Dante, The Inferno & the Pursuit of the Straight Path


 "At the mid-point of the path through life, I found  Myself lost in a wood so dark, the way Ahead was blotted out." - Dante Alighieri And so would begin one of the best known epic poems ever written, Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy. It had been years since I read extended excerpts assigned to us by Mrs. Holthaus in our 11th grade Humanities class. The poem is broken down into three sections, Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Heaven). Each section is furthe … [Read more...]

What I Am Dying To Read…


Hi. My name is Tod Worner. And I am dying to read a book.Now, don't misunderstand me. I am reading an immense amount right now. And I have no shortage of extraordinary books in my library (cue aristocratic tweaking of waxed moustache tip). It's just that, at this point in time, what I WANT to read and what I HAVE to read are two different things. You see, I am studying for my Internal Medicine Board Recertification Exam which is a once in ten year test. While clinical practice affords the opp … [Read more...]

Regarding My Wife & Peyton Manning (Revisiting A Greatest Hit on #Patheos5Yrs)


Author's Note: In honor of Patheos' 5 Year Anniversary, I wanted to share my most popular post. In all honesty, there is no way I ever conceived that this essay would ever get the traffic it did. But I think I figured it out. It's about the decent character of Peyton Manning. It's about the discerning judgment of my wife. And it's about me - the dorky husband who finally "got it". I hope you enjoy it once again.  Pause. There was a pause. My wife may deny it, but it was there. Oh, … [Read more...]

Why Didn’t Christ Fight Back?


Holy Week is over. And what a week it was (and always is). Time off from work and school, family reunions, Easter dinners, eggs and overfilled baskets make the week a short, merry respite from everyday life. But there comes a time when all the dust settles and we are asked to reckon with the immense spiritual odyssey our God crammed into this one short week. Rightly considered, Holy Week can never fail to leave me vertiginous as I proceed from supreme heights to bottomless depths and back to … [Read more...]

St. John Paul II: The 20th Century’s Greatest Dissident


 “I plead with you - never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid." - Pope John Paul IISolzhenitsyn. Havel. Bonhoeffer. Kolakowski. These names are forever lionized in the pantheon of noble dissidents. And rightfully so. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn catalogued the heinous abuses of the Soviet labor camp experience in his greatest work, The Gulag Archipelago. Vaclav Havel endured isolation and harassment as an outspoken playwright who penned the … [Read more...]

The Sin & Silence of Good Friday


  Years ago, I had a vision. No, it wasn't a vision like St. Teresa's ecstasy or St. Joan of Arc's calling. I don't presume to be a saint. But it was an unmistakably compelling image of Christ on Good Friday. And I just couldn't shake it.It begins in the cool, sharp silence of space overlooking Earth. Noiseless. Peaceful. But deeply cold. In short order would begin the descent. As Earth's outer atmosphere approaches, there is the faintest sound - the most indistinct whisper … [Read more...]