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Marie Meaney

Some Reflections on the Spirit of Poverty

Aug. 22, 2013, at 10:34am

Not many are called to a voluntary life of absolute poverty such as St Francis of Assisi, or Mother Teresa and her sisters.  However, everybody is called to be in some respect poor with the poor in order to exercise true caritas on which, after all, we will be judged (Christ tells those who fed, clothed or helped him in some way in the poor, that they will go to Heaven,  while those who didn’t, are cast out). How are we supposed to reach the hungry, thirsty, the suffering, the psychologically wounded, and feed their hearts rather than just their bodies, if we are unable to meet them where they are?  The poor, of course, are not merely those who are in material want, but all those who are

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Devra Torres

Worse than a Nanny State

Apr. 18, 2013, at 9:30pm

To say that fiscal policy is not my forte is—let’s put it nicely— an understatement.  (In fact, I chose this graph because it was so pretty.)  But there is an important personalist point to be made about it anyway, and maybe I can express it in a way that other liberal-arts types can understand.

Many labor under a perceived conflict between taking seriously the Church’s concern for the poor, on the one hand, and treasuring the rights of the individual, including the taxpayer and entrepreneur, on the other.  The “social justice Catholics” object to neglecting the poor in the name of the economic freedoms of people who could help them. Small-government advocates object to a state that

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Devra Torres

Of Charisms and Comfort Zones

Apr. 2, 2013, at 8:30pm

We all saw it coming. 

On learning that Pope Francis rode the subway and cooked his own meals, we were charmed.  When he preferred to skip cuff links and stoles,

we were still delighted—or most of us were.  When he stopped by his hotel to pay his bill, called up the local kiosk owner to cancel his paper, and held a mass for garbage collectors, everybody cheered. 

Some have already been put off by one gesture or another, and more will surely follow suit as this (very wholesome) Papaphoria diminishes. 

When it came out, for example, that he had asked his countrymen

 to stay home from his installation and give the money to the poor, not the airlines, that sounded noble.  Even his immediate

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Devra Torres

Procreation and Human Dignity in the Philippines, or What About the Hard Cases?

May. 3, 2012, at 1:59am

Today, I'd like to open a can of worms.  I hope we'll all still be on speaking terms by the time we're done.  But they're important worms.

Last week, I tried to articulate a more personalist take on pronatalism--not, of course, that everyone must have as many children as biologically possible (cf. Catholic Teaching 101), but rather that we shouldn't go around blithely judging that this one or that one should never have been born.

I stand by everything I said about the value of those who happen to be their parents' umpteenth-born, or poor, or don't seem likely to offer the world a lot of entertainment value or marketable skills.  Happy pictures of my own very jolly eighth child, and the

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