Why Peyton Matters

 Peyton Manning “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (attrib.) Two years ago, I found myself writing a piece about Peyton Manning…and my wife (Regarding My Wife & Peyton Manning). No, no. It wasn’t some salacious scandal piece (perhaps to the chagrin of a frustrated Patriot fan), but rather a story of how I became a fan of the Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton… Read more

Thomas Merton & “the Most Remarkable People He Ever Knew”

  The Village Church by Benjamin Williams Leader   He considered them “among the most remarkable people I ever knew.” And he met them when he was just twelve. The Privats came into Thomas Merton’s life by chance.  Merton’s father was a widower and itinerant artist. His most recent wanderings landed him in Murat, the rustic, mountainous terrain of central France. And the Privat’s small home was nestled where lush valleys kissed fir tree-lined foothills. As his father found himself in various… Read more

What This Catholic Dad Saw at Star Wars

Note: This piece may contain spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Let me start by saying this: Ostensibly, I was seeing this movie for my kids. Ostensibly, my wife and I were going to scope out the new Star Wars movie to decide if it would be appropriate for our daughters to see in the theater. Ostensibly. But let’s be honest. When I sat in those cushy seats (what have become wide recliners in a stadium seating set-up unlike the cramped… Read more

Jacob Marley & Me

Marley’s Ghost by John Leech   I know, I know. The Christmas season is winding down (to be exact, Christmas officially ends January 10 on the Liturgical Calendar), but there is something that has continued to haunt me. Jacob Marley. Let me explain. Every year during Advent, I try to read Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol. I realize that, for some, the story may seem all too familiar, if not a little tired. After all, countless Scrooges ranging from Seymour Hicks or… Read more

The Mary of Christmas & the Mary of Good Friday – What I Learned From the Mother of Christ

Virgin Mary by El Greco It happened on Good Friday. I was sitting with my family at our parish’s annual Living Stations of the Cross. As one punishing station succeeded another, Christ was soon collapsing under the burden of the cross and the stripes of his scourging. And then it happened. I finally understood Mary. Approaching her son – the Christ, for sure, the Prince of Peace, the King of the Universe, the Word Incarnate, but still her son -… Read more

“Let’s Start at the Very Beginning” – The Advent Message I Missed in “The Sound of Music”

  Their eyes were wide. But I wanted to make an impact. So I overwhelmed them with a ton of books.  Let me explain. For several years, my Catholic parish asked my to convene a series of discussions with high school juniors and seniors (recently Confirmed in tenth grade) on how to cultivate their Catholic Faith. I focused on topics such as Dignity, Calling, Suffering and Grace. The discussions were open, honest, wide-ranging and rooted in Scripture, Church documents and… Read more

John the Baptist & the Hard Truth About Advent

 John (the Baptist) in the Wilderness by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio He was fierce. Wild, even. And yet, he was strikingly lucid. Oh, he could scare a person. Especially if he made eye contact with you from across the crowd. If he shook his rough hewn staff at you and uttered those words that cut to the core of your complacency, he could scare you. Because what he said was true. John the Baptist didn’t come to win friends. He… Read more

“This Night Must Lead to Light”: Father Delp, the Nazis & Advent

He rubbed his wrists. It couldn’t be helped. The manacles had been on since Father Alfred Delp’s arrest and the hard-edged steel bit into his flesh. Constantly. It was a special torture for all “conspirators” implicated in the July 20th (1944) Plot against the Fuhrer. But Father Delp wasn’t a conspirator. He had been asked as a Jesuit and sociology expert to meet with Count Helmuth James Graf von Moltke and a circle of German citizens (later dubbed the Kreisau… Read more

The Most Arrogant Coronation

  It was extraordinary. In 1804, under the vaulted, holy arches of France’s finest cathedral, a coronation was about to take place. Hundreds of choristers and orchestral members nervously found their way to tightly packed quarters and prepared to offer triumphant strains of glory to their sovereign. Notables from innumerable governmental and cultural institutions as well as foreign diplomats arrived in their finery to witness the momentous event. And the military tramped in to lend a sense of order and… Read more

God Protect France

    It was a dark time. October, 1940. The French colossus of Napoleon and the proud juggernaut of the Great War had succumbed to the Nazi Blitzkrieg in June of 1940. Now, four months later, the fiery-hearted, passionate French chafed under the humiliating yoke of the Nazis in the rump state of Vichy France. The terrible words of the former French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud echoed in the ears of the citizens. “[If HItler won the war] it would… Read more


Browse Our Archives