How Should I Die?


Brittany Maynard’s decision to euthanize herself has recently garnered much attention. A perhaps lesser-known but somewhat similar story was documented across the Atlantic on the Guardian. In the article, Paula Cocozza wrote about the relationship between Annie the palliative nurse and Jo the dying patient. Jo had planned to take the route of euthanasia, but the time spent with Annie seemed to have given her second thoughts. This is not a picture-perfect case. Jo hadn’t completely closed the doo … [Read more...]

Salvation History: The Two Percent


Redeemed humanity is still young. –C.S. Lewis We often think of human history in terms of centuries, and are impressed if a family tree can be traced back a few dozen generations. But on the grand scale of our species, we are the leaves at the top of a very bushy tree of life. So I learnt from the August edition of Scientific American, which was dedicated to human evolution. In old textbooks our descent is described in a relatively linear fashion: Australopithecus became Homo erectus became N … [Read more...]

Becoming What We Contemplate: The Risks of Violence as Entertainment


When I was a twelve-year-old, I wanted to be like Rambo. Often, I would don one of dad’s ties as a headband, wear a grey tank top, and run around with the ‘machine gun’ I had created out of PVC pipes. I would stay in character long enough to avenge an old friend, free every Prisoner-Of-War behind enemy lines, and single-handedly drive out all communists from my backyard. Occasionally, I would save the world from a zombie apocalypse (you’re welcome). Those memories came to mind a couple of weeks a … [Read more...]

We Are All Persons of Interest

Person Of Interest

   Maybe it's up to me to do what the good people can't. Or maybe there are no good people. Maybe there are only good decisions. — John Reese, Season One, Person of Interest  Our home did not have a television when I was growing up. So instead, for entertainment, my parents elected to read us stories. And they did, night after night, year after year. I can still picture the scene: my brothers and sisters and I sprawled on the living room floor, with hands busy drawing, the … [Read more...]

More Than Just a Selfie: How Pope Francis Really Keeps it Real


@KofC epic #selfie #PopeFrancis— Fabio M. Ragona (@FabioMRagona) August 29, 2013Most if not all of us have seen the selfies with Pope Francis, which are arguably the most popular example of how much he is in touch with what’s going on in the world. He feels “real” in that way, but his realness goes beyond delightful spontaneity. He keeps it real in a more profound way.  I think that his realness, in particular, isn’t just a matter of personal charisma, but a r … [Read more...]

Remembering 9/11 with a Gospel that Preaches Itself

9/11 Cross — "I Remember…" by Rachel Titiriga via Flickr (Creative Commons)

To you who hear I say, love your enemies, Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, Pray for those who mistreat you. Sometimes, the lectionary provides us with a reading that preaches itself. As we remember 9/11 today, Thursday of the 23rd Week of Ordinary Time offers us eleven profoundly challenging verses from chapter six of Luke's Gospel.And if I'm being honest, I have to say that as painful and sad as the memories are, I don't struggle to remember 9/11. And I'm … [Read more...]