“All of life is Christmas, an eternal gift from God…”

Lest we forget, some beautiful words from my friend, Trappist Fr. James Stephen Behrens: The world is a feast of mysteries and we see but really do not understand them. We cannot penetrate them with our knowledge, our alleged sophistication. Yet they come again and again. We cannot catch them and hold them, to better [Read More...]

“We are meant to be Incarnational people…”

“One evening, while awaiting his train at Penn Station, my elder son was approached by a disheveled, mildly aromatic middle-aged woman; she said she was hungry and wondered if he might spare some change. Instead, he walked with her to a food stand and bought her a hamburger and fries and a drink. As she [Read More...]

“The soul of this papacy is up for grabs…”

Passionate and provocative words from Thomas Peters, who throws down the gauntlet: If your love for the Extraordinary Form leads you to criticize your fellow Catholics who prefer the Novus Ordo instead of leading you to a more perfect life of charity, you’re doing it wrong.  If you’ve spent more time reading articles claiming that [Read More...]

You are there: a shepherd at the Nativity

Having mastered the art of the spiritual essay, in spades, Elizabeth Scalia now plunges headlong into fiction. The result is—almost literally—breathtaking. But don’t take my word for it. Read it all here.   [Read more...]

What does Pope Francis have in common with Nelson Mandela?

I think it’s a compelling quality of leadership—and style of leadership— that is exceedingly rare. Writing about Nelson Mandela yesterday, Thomas Friedman touched on some themes that I think have echoes in Pope Francis: Mandela had an extraordinary amount of “moral authority.” Why? And how did he get it? One way leaders generate moral authority [Read More...]

Amish aftermath: “If I didn’t forgive him, I’d have the same hole in my heart that he had”

Photo: Bradley C. Bower/AP A poignant footnote to a story that made headlines around the world several years ago, courtesy the Associated Press:  Once a week, Terri Roberts spends time with a 13-year-old Amish girl named Rosanna who sits in a wheelchair and eats through a tube. Roberts bathes her, sings to her, reads her [Read More...]

The real “war on Christmas”: it’s not what you think

Some provocative and inspiring words from Fr. Peter-Michael Preble, an Orthodox priest: Are you, as a Christian, prevented by anyone from setting up a Christmas tree in your home? Are you, as a Christian, prevented from attending the church of your choice on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Are you, as a Christian, prevented from [Read More...]

“It is important to understand the Second Vatican Council as the Catholic Church’s response to World War II…”

Deacon Bill Ditewig, commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, has this take:  Pope John Paul II, in his 2004 Message for the World Day of Peace, referred to the Second World War as “an abyss of violence, destruction and death unlike anything previously known.”  How does a world recover from such [Read More...]

Theology of the Dead Body: “‘The Walking Dead’ is fully Catholic”

There are two key moments that clinched it for me in “The Walking Dead.” A couple of years ago, Sheriff Rick, hunting for any signs of life in the world of the zombie apocalypse, stumbled on a plain wooden church, in the middle of nowhere. When he stepped inside, he discovered the congregation was made [Read More...]

“Welcome! I shed tears of gratitude and joy…”

Nobody captures the essence of Advent better than The Anchoress, God love her: Welcome! Welcome! I shed tears of gratitude and joy that you have come round again, O Advent, to shake us from our torpor as early night comes, and the match is struck, and the message is brought home once more; that we are [Read More...]