On Suffering, St. Bartholomew & the Murder of James Foley


 St. Bartholomew by Rembrandt van RijnPerhaps it is time for us to reflect on St. Bartholomew. For just a moment. Given what is happening in the world, I would argue that it is a perfect time. Selfishly, it is appropriate because Bartholomew serves as the patron saint of my home parish. And, on a larger scale, the Catholic Church just celebrated his Feast Day on August 24th. But perhaps the execution of journalist and devout Catholic James Foley should call to mind just who St. … [Read more...]

ISIS, Evil & the Crisis of Moral Relativism


Lucifer by Gustave Dore (Dante's Inferno)"The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist." - Charles Baudelaire "For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind." - G.K. Chesterton"That's my boy!" A beaming father tweeted a photo of his seven year-old son. But this tweet was not about his son's game-saving catch or fierce landing of a king salmon or even his strong finish in the local spelling bee. No, Khaled Sharrouf attached this praise to a … [Read more...]

Explaining Robin Williams


Robin Williams is dead. And I still can't believe it. As a five year old in Star Wars pajamas, I remember racing my sisters for the best seat in my parents' bedroom to watch a quirky, kinetic bushy-haired alien clad in striped shirt and rainbow suspenders irresistibly saying "Nanoo-Nanoo". Mork & Mindy was the television series that made Robin Williams a sensation.As I grew older, I remember watching Williams as the squinty-eyed Popeye, the buxom and matronly Mrs. Doubtfire, and the … [Read more...]

Toppling ISIS & the Tyranny of Guilt


 "But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be." - G.K. ChestertonIn the last 48 hours, the United States has become involved in attempts to stop the ruthless barbarism of ISIS in Iraq (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now known as Islamic State, but for simplicity further referred to as ISIS in this piece). This radical Islamic movement … [Read more...]

On ISIS and the Fearsome Rhyming of History


 “History doesn't repeat itself but it often rhymes.” - Mark TwainIt had been nearly two years. And it was bloody. Very, very bloody. In June, 1941 the National Socialist (Nazi) state of Germany sat on top of the world. Emerging from the humiliating ashes of World War I and the economic devastation of the Great Depression, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party saw themselves transformed from a fringe party to the most powerful ideological and military force in the world. Before the war b … [Read more...]

What the Pope Said About World War I


 "Sad experience proves that human authority fails where religion is set aside." - Pope Benedict XVOn Sunday, July 27th, Pope Francis spoke briefly after his Angelus address about the one hundred year anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Here is what he had to say:"Tomorrow marks the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, which caused millions of deaths and immense destruction. This conflict, which Pope Benedict XV called a 'senseless … [Read more...]