On Ebola, Uncertainty & Imperfection

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We crowded into a small room at my internal medicine clinic and looked at each other. Some decisions had to be made. Soon. We were charged to answer one fundamental question: What would we do if a patient suspected of having Ebola were to walk in our clinic door? As simple as it may seem, this is an incredibly complex question. It requires considering the well-being of the patient, the risk to other patients exposed to him (or her, but I will use him for simplification) in our waiting room, and t … [Read more...]

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Hilaire Belloc’s “The Four Men” – The First Day (On Hearing the Journey’s Call)

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"The Four Men is the greatest of books." - Fr. James Schall "Read anything of Belloc you can find, I doubt if it makes any difference what order." - Fr. James SchallOne of the greatest and most prolific Jesuit thinkers today is Fr. James Schall. And as a retired Georgetown professor,author of over thirty books and hundreds of essays, he is quite gifted at his craft. Moreover, he is also an extraordinary guide. Anyone who has not purchased, read and re-read his exceptional "syllabus" … [Read more...]

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What a Catholic Can Learn From Orwell, Churchill & Bruce Springsteen

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Recently, on my Instagram account (catholic thinker), I posted a quote by George Orwell that went something like this,"There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them."The quote seemed apropos for an issue of the day and it generated an expected number of "likes" before one honest (and earnest) Catholic observer noted, "Strange to see such an anti-Catholic writer being quoted here." This didn't seem to be a snarky comment so common to the subterranean trollers … [Read more...]

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Six Words That Explain The Catholic View of Death

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Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Remembering the Dead: Ancestors, Rituals, Relics. Read other perspectives here."Everything is going to be okay."These are the six words she said. And I believed her. Sharon Barrett has said this to me more than once since her husband (and my patient and friend), Dick, passed away last winter. "Everything is going to be okay." Perhaps these simple but confident words best epitomize the Catholic view of death. Before I … [Read more...]

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Churchill, Chamberlain & Why Leadership Matters

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Recently, thanks to Elizabeth Scalia's piece on Winston Churchill, I got to thinking. Leadership really matters. Seventy five years ago, on September 1st, the most destructive war in human history began. And it began with a strategy called "Lightning War". The German Army under the rabid leadership of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist state raced into and crushed the valiant, but overwhelmed Polish Army in a matter of weeks. Poland, trapped between the two unparalleled despotisms of … [Read more...]

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The Conversion of Evelyn Waugh & the Fine Art of Keeping One’s Head

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"The trouble about the world today is that there's not enough religion in it. There's nothing to stop young people doing whatever they feel like doing at the moment." - Evelyn WaughIt was an unexpected comment, to be sure. After all, it came from the vogue British novelist who penned the wildly popular satires Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies. But perhaps the occasion on which he chose to say this would excuse that which he said. He was announcing his divorce to his brother. His wife of ba … [Read more...]

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