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 ta … [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 out, the Gospel for the upcoming Third Sunday of Lent, John 2:14-16, which rea … [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 heart. He begins his … [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 quotable moments from … [Read more...]

Interviewing Camille Paglia

Thanks to her love for the Jesuits (her dad taught at LeMoyne College and she took a logic class there) and to a former Wabash College professor of mine, Camille Paglia was gracious enough to let me interview her for America last week.In our interview, "The Catholic Pagan," the punchy cultural critic shares her views on Pope Francis and academia. Professor Paglia also recalls the influence of her own Catholic upbringing and journey out of the Church to embrace paganism. "Italian Catholicism … [Read more...]

Now is the Time: Show me love

Have you seen the Coca Cola commercial #MakeItHappy?That odd synthesized chorus in the background is “Show Me Love” by Hundred Waters.It’s an interesting lens to use today as everyone is putting up #AshTag selfies. On Ash Wednesday snap a photo of your ashes & tweet with #ashtag. You could receive this book!— USCCB (@USCCB) February 14, 2015 We are capable of great cruelty and ugliness. We are also capable of great love and for … [Read more...]