Jesus of Nazareth: A Savior with a Hometown

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 Seamus Heaney. Wendell Berry. William Wordsworth. Robert Frost. In my childhood exploration of words and books, I discovered these poets weaving tapestries of grandeur with the homespun yarn of the mundane. They unearthed to me the vastness of space in the soil beneath their toes and the glorious weight of people, time and place in the familiarity of walls, wheelbarrows, and water. Recently I opened a book of prose that paints a similar picture of the practical and profound. Reading … [Read more...]

The Liberal Arts and the Call to Die

          A week or two ago, I saw a friend post a link to a discussion between Robert P. George and Cornel West on the liberal arts. Having spent my time in certain intellectual circles, I was correct in assuming that Professor George would provide a robust and well-articulated commentary on the liberal arts from his Catholic, natural law understanding. Not being familiar with him outside of his appearances on The Matrix and The Examined Life, I was mostly watching to hear Professor West’s under … [Read more...]

“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...]

The Good News and Humpty Dumpty

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“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall Humpty Dumpty had a great fall All the king’s horses and all the king’s men Couldn’t put Humpty together again”  The story of Humpty Dumpty is as good an allegory for our predicament as any I know. Humpty Dumpty, as the rhyme goes, has had a great fall and can’t be put together again. This is the second most important fact about Humpty Dumpty, and the first is like it: Humpty Dumpty was at one point unfallen and uncracked. Once upon a time, Humpty was wh … [Read more...]

Breaking News: Pope Francis is a Christian

JoyGospel

 Some of the headlines about Pope Francis' recently-released Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium would have you believe that the Pope's central message is about decentralizing the Church, affirming populism, denouncing libertarian economics, or condemning capitalism as tyrannical. The Pope himself seemed to anticipate such reactions when he said in the Exhortation, "In today's world of instant communication and occasionally biased media coverage, the message we preach runs greater ri … [Read more...]


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