‘The martyrdom of his words led to the martyrdom of his life.’

A friend reminded me today that while we might lead with mercy, we never can forget about justice. We must always tell the truth, as Archbishop Chaput never tires of doing. And who better than St. Maximilian Kolbe, who was murdered at Auschwitz 72 years ago this week? Another friend, Fr. Roger Landry (@FrRogerLandry on Twitter), writes: St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe wasn’t silent. He founded a famous newspaper in order to spread the faith and when the Nazis came, he… Read more

Is This the Song of Our Lives?

What is it with the Catholics and Mary? I get the question a lot. Wear a Miraculous medal, be seen walking out of a Catholic church now and again, and you probably do, too. At Mass on the feast of the Assumption, Pope Francis helped us know the answer better: by living life to the tune of Magnificat, letting its words apply to the days of our lives. He called it “the song of hope … the song of the… Read more

Write a (Quality) Symphony Already!

We have such a dangerous posture these days, where the mainstream reflex is to expect politics to provide some kind of salvation. We see evil, and we want to pass a law. We don’t want to face the evil we see as a necessity, so we drown ourselves in manipulative rhetoric that keeps us from rising to the challenges of our time. And so while I would never endorse rejecting politics, I do like that Tim Stanley here is encouraging… Read more

‘I suddenly started to love people.’

His heart had hardened. His life was dark. But he told God he hated who he had become, and he felt the presence of God, our merciful Father … this video is quite the testament to the Holy Spirit, to seeing Christ in the prisoner …. And as this commentary points out, if we Christians — all of us — do not see ourselves in this man and his story, we are not looking close enough at our own hearts…. Read more

71 Years Ago Today, She Was Killed at Auschwitz

Today is the feast day of Edith Stein, who died as a Carmelite, Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. During her canonization Mass in 1998, Pope John Paul II, said: Although Edith Stein had been brought up religiously by her Jewish mother, at the age of 14 she “had consciously and deliberately stopped praying”. She wanted to rely exclusively on herself and was concerned to assert her freedom in making decisions about her life. At the end of a long… Read more

St. Peter Would Have Tweeted about the #DamnedDevil

At the 12:10 Mass at St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill, the pastor suggested that St. Peter Chrysologus, whose feast we celebrate today (July 30), may have just loved Twitter; he is known for his short, inspired sermons. Today’s Magnificat offers an example of one of them — one I suspect Pope Francis might be fond of. (Too bad Pope Francis is not doing the morning homilies at Domus Sanctæ Marthæ this month because today’s Gospel reading was one he… Read more

The Flesh of Christ

The Holy Father so beautifully and with such a tone of urgent mission spoke of anyone who suffers as the suffering of the “flesh of Christ,” last night at St. Francis hospital in Rio. He said: in every suffering brother and sister that we embrace, we embrace the suffering Body of Christ. Today, in this place where people struggle with drug addiction, I wish to embrace each and every one of you, who are the flesh of Christ, and to… Read more

This Day in Rio: The Love that Transforms Us

There is so much to say, with an eye on Pope Francis and all the young people in love with our Lord in Rio. My favorite line of the day may be from Pope Francis during his homily at the shrine at Aparecida when he said: “If we are truly in love with Christ and if we sense how much he loves us, our heart will ‘light up’ with a joy that spreads to everyone around us.” That’s it, isn’t… Read more

It’s Easter in Rio

I was struck today by the feast day as the pope arrived in Rio. We celebrate the life of Mary Magdalene, we give thanks that she reported what she had seen: The Lord. The young people who gather in Rio see Him and want to know Him better. They are on fire with the ardor of the Holy Spirit within them. They are receptive. They are disciples and they want to make disciples of others. As the pope explained: Christ… Read more

‘So What If We Suffer Here?’

“This is not our home. I know where home is.” This is worth watching. Particularly if at any point today, this week, this month, or this year you were frustrated, exasperated, annoyed, or angry that you didn’t get what you felt you should get done done. Since you’re reading this … today was another day you had to live. To spend with your family, friends, be on this earth. Love someone. Pick up the phone. Write that letter. Send that… Read more