Pope Francis: No Commendatore, No Michael Corleone

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It may have gotten a four minute standing ovation from his Bishops, but Pope Francis' closing remarks to the synod, which I thought were pretty beautifully wrought, are being praised-but-quietly by others, at least as I am surveying today.It seems to me people aren't really appreciating what Francis said there -- how capably and clearly he let both the "left" and the "right", the progressives and the traditionalists, know that neither side has a corner on the fullness of the faith or the … [Read more...]

Why Dolan, and Francis, and Benedict are Right

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Do you know why, as Pope Francis rightly noted, proselytizing doesn't work?Because it is not Incarnational. It has nothing in common with the example set by the Word when he condescended to join humanity and "set his tent among us". Not near humanity, but still apart; not above humanity, overseeing it, but among and with and in commonality with us.When Proposition 8 was roiling California in 2008, a group of Evangelical Christians decided to make a weekly trip into the Castro section of … [Read more...]

“It is Consummated”: the “Mad Eros of the Cross”

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On the Cross, God’s eros for us is made manifest. Eros is indeed – as Pseudo-Dionysius expresses it – that force “that does not allow the lover to remain in himself but moves him to become one with the beloved” ("De divinis nominibus", IV, 13: PG 3, 712). Is there more “mad eros” (N. Cabasilas, "Vita in Cristo", 648) than that which led the Son of God to make Himself one with us even to the point of suffering as His own the consequences of our offences?Dear brothers and sisters, let us look a … [Read more...]

Christ Crucified Explains it All…

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A friend of mine, reading about Pope Francis' admission to children that he is sometimes fearful, wrote admitting that he too was often fearful -- debilitatingly so -- particularly when reading the headlines and watching our social dynamics. He wondered how to not be afraid.I told him, "I know I sound like a broken record, but get a crucifix." I told him to "study the crucifix while pondering the words of Julian of Norwich."Her words, juxtaposed against the crucifix, explain everything. … [Read more...]

The Hope of Humanity

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“Each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will. All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined – those dead, those living, those generations yet to come – that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands.” ~Dean Koon … [Read more...]

Political Narratives or the Pope? Dross to Gold.

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Immersion in Benedict resignation news, I find the worldly political stories to be stale theater in comparison to the richness of the words I am reading and the authenticity of the pope and the faithful as they meet. Dross to genuine gold.In what is likely his last public homily, Benedict today said: "he reward of the righteous is God Himself, to be united to Him, here, on a journey of faith, and at the end of life, in the peace light of coming face to face with Him forever." Part of me is … [Read more...]

Jesus and the Hemorrhagic Woman: Accountability and Thanksgiving

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Today's Gospel reading (Mark 5:21-43) tells us of Jairus' plea to Jesus, that he go to his sick little girl, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”Oh, that spoke to me; on a snowy, cold morning, with the arthritis screaming, I read that and thought, "me too, that I may move!"Along the way to Jairus' home, we read what is (for me, anyway) one of the richest and most powerful stories of Christ's healings:There was a wom … [Read more...]

The Good Wine is the Life of Faith in Christ Jesus

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"Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” -- John 2:10Eventually, no matter how much we think we want something -- be it a relationship, a child, a job, a vacation, a house, a car -- the "new" wears off. Like wine at the beginning of a celebration, we partake deeply of what is new and good; we enjoy it and we give ourselves over to it.Soon enough we are benumbed to it. You still love your s … [Read more...]

Pillar of Cloud, Water of Life: All of a Healing Piece & Peace

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For a little while longer, we are still in Christmas, but every day the mysteries of the season seem to wither a little, like the leaves of the poinsettias; the expectation of Advent seems far away, and in just a few days we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, and enter -- with some sense of refreshment, because after a time we long for the comforts of what is routine and regular -- into Ordinary Time.The Baptism of the Lord is being presaged in the readings and prayers of the Divine Office. … [Read more...]

Could Newtown Massacre be Latent Effect of Bullying?

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Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo is expressing embarrassment at just how much the press got wrong, yesterday, as they rushed to tell us anything they could about the terrible slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Perhaps he also feels mortified by the press tweets to families and friends of the victims looking for a story.I mean, I'm not a member of the fourth estate, and I'm mortified by it.But as we wonder what happened, why it happened and what motivated this terribly dark … [Read more...]


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