Our “Yes” to God Brings His More Perfect “Yes” to Us

I love this month's cover of Magnificat Magazine -- Madonna and Child, by Marianne Stokes (1855-1927), Wolverhampton Art Gallery, West Midlands, UK. (© Bridgeman Giraudon) -- it captures the simple youth and energy of Mary, who would have been about 14 years old: her gaze is direct and open, and so is the child's. It almost harkens to Christ's ministry, and his command, "Ephphatha, be opened!"We are living in urgent times, where illusions are swirling all about, making it difficult to … [Read more...]

Tumbling America and the Narrative Thrust UPDATED

America is in the process of tumbling: she has one party interested only in "remaking" America with or without the constitution's guidance; it is a party become so expert at political maneuvering that it no longer believes it actually has to lead, build consensus or compromise -- ever -- and another party that can't manage to stick a post into a hole and call it a goal. The Democrats and Republicans remind me of nothing so much as Jules and Brett in Pulp Fiction -- the Democrats alternately sly … [Read more...]

Making Love in the Light

My column at First Things for the upcoming Feast of the Ascension:It is this onenes Father Barron describes when he writes of the “interacting and interpenetrating fields of force” that are heaven and earth, constantly commingling, and within the church embodying a true encounter between bridegroom and bride. That is considered archaic language, I know — Flannery O’ Connor called it “a metaphor that can be dispensed with” — but the brilliant Ms. O’ Connor was uncharacteristically off the mark … [Read more...]

Jerry Lewis Retires from Telethon – UPDATED

For so many of us, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon has been part of our earliest memories, a steady and dependable marker in the year. I am 52 years old. I cannot remember a time when Lewis and the telethon were not around.My parents would keep the telethon on all day while firing up the last barbecue of the season, and we kids would hector them to be allowed to phone in a pledge. We'd go about the neighborhood picking up spare change and tally it up, just like the big board on tv! In that way, … [Read more...]

Stars and the Excess of Clarity

Spent some time stargazing a while back, when I couldn’t sleep.No telescope, just the naked eye, a dark neighborhood and a willingness to wonder. I was digesting a bit of Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain, and it had stayed with me through evening's pass – the sight of the stars, the early, wise writings of a monk.Does the fact that we can no longer see the stars have anything to do with our loss of wonder? These things, the stars, and all creation - they are more splendid, perfect, … [Read more...]


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