I am so thankful for these people

birthday

Well today is my Birthday. All in all September 21st is a fairly great day to be born. I share it with Saint Matthew; Earth, Wind and Fire mention it in a fantastic song; and one of my favorite books, the Hobbit, was first published on it. That being said I have often struggled with birthdays. What should I do to celebrate?On the one hand I love the concept of having a birthdays that is others focused much like the ways that hobbits give gifts to all their friends on their birthdays rather … [Read more...]

The Feasts of the Incarnation: The Epiphany and The Baptism of Jesus

feasts

The latest book by Mike Aquilla and Donald Cardinal Wuerl came out this week. It is called, the Feasts, and it is truly a great book. There are a lot of books on the market that attempt to highlight aspects of the Church year, and I was somewhat skeptical about what this book could bring to the table that others had not been able to do. However, my misgivings were quite unfounded. This volume is the perfect introduction to the Church calendar. It is both assessable to the novice, and yet … [Read more...]

Stabat Mater: Seeing the Cross through a Mother’s Eyes

pieta-luis-de-morales

This past Sunday the Church celebrated The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a feast in which we recognize the far reaching depth of God's mercy, love and power which in Christ was demonstrated in the humble acceptance of the shame of the cross and it's victorious transformation into a symbol of victory and hope through the Resurrection. I have continued to meditate on the cross for the past few days. As part of my reflection I have been reflecting upon the Stabat mater, a 13th-century Catholic hymn … [Read more...]

This Conversation About Pre-born Children and those with Disabilities Touched My Heart

baby

I recently sat down to talk with Aaron Cobb and Ron Belgau ( @ronbelgau ) to talk about the ethics of human life. I can honestly say it was one of the best conversations I have been a part of for a very long time. It was heart-breaking, mind-opening and theologically formative in ways that I never imagined. Thankfully the conversation was recorded. I didn't say much, but that was mostly because the honesty and reflection by these two men on the subject devastated me beyond words. I encourage you … [Read more...]

A Spirituality of the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38)

Fillipino Lippi’s S. Lorenzo Pannel

It’s no secret that the Annunciation has been one of the most influential passages in the history of Christian spirituality. After all it is the setting of one of the mysteries of the rosary,  from from this encounter that we receive the words “Hail Mary,” as well as the magnificat.  This week, however, I was very intrigued by a spiritual practice common in the middle ages and early renaissance that focuses on how the responses of Mary in the annunciation offer a list of “laudable conditions” for … [Read more...]

Understanding Agriculture in the Developing World

developing

This week @RealJohnGreen posted a great video reflections on his trip to Ethiopia. In it he brings attention to a number of key issues related to Agriculture. I thought this was a great video and I wanted to pass it along to you all! Take a look. … [Read more...]

Why is Bassano’s Baptism painting set at night?

Bassanos Baptism

 I have always been intrigued by the setting of the great Venetian painter Jacopo Bassano's depiction of Jesus' baptism. For some reason Bassano painted the baptism at night. I found the move intriguing. It seemed full of poetic potential. I recently ran into some analysis of the work which I found particularly interesting. Here's Paolo Berdini on the painting: In Bassano’s Baptism of Christ, the night obscures those elements—the trees, the water of the Jordan River, and the river … [Read more...]

Podcast: What is the Liturgy

This week I had a chance to join a panel on liturgy for the Theologues Round-table Podcast... Take a listen!  … [Read more...]

8 Reasons Instruments Are Important to Worship

reasons

Last month one of my fellow Theologues contributors, Austin Maness, wrote up a piece encouraging people to consider worshiping without instruments. There is a rich heritage of vocal and a cappella music in the history of the Christian faith, both in the historical Eastern and Western Churches, and even among many of the Protestant movements.I think this is a rich tradition.The human voice is most certainly my favorite instrument, and I personally prefer unaccompanied music and pure chant … [Read more...]


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