John Grondelski

Humanae Vitae and Divine Providence

The Gospel for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 15) speaks of Jesus sending His Apostles out on a mission. It sounds a lot like what happens in seminaries in May or June: here are your “pastoral assignments” for the summer. X is going...

God Needs Prophets of Humanae Vitae — Will You Be One of Them?

The readings for the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time (July 8) focus on prophets. The text from Ezekiel tells us that, whether people listen or not has nothing to do with the truth of the prophet’s message. The Gospel contains the famous line about...

Thoughts on a Culture of Life

St. John Paul II introduced the terms “culture of life” and “culture of death” into Catholic parlance in the 1990s. He spoke of the “culture of life” when he attended the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver, whose theme was “I came that they might...

Only God Can Make a Tree

“The mustard seeds springs up and becomes the largest of plants, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” (Mark 4:31-32) The readings for the E

When a Kid Can Be a Kid

Kornel Makuszyński (1884-1953) was one of Poland’s beloved children’s authors during the interwar period. His comic series, Koziołek-Matołek [Matołek the Goat] was a much-beloved children’s classic that is still part of the canon of juvenile...

Easter and Christmas Have a Vital Connection

The First Reading for Easter Sunday was from Acts 10. It speaks of Peter’s vision at the house of Cornelius, thanks to which he ceases to apply the kosher rules to Gentile converts to Christianity (like Cornelius). Peter affirms, “God does not...

Why Seek Ye the Living in the Culture of Death?

The conquest of death as the “last enemy” is a promise the Old Testament already proposes: Isaiah speaks of Yahweh “swallowing up death forever” (25:7b), while Hosea’s God promises to “deliver this people from the power of the grave (13:14)....

Unity in Morals, Division in Faith?

A recent German book, written from a Christian ecumenical perspective about the ethical issues surrounding the beginnings of human life, quotes the view—commonplace in religiously-divided Germany—that even where Catholics and Protestants were...

The Fight Between St. Valentine’s Day and Lent

One of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s masterpieces (pictured above) is “The Fight between Carnival and Lent.” In the painting, the contending pulls of the village church and village inn are apparent. If you want to gauge how the cross-currents...