A prayer from Teilhard de Chardin reveals the material world as a true companion on the road to meaning and morality. I ponder my own relationship to matter and my feelings about God. Among the surprises preacher Bishop Michael Curry had for his worldwide audience at Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding was a quote from priest, scientist, and theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. I’ll repeat those words of Teilhard at the end of this post. My favorite Teilhard quote… Read more

The story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-16) tells us sin didn’t depart from the human race after the Original Sin. All of us are sinners, and in this post I suggest we look at Abel’s sin. After all, as parents we know that, when children fight, there’s never only one person at fault. Episode 3 of the Rowing with Michael Series: A journey through the Jewish/Christian Scriptures in Verse and Commentary Michael, row the boat ashore. Alleluia…. God looked… Read more

I look to the very end of the story of Adam and Eve, when our first parents get some new clothes from God, to find the meaning of the story: not an explanation of the problem of evil or a solution, but God’s compassionate response to our race’s “original sin.” But first a look, with a verse and a question, at what kind of story we are given at the beginning of the Bible. This is Episode 2 of the Rowing… Read more

I’m interrupting the series “Rowing with Michael through the Old Testament,” as I will about once a week. This time it’s to air a long-standing complaint of mine. It’s somewhat relevant to the last post that touched briefly on creation and science. Why are some Catholic educators, seemingly the most popular ones, so nervous when it comes to Catholic Bible scholarship? Why are Catholics consigned to a childish notion of the way the Bible teaches? The Church gives her scholars… Read more

The Creation Story, Rulers in the Sky. Episode 1 of the Rowing with Michael Series: A journey through the Jewish/Christian Scriptures in Verse and Commentary Michael, row the boat ashore. Alleluia…. A mighty wind on the waters blew. Alleluia. Soon a whole world stood shiny and new. Alleluia. Planets and stars in the heavenly spheres, alleluia. Mark the seasons, days, and years. Alleluia. The people who gave us the Bible were not just inspired by God. They were geniuses. The… Read more

This post is an introduction to a series of posts on Old Testament stories. The posts will appear on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, although Friday will often be a day to break from the series and consider something else. I call the series “Rowing with Michael: A Voyage through the Hebrew Bible in Rhymes and Commentary.” The reason for the title is at the end of this post. I was attending a social gathering with some of philosophy professors and… Read more

In this first post on Patheos Catholic, I tell you about myself and how I happen to be writing about the sorts of things you will find on this blog. You can read brief facts about Jack Hartjes on the “About Jack” tab. I was raised in a devout Catholic family. Typical for Catholics in the 1950’s, I knew about the Bible but I didn’t read the Bible. I did read lots of things as a youngster and was especially… Read more

Thank you, Patheos Catholic. Read more

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