The Fundamental(ist) Imbalance

Nowadays, the truth of peace continues to be dramatically compromised and rejected by terrorism, whose criminal threats and attacks leave the world in a state of fear and insecurity. These are often the fruit of a tragic and disturbing nihilism.Looked at closely, nihilism and fundamentalism share an erroneous relationship to truth: the nihilist denies the very existence of truth, while the fundamentalist claims to be able to impose it by force. Both show a dangerous contempt for human beings … [Read more...]

The Paradoxes of Christianity -UPDATED

***It seems that Bill Maher, who has never demonstrated more than an adolescent understanding of religion, wrote recently in Newsweek, “The problem with faith ... is it kind of screws up your priorities. Your priorities shouldn’t be about saving your own (butt), which is the focus of Christianity.”Over at the National Catholic Register, radio host Tony Rossi writes:Is [Maher] right?Of course we Christians do want our souls saved so we can spend eternity in heaven. The concept Maher ignor … [Read more...]

"I forgive the man who raped me…"

Recently, writing about the terrible scandals of the church and the need for the hierarchy (and others) to do penance, I added:The fullness of healing, of course, can only come when the victims finally feel capable of saying “I forgive you…” That moment -which cannot be compelled and does not mean forgetting- is the moment when a victim takes his life back. When a victim says, “I forgive you,” she confers her own power over the entire situation, and controls it. It is transformative; it brings … [Read more...]

Speaking of Eschatology – UPDATED

...which, we sort of were...Assume your last day is tomorrow. What will you cling to, and what will you put aside?UPDATE: Msgr. Charles Pope: Developing the desire for all that really matters... … [Read more...]

Immigration & the Storm Next Time

Chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery, BrooklynLast week, I was in Brooklyn taping a few episodes of In the Arena, and one of the drivers, taking a route that brought us past The Green-Wood Cemetery, reminisced about Park Slope, where he had lived all his life."We were working class, then. Our fathers were train conductors and shoe salesmen. No, we'd never be able to afford to live here. We'd cut through Prospect Park to Ebbets Field to watch the Dodgers. In the summer, they'd close off four … [Read more...]

Was Jones' Joke Anti-Semitic? UPDATE

President Obama's National Security Advisor, retired General James Jones, with an ice-breaker:Is it offensive?Why, yes. In our easily-offended society, you might say this joke wins the Triple Crown or the Insult Trifecta:Some feel Jones has used a denigrating stereotype of Jewish people "greedy merchants" for a cheap laugh, and has therefore insulted the Jews.Some free-market capitalists note that Jones describes the Taliban member as a "warrior" instead of a guerrilla, and seems to … [Read more...]

The Great Prostration; Count Me In

In an impromptu, and very beautiful homily, Pope Benedict XVI last week brought up the issue of penance:Penance is grace; it is a grace that we recognize our sin, it is a grace that we know we need renewal, change, a transformation of our being. Penance, being able to do penance, is the gift of grace. And I must say that we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word penance, it has seemed too harsh to us. Now, under the attacks of the world that speak to us of our sins, we … [Read more...]

Sex Abuse is about Control and Power

The Catholic League has taken out a full-page ad in the NY Times that tries to be a point-by-point rebuttal to the Times' reverberating prelude to Holy Week.As rebuttal it is a tad weak -that's what happens when your answer rightly requires 10,000 words and 350 is all you can manage in 18 pt Arial Narrow- but it hits its main targets; it manages to make one important point that is too-often ignored, that the church (and secular organizations as well) erred greatly in taking the advice of those … [Read more...]

Clarity & Spirited Defense re Pope -UPDATED

CLARITY After adding a link to this post, I decided that this piece by Jimmy Akin deserves to be more than a footnote in a blogpiece.I am not saying that the Holy See’s handling of abuse cases can’t be legitimately criticized. I’m not saying that then-Cardinal Ratzinger/now-Pope Benedict XVI didn’t experience a learning curve on this point. And I don’t know what else is out there that remains to be discovered.But I am saying that the media is getting this story wrong, particularly in the case … [Read more...]

I Am a Sinful Woman

All who have embarked on true contrition and penance for the sins they have committed, and are firmly resolved not to [repeat those sins] in the future, but to persevere constantly in that pursuit of virtues which they have now begun, all these become sharers in this holy and eternal sacrifice. - from a commentary on the psalms by St. John Fisher, Bishop and MartyrJesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, the sinner.Lent was going so well -or at least I thought it was. I had been … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X