I Have a Confession to Make


The Confession by Guiseppe Molteni I have a confession to make. Years ago, before I converted to Catholicism, I harbored suspicion about the Catholic Sacrament of Confession (also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation). Now, let me be clear. As a Lutheran, I always believed in the importance of praying to God and asking for the forgiveness of my sins. That was simply "part of the Christian deal". God created us, loves us and passionately wants a relationship with us. Unfortunately, we … [Read more...]

Christ Child (A Poem for Christmas)


Nativity with Saints Francis & Lawrence by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio --------- Christ Child Did you know, little Child, The world that would receive you? Ill with Sin, Delirious with Pride, Desperate for Healing, But recoiling from Your touch. Of course, You did. Of course, You did. But for now, dear Child, Sleep. Be soothed by the cool winter wind And nurse from Mother Immaculate And rest under Father's watch. Tomorrow, You begin. But tonight - tonight - … [Read more...]

Why Stories Trump Statements


Suffer Little Children to Come Unto Me by Fritz von Uhde "A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is. You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate.” – Flannery O’ConnorEighteen years ago I fell madly in love. Her name was Cari. She had long, auburn hair, high cheekbones, dancing blue eyes and a smile that could light up the room. Her laugh was infectious, her demeanor poised, and her confide … [Read more...]

On Thomas Merton & Being Your Brother’s Keeper

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The First Mourning by William-Adolphe Bouguereau Then the Lord asked Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” - Genesis 4:9It was 1942, just after the Feast of the Visitation, that Thomas Merton received word. He was going to have a visitor. The two couldn't have been on more divergent paths. Thomas Merton was a novice aspiring to be a monk at Gethsemani, a Trappist monastery in Kentucky. His brother, John Paul, was a soldier preparing for … [Read more...]

The Wisdom of Dickens’ Second Ghost


 As the second Advent candle is lit and the days are advancing to Christmas, my nostalgia climbs to new peaks. My tendency at this time of year is to flee the winter chill by imagining myself wrapped in an overwarm blanket, nestled in an overstuffed chair perched before an overstocked fire (I say "imagining" because this vision rarely comes to fruition). Nonetheless, the ornaments have been hung, the nativity scene arranged and Vince Guaraldi alternates with Nat King Cole on the … [Read more...]

“One Day, Not Far Off ” – Advent & Liberation


"Christians used the word 'advent' to express their relationship with Jesus Christ: Jesus is the King who entered this poor 'province' called 'earth' to pay everyone a visit; he makes all those who believe in him participate in his Coming, all who believe in his presence in the liturgical assembly. The essential meaning of the word adventus was: God is here, he has not withdrawn from the world, he has not deserted us. Even if we cannot see and touch him as we can tangible realities, he is here … [Read more...]