August 7, 2018

This is a tough piece to write. Not because I am ashamed of being Byzantine Catholic, but because I know the topic—even simply the name—cannot help but inspire strong passions. Some Orthodox will rail against Uniatism, against the political machinations of the Latins, forcing good Byzantines into robber unity with the West. Some Latin Catholics will look askance at some Melkites calling Vatican I a local council; their ears perk up at our subtraction of the Filioque from the Creed…. Read more

August 3, 2018

“Suppose you were to see a man who had been justly condemned being led to execution through the marketplace. Suppose it were in your power to save him from the hands of the public executioner. Would you not do all you could to keep him from being dragged off?”- St. John Chrysostom Everyone (okay, mostly Catholics online) is talking about the recent change to the Catechism. If you aren’t aware of what’s going on, Hannah Brockhaus at Catholic News Agency… Read more

July 25, 2018

“No human being escapes the necessity of conceiving some good outside himself towards which his thought turns in a movement of desire, supplication, and hope. consequently, the only choice is between worshipping the true God or an idol. Every atheist is an idolater — unless he is worshipping the true God in his impersonal aspect. The majority of the pious are idolaters.” – Simone Weil Harsh words, but important ones, at least for myself, if not for others. The fact is that while I consider myself… Read more

July 24, 2018

Paul J. Griffiths has a recent piece on work, worship, and leisure. The first two are, he says, the only two things under the sun. When Qoheleth speaks of our vanity, of the fact of ever-enduring tedium, he is directly addressing our perverse desire for otium, our feeble grasping after release from the Benedictine tagline: ora et labora. We are fallen, cursed to work to meet basic necessities and then fail to do so anyway—that is, we end up cold,… Read more

July 18, 2018

Steny Hoyer says that Donald Trump committed treason in Helsinki. That’s an odd sentence, but, then again, the last couple of years have been full of odd sentences: “Putin Says Trump Wasn’t Important Enough for the Pee-Tape Treatment” being just one example. I have no doubt that the future will bring more strange lines. We may see “Treasonous Trump” follow on “Crooked Hillary.” This might be about the point at which I’m expected to weigh in. Did Donald Trump commit… Read more

July 8, 2018

  The following is a reflection by a dear friend of mine, Nathan Smolin, who is a PhD student in Classics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I hope you will find it was beautifully written and incisive as I do. “And coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary his mother; and falling down they worshiped him.” (Matthew 2:11) A few weeks ago, I went into the Adoration Chapel, and sat down in the only… Read more

July 6, 2018

Did Trump win because of the dissatisfaction of the working class? Some say “yea”; some say “nay.” Opinions abound and it’s dizzying. In spite of this vortex of thoughts (also known as the internet), I was struck by a friend’s recent tweet, baldly asking how we (especially those of us who are Christians) can say that workers as such got Trump elected. He wanted to know how, when he knows so many wealthy or middle-class Christians who croon on about… Read more

June 18, 2018

“A dog is better than I am, for he has love and he does not judge.” – Abba Xanthias “The books of conscience are opened, and the judgment begins.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori I tend (perhaps like most people) to think of myself as a decent judge of character. I think I can sniff out those are arguing in bad faith, those who don’t want to reflect on the conversation at hand, those who will never give an inch in… Read more

June 14, 2018

In a piece entitled “Dorothy Day: The Model You Want,” a friend once wrote: I suspect that Peter, also Chase, Bishop Barron, and I, see something more in Day than just fidelity to the Church. We see goodness and heroism. We see a desire to take Jesus at His word far greater than we manage. Instructions we treat as metaphors — turn the other cheek, go the second mile, give someone your second coat — she lived out at great… Read more

May 23, 2018

  The following is an interview with a dear friend (a writer and, dare I say, polymath) who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household. It was done remotely (as he and I are both travelling). He wrote responses to questions I sent him. Over the years, I’ve spent a good deal of time talking with him about what it means to grow up in a “traditional” community, one with a sense of separation from the secular world. Given the… Read more

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