Coming Down to Earth

  • Why They Hate Pro-Lifers So

    By Michael Novak on August 19, 2015
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    The pro-life argument is overpoweringly clear to me. But in argument against supporters of legalized abortion, I was always puzzled because I could not grasp their reasons. Maybe they didn’t understand their own reasons, either. I seldom heard reasons for their point of view, but far more often intense emotional blasts. “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!”
  • On Loving Karen

    By Michael Novak on August 12, 2015
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    My dear Karen died of a hard-fought cancer on August 12, 2009. I wrote the following verse a few months later. Reprinted from All Nature Is a Sacramental Fire (St. Augustine’s Press, 2011).
  • Ave Maria at the Beach

    By Michael Novak on August 5, 2015
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    For the last three summers, I have been very lucky to hire students from Ave Maria University to help me finish some writing, pack up boxes of books, arrange my papers, clear out the beach house and give things to various charities, and the like. I hope they forgive me for calling them “the kids,” but when they are with me, that is how I feel about them. They seem like my own grandchildren.
  • Welcome to America, Pope Francis!

    By Michael Novak on July 29, 2015
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    The first pope to visit the United States was Paul VI in October 1965, just before the close of Vatican II. Pope John Paul II during his long reign visited seven times. And Benedict came in 2008. So there is already a tradition of popes getting to know our country. Welcome to America, Pope Francis! We’re eager to hear what you have to say
  • Papal Humility

    By Michael Novak on July 15, 2015
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    "On his way from Paraguay back to Rome recently, Pope Francis showed signs of personal humility, directly in front of the world’s press, that must be unrivaled in papal history."
  • Blue Environmentalism

    By Michael Novak on July 14, 2015
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    In view of the new encyclical of Pope Francis, Michael Novak revisits the idea of “Blue Environmentalism” in a short series adapted from some 2003 writings.
  • Blue Environmentalism – Part Three

    By Michael Novak on July 8, 2015
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    Liberty releases the eminently realizable hope of bringing every woman, man, and child into the circle of universal affluence, which this planet has been fashioned to support. As Francis affirms in Laudato Si’ (93-95, 158), following his predecessors Benedict and John Paul II, the goods of the earth have been given a universal destination, and that destination is the freeing of everyone on earth from the prison of poverty. Freedom, too, has its own ecology. Blue Environmentalism cherishes the ecology of liberty.
  • Blue Environmentalism – Part Two

    By Michael Novak on July 1, 2015
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    "'By the word of the Lord the heavens were made' (Ps 33:6). This tells us that the world came about as the result of a decision, not from chaos or chance, and this exalts it all the more. The creating word expresses a free choice. The universe did not emerge as the result of arbitrary omnipotence, a show of force or a desire for self-assertion. Creation is of the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things: “For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it” (Wis 11:24). Every creature is thus the object of the Father’s tenderness, who gives it its place in the world. (Laudato Si’, 77)"
  • Blue Environmentalism – Part One

    By Michael Novak on June 24, 2015
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    In view of the new encyclical of Pope Francis, Michael Novak revisits the idea of “Blue Environmentalism" in a short series adapted from some 2003 writings. "The crucial insight, of which Pope Francis reminds us, is that nature is meant for man, not man for nature. Human beings are made by their unique endowment of liberty to be provident over their own destiny. One important way to exercise this providence is to take care not to foul our habitat."
  • Millennia of Experience Matter

    By Michael Novak on June 17, 2015
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    One of the things I like best about the Catholic intellectual tradition is that, having passed through the storms of so many diverse cultures, it has picked up along the way a very rich vocabulary for discussing even humble matters. For instance, the Latin word (from a Greek root) caritas. What the word gives in the original is the name for the love proper only to God, white-hot and outward-going. It means the very energy that (as Dante put it) “moves the sun and other stars.” The primal energy of the universe. The energy that moves the world forward toward the good of each created thing in it. Especially human persons, the best images of God in all creation.

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