cues to kids about how they should behave. Routines also help parents manage the dozens of tasks that come with caring for and raising children. A routine helps a parent make major decisions once and simply manage them daily.Read Article
I've recently started working on a family genealogy project. In the past, I hadn't much cared about my family's history beyond my grandparents, but lately I've become fascinated with our family's story. I'm basing all of my research around Benedict as the starting person and am excited about the journey that this is taking me on. While many of the discoveries have been very exciting, I've noticed something else that's rather tragic. In keeping with what I suspect is par for the course today, in the last 115 years, it's nearly impossible to find any branch of my family within two generations that hasn't been touched by divorce.Read Article
Last Fall, Alison, Benedict, and I traveled to my cousin's wedding. While there, I saw one of those ubiquitous Catholic media CD displays in the back of the Church. A talk by Matthew Kelly caught my eye, so I picked up a copy knowing how much my sister enjoys his work. Alison and I listened on the drive home and something really stood out to me as Matthew was talking about what he thought our particular judgement would be like. He mused that God would ask us, "Did you read My book?"Read Article
There are limitless ways for us to use our free time during the day, but most activities leave us feeling empty. Watching a TV show can be entertaining in the moment, but when the moment has passed, it's plain to see that nothing really impacted you during the previous half hour. The plot may have been captivating and some of the lines may have even elicited laughs during the broadcast. Yet, once the credits start rolling, you're back to your life right where you were before you started watching.Read Article
Last week, we celebrated Catholic Schools Week. While this post would've been much more appropriate had I posted it then, the editorial calendar simply wouldn't permit it. I would still like to share some thoughts about Catholic Schools in America and the role that they had in forming me.Read Article
Today marks both a sobering anniversary and a special anniversary. Today is the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that ushered in a new era of misnomers in healthcare and encouraged a culture that viewed children as the ultimate burden, as opposed to the ultimate blessing.Read Article
The average age of newlyweds is climbing in the United States. More and more young couples are delaying marriage for a significant period of time. It’s a troubling trend, but why are young people actively avoiding tying the knot?Read Article
Every day, everywhere that we go, we have the opportunity to show those around us what it means to be married. By our words and our deeds we implicitly share our experience of marriage with the world. What that means is that we have the opportunity to show how wonderful it is, or to witness poorly to it.Read Article
When we’re learning to drive, our instructors teach us how to pass the test, not how to drive well. There are many things that are like that in our world. In school, we’re taught to pass the test, not master the materials. So when we finish our education, we’ve learned a set of facts, not how to pursue lifelong learning.Read Article