The Holy Family: A Portrait of Humility**

On today's Feast of the Holy Family we hear a story about parents losing their only child. Not for a few minutes or even a couple of hours: Mary and Joseph lose Jesus for days. How delightful!The Church draws our attention to a wonderfully confusing scene, where a frustrated Mary asks "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." To this agitated question, the child Jesus poses another question --- "Why were you looking for me?"Why were y … [Read more...]

The Culture Wars Are Over

It began when a mostly intelligent, cheeky, and sometimes rabble-rousing group of students I befriended at Wabash College found themselves short on fresh ingredients. Their publication, The Wabash Commentary, was born from the conservative side of the culture wars, the attempted counter-reformation to the 60's and 70's. Of course, at Wabash, an all-male liberal arts college founded in 1832, things were running a decade and a half behind --- and I consider this proclivity towards t … [Read more...]

The Sacred Excess of Christmas

Dear Fellow Catholics,Merry Christmas! Cristus natus est!It's party time. A time to feast and laugh and sing and make merry.A time to forgive debts and loosen belts. A generous time. A time to give and receive.There is a rigor to this holy season. It's a twelve day party. Stamina and grace are key. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Christmas is not a single day; it is plural. A season that began on the Feast of the Nativity and will continue until Epiphany.Are you prepared? Pre … [Read more...]

Futuro, Esperanza y Misterio

Cuando uno espera a Dios, no hay certitud ni miedo. Solo esperanza.Esperar se hace en el presente, pero se directa aun mas lejos. El espero se define por su estado temporal, su tiempo. El pasado no vale para la esperanza. No hay pasado ni historia, solo queda lo que no se ha actualizado. El futuro.Es decir, en su forma temporal, el futuro no es misterioso. Aun mas, el futuro es misterio en si. Por eso, no se puede entender al futuro sin considerar su aspecto divino. Lo que define al futuro … [Read more...]

Those Immune to Violence Arm and Disarm

My late Tio "Manino" (short for Marcelino) had an bottle of Mexican brandy beside his recliner. Presidente. He was well into his eighties, past his drinking prime, so I asked what it was for. He replied that, with all the break-ins and robberies and murders that were commonplace in his neighborhood, especially ones targeting the elderly, he had come up with a strategy: if a thug entered his small trailer-house he'd tell him there's nothing to be stolen, nothing of value, but he'd invite the … [Read more...]

A Quiet Joy, I Suppose

The easy excuse is "I've been grading." But it's not true. I write most when I'm busy. My productivity thrives on pressure. I've run up on a shore of some kind, somewhere. I don't know what to call it yet. A disposition just shy of melancholy. Paralyzing, in a satisfying way. When sleep finally conquers and washes over you and knocks you out and brings you the rest you need. That sort of paralysis. A surrender of sorts. It's kept me from writing and arguing. It's made me feel a few things, but … [Read more...]

The Politics of Guadalupe

In loving memory of Fr. Sam Homsey C.PP.S. (1910 - 2004) As a teenager, I played basketball on a small cement slab behind the parish rectory where we lived. My Dad was the pastoral coordinator at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (in Brady, Texas) at the time. I was told that the place I played at was once the entryway for a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. In that small chapel, there would be Spanish-language Masses offered for the Mexican faithful who attended Mass in Spanish. I d … [Read more...]

Dear (New) Atheists, Meet Zizek and Paglia

I am writing beneath about 200 pages of final papers I have to read and grade, so this week will be mostly videos and a special something I have planned for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.I plan on going into some depth on this subject later, so consider this a primer of sorts. Many atheists on Twitter (and some at the Patheos atheist channel) seem to rely on rather narrow governing assumptions about what atheism is. Most of them replicate lots of the insults, and some of the substance, of … [Read more...]

A Video for the Weekend

Here is the performative talk I gave at the University of Manitoba last weekend. It does not explicitly mention liturgy, but my interest in that and other things can all be readily found in it. The title is "Being and Meaning, Showing and Saying, Phenomenology and Folklore." The songs are all original compositions that will be on my next album. Enjoy! … [Read more...]


Not Good Friday or Holy Saturday Dark, yes, but no suspense Pregnant, not sad No mourning or crying Just waiting Tapping my foot to Feasts and other holy days Nicholas, Ambrose, Guadalupe The air is ripe and flushed As her cheeks must have been Full of hope and promise Foretold.Meanwhile christmas rages and wars Singing, eating, never fasting Bumper stickers and atheist apologetics Electric lights, neon carols New movies shopping for a token Hanukah Concerts play cards I need to mail Gifts and … [Read more...]