America interviews TJP editor Michael Rossmann, SJ

Greetings from Los Angeles! The Jesuit Post editor-in-chief Michael Rossmann SJ and I are staying at Loyola Marymount University, where we are attending a week-long Jesuit formation conference titled “Global Mission in a Digital Age.” We are among 350 young Jesuits in formation from the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean in attendance. Most of TJP’s staff is included in this group. Today I have an interview with Michael up at America, where we discuss the ongoing partnership between America… Read more

Jesus: A Pitiless Man?

What is pity? At times it may be the admirable quality that moves us to water a drying, dying flower. At other times, pity may be the most hurtful reaction we can receive from others. By understanding pity, we may understand a little more about the person of Jesus. Aristotle described pity as a reaction to “unmerited misfortune”. This implies a judgment about whether the other deserves the suffering they endure. Aristotle even suggests that this empathy is a kind… Read more

Rosario Rodriguez on forgiving her attackers

I recently interviewed Rosario Rodriguez, a Los Angeles-based Catholic speaker who survived an attempted rape at age 14 and also a shooting at age 31 that nearly killed her.   The bullet from the shooting (a gang initiation) is still lodged in her body and she has to be careful about what she eats, but Rosario now speaks around the country about her experience of healing and forgiveness following her experiences of these violent crimes. Her path to healing from… Read more

Leah Darrow: From America’s Next Top Model to Catholic inspirational speaker

Today I have an interview with former professional model Leah Darrow up at America magazine. As a 24-year old model from Oklahoma City, Leah was one of 14 finalists on Cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model in 2004. She was eliminated in episode two when judge Tyra Banks said she looked like a “soccer mom” in her photo shoot. Ironically, she is now a wife, the mother of two young children, and a professional Catholic speaker. In the interview,… Read more

What could a celibate know about dating?

Being a celibate is about being in relationships and not about avoiding them. I work hard to define my celibacy in terms of availability to those who are in need. It is common for monks, nuns, priests, or lay religious to be asked what they have against marriage. The answer is, of course, that we love and revere marriage. God has simply called us to express our human love in a different way. If that’s the case, though, then what could… Read more

The Tree of Life Revisited

We are nearing the fourth anniversary of the 64th Cannes Film Festival of 2011, where a metaphysically probing and visually dazzling film won the Palme d’Or, the highest prize at the premiere international film competition. The Tree of Life was only the fifth film from American director Terrence Malick in a forty-year career, and the film has remained something of an enigma. It has been lauded as a masterpiece and dismissed as an indulgent artiste-project. What is undeniable, however, is… Read more

Being Polite about the Resurrection

Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. –Shakespeare This past Easter Friday the University of British Columbia Symphony Orchestra, together with two university choirs, performed Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, usually called the Resurrection Symphony. An immense work of music, clocking in at almost an hour and a half, it is about death, the meaning of suffering and ultimately—as the title suggests—the hope of the resurrection. Jonathan Girard, the director of the UBC symphony, likes talking to his… Read more

Jesus, the Whip, and Justifying Violence

In a recent exchange on a Facebook feed about possible responses to the ISIS beheadings of Coptic Christians, it was suggested to me that, as a result of a deficiency in a particular part of my anatomy, I didn’t have the courage to do what really needed to be done.  My attention was then brought to the fact that Jesus was no wimp. No sir, he knew how to take care of business.  The typical proof text was then trotted… Read more

The Genius of Compassion: Big Hero Six

Disney’s Big Hero Six takes the responsibility of speaking to children seriously, proposing that the nature of being a hero is not in the greatness of one’s power but in the greatness of one’s commitment to love. The story weaves the interconnected themes of intelligence on the one hand and heartfelt compassion on the other and show how they are not in opposition but rather reinforce one another. The young protagonist, Hiro, goes through a journey of connecting head and… Read more

Elizabeth Scalia at America: The Anchoress Speaks

Today I’ve got an interview up at America Magazine with our very own Elizabeth Scalia, managing editor of the Patheos Catholic portal. As many of us know, Elizabeth blogs here as The Anchoress, referring to her monastic roots as a Benedictine lay oblate. Last week, The Anchoress was named blog of the year for 2015 at CPAC, the annual gathering of political conservatives in the D.C. area. Elizabeth is also an author and a regular columnist at First Things. Among the… Read more


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