About Margaret Blume

Margaret Blume graduated from Yale University in 2010 with a degree in Humanities. She received a Masters of Theological Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2013 and is currently pursuing a doctorate at Notre Dame in historical theology.

“Be Perfect”

In his reflections on February 23rd’s Gospel reading from the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:38-48), Carl Olson draws attention to the ease with which a priest and his congregation glossed over Jesus’ words: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Perfectionism can lead to pride and personality disorders.  Better to acknowledge our limitations, and try to be “the best policeman, or fireman, or Indian chief, that we can be,” Olson’s priest advised in his homily.  This is no doubt go … [Read more...]

Compassion in the Face of Force

 For Simone Weil, justice is primarily an act of paying attention, which protects the sacred cry in every human being not to be hurt. "It would seem that man is born a slave and that servitude is his natural condition." So concludes Simone Weil’s Analysis of Oppression. The essay is a study of political history,  but throughout her short life, Weil also encountered human slavery far more immediately. Born in Paris in 1909 to an agnostic French-Jewish middle-class family, she was, i … [Read more...]

The Ear of the Heart

A friend recently gave me the autobiography of a Benedictine nun at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut, entitled The Ear of the Heart.  In the first part, Dolores Hart, also known as the girl who first kissed Elvis, tells how she left a promising career in Hollywood, and broke off her engagement to a great guy, in order to enter the convent.   The decision looked dramatic, but from Dolores’ perspective, it was a simple act of attention to the Voice that she could no longer ignore.  Over th … [Read more...]

Longing, Communion, and the Great Gatsby

Like most of us, I read The Great Gatsby in high school, and although I forgot most of the plot, I remember the elusive feelings that the book evoked, and liking them. I was surprised, then, when the movie mesmerized me, but also left me feeling kind of sick.I can see the source of the film (and book’s) attraction.  The green light perpetually burning on Daisy’s dock is a powerful sign of human desire, reaching, perpetually reaching – for another plane of human existence, for a life that is m … [Read more...]

The Peace of Christ and Our Cosmic Battle

 The Beinecke Rare Books library at Yale surprisingly has Thomas More’s original breviary, the one book he was allowed during his imprisonment in the Tower of London.  I was able to see it one April, and remember staring at Thomas’ own handwriting shining out his last prayer between the margins, and feeling how close he was, and also how distant.  At the end of the breviary, as the date of his death marched nearer, only the word “demones” appeared over and over again, scratched amidst the wor … [Read more...]

Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Everything happens for a reason.  Some things are meant to be.  These well-worn clichés are bandied about by religious and non-religious alike, and the romantics among us can’t help but believe they conceal something true.  Especially when we fall in love, the beloved appears as uniquely “for me.”Does this sense of necessity belong only to poetry and fairy tales, though? Human beings are not the center of the universe, especially not you, or me.  Nor are we in control of our lives. If everyth … [Read more...]