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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him. He destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.

In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, in heaven and on earth.

(Ephesians 1:3-10)

Evangelical to emphasize the Gospel of Jesus Christ; Catholic to embody that emphasis.

Our purpose is to maintain a blog whose content is at once unabashedly Catholic and informed by faith as it is genuinely lived in the pastoral, spiritual, and social spheres. Identifying ourselves as neither conservative nor liberal in terms of doctrine, we seek to express a faith that is unhesitatingly Catholic, yet is willing to be enlightened and vivified by the faiths of other Christians and non-Christians alike.

It is our understanding that Catholic doctrine is grounded in the threefold authority of Scripture, Tradition and magisterium. Of these three elements, we accord a privilege and priority to Scripture as the sealed and recorded Word of God. Yet, along with the earliest Christians, we understand that Scripture is not read in a vacuum but within a living Tradition whose fullest expression is found in the context of the communal worship of the Liturgy. The leadership of the episcopacy in matters of orthodoxy and ortho-praxis, the magisterium, is conditioned by, and renders service to, Scripture and Tradition while providing the necessary guidance toward authentic Christian interpretation of these two authorities.

But our faith is not exhausted by its deference to this threefold authority. Doctrine and worship are but parts, albeit substantial ones, of faith. Faith is lived and is, therefore, informed and shaped by contingent factors such as geography, education, politics, social constructs–in a word, experience. These multifarious factors do not thereby create a loose confederation of Christians, but instead prompt even more awe before the mysterious communion effected through the Catholic Church. The touchstone of this communion is Jesus the Christ, from whom and in whom the reality of God’s love for humanity and the world is disclosed.

Indeed, if Christians take the Incarnation seriously, then they necessarily repudiate any separation between faith and works, spirituality and action, belief and reason, and piety and political participation. We do not and cannot separate Catholic doctrine from its lived expression in the concrete. But just as we ought to be on guard against the desecularization of our faith, we must respect the distinction between the natural and supernatural orders by avoiding conflation.  Accordingly, the content of this blog will range from the theological and, at times, the academic, to the level of devotion and ministry inside and outside Catholic circles, as well as to socio-political life. We hold that doctrine is hollow without spirituality and prayer that continually seek the face of God. We also hold that faith is dead without the outward expression of ministry to, and solidarity with, the least of Christ’s brethren. We understand the Catholic faith to be the indissoluble union of doctrine, praxis, and spirituality. This is the ideal. The actual putting into practice is a constant and nearly insurmountable challenge, one that none of us has had any sustained success in overcoming. Fortunately–or, perhaps more accurately put, providentially–grace perfects the failed works of human nature.

We invite comments from our visitors. Ours, we hope, is never the last word.

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