Hope & “The Pope of Surprises”

Pope Francis  Are you watching this? Are you paying attention to this Pope? The Pope’s visit to the United States thus far has been a sensation. Coverage of his scheduled events has been gleefully wall-to-wall. Pope Francis has been greeted on the tarmac by the President and his family, has offered a heartfelt message to his brother Bishops, celebrated the canonization of Junipero Serra, gave an unprecedented speech to a joint session of Congress and presided over Vespers at New… Read more

What Pope Francis’ Visit Means to Me

Just consider for a moment. Over 1900 years ago, Jesus Christ approached a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. Fixing his gaze on the rough figure casting nets, God himself called, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And so Simon came. Simon would soon find himself the unlikely leader of a band of disciples. He would learn from Christ’s parables. He would witness miracles. He would be nearly blinded by a transfiguration. Exhibiting deep faith,… Read more

I Was So Wrong About Bob Dylan

  I couldn’t stand it. I just couldn’t stand it. I’m not sure why, but it was in middle school that I first remember hearing him. Bob Dylan.  And I remember the lyrics: How does it feel How does it feel To be without a home Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone? Or in my ears “Hoooooooooowww does it feeeeeeeuuuuuuhhhll? Dylan was having yet another musical renaissance with the production of his album, Infidels, and the enthusiasm was trickling… Read more

Content & Faithful – Evelyn Waugh’s Perfect Father

  I am working my way through Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honor trilogy. And it is fantastic. The novels which comprise the trilogy (Men At Arms, Officers and Gentlemen, and Unconditional Surrender) take us through the irony and tragedy of the Second World War as seen through the eyes of an aging British soldier, Guy Crouchback. As is classic for Waugh, the story has countless moments of the subtlest wit which shine a bright light on the stories we tell ourselves juxtaposed against the realities… Read more

On Aylan Kurdi: The Bell Is Tolling, The Periphery Is Here

  Jesus Wept by James Tissot   They came from Kobani. In northern Syria. No. They weren’t on vacation. They weren’t visiting family. They weren’t leaving a Turkish beach on a fifteen foot boat in hopes of arriving at a Greek island simply because they heard it was beautiful or idyllic or the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. They were fleeing. War. Poverty. Death. But Death found them anyway. And the stark, gut-wrenching photo of a limp three year-old boy’s… Read more

“On Doing What Is Required” – Bravery & Europe’s Terror Attacks

The Victory of David Over Goliath by Sebastiano Ricci “We just did what we had to do. You either run away or fight. We chose to fight and got lucky and didn’t die,” Wow. American National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos offered that understatement following the attempted terrorist attack on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris last week. Skarlatos was traveling with two friends, college student Anthony Sadler and United States Air Force airman Spencer Stone, when they “just did what they… Read more

“There Is A God, and, I’m Not Him.” – Thoughts On God & Anxiety

The Gathering of the Manna by James Tissot He was desperate. Clearly. He knew it. And the priest knew it. So the priest approached the anxious college student hunched in a pew in an empty, cavernous church and the dialogue between them went something like this: Father Cavanaugh: [in church] Taking your appeal to a higher authority? Rudy: I’m desperate. If I don’t get in next semester, it’s over. Notre Dame doesn’t accept senior transfers. Father Cavanaugh: Well, you’ve done… Read more

The Catholicism of Bill Murray’s “St. Vincent”

  Warning: This piece may contain spoilers for the movie, St. Vincent.  He was something out of a Flannery O’Connor novel. Disheveled, semi-drunk and shuffling around a dilapidated Brooklyn house with a broken fence and dirt yard, Vincent “Vince” MacKenna (played by Bill Murray) was no one’s idea of a saint. No one’s. His regular company included a pregnant Russian prostitute. His familiar haunts were the bar and the racetrack. And his least likely vocation? Saint. And yet, that is the position… Read more

All of Chesterton’s Children

He had always wanted children. Of course he did. And it only made sense. After all, G.K. Chesterton understood children. I mean really understood them. In the keenest of ways, he intuited them. And why was this? Because Gilbert Keith Chesterton in his singular mirthful and wondrous way never truly grew up. Quite simply, he was a winsome, but implacable boy forever bursting forth from an aging three-hundred pound body. Disheveled, disorganized and delayed, the unflappable Chesterton consistently found himself embarked on supremely… Read more

Planned Parenthood & Joy

Charity by William Adolphe-Bouguereau ———————————– “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God.” – Pope Benedict XVI It has been a dark season in the news. Very dark. If you haven’t been paying attention, perhaps you missed it. But I doubt it. In the last few weeks, several videos have emerged from the self-described Center for Medical Progress in which notable Planned Parenthood representatives have been clandestinely… Read more


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