Our Transfiguration, and His

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John,  and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them;  his face shone like the sun  and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. – Mt 17:1-3   I write, on a gray-skied working Wednesday, of what the Greek-Catholic Dominican priest Jean Corbon called “the historical and literary center of the Gospel,” the transfiguration of Christ. It’s… Read more

Must Read: Bishop Caggiano Interview on “Church Reform from Below”

The Deacon’s Bench pointed this interview out a few days ago, but the interview is such a great illustration of some of the themes I posted about earlier this week that I’m going to point to it again. Sean Salai, SJ a Jesuit in formation who’s working as a summer intern at America magazine, has been posting a number of great interviews over there, including one with the Patheos Catholic Channel’s own Eve Tushnet. But as far as I’m concerned, the must-read… Read more

Be Not Afraid: Francis and the 15th Annotation

“There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves entirely into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace.” St. Ignatius, whose feast we celebrate today, wrote that in 1543. Four hundred and seventy-one years later, that fundamental Ignatian insight that God is far more active than we are often willing to notice or trust is still valid — and, inasmuch as it has formed the current successor of Peter,… Read more

A Third Way? Exploring the Church’s Teaching on Homosexuality

Let me set the scene for you with two examples: 1.  Stanza XXVII from St. John of the Cross’s Spiritual Canticle: There He gave me His breasts, There He taught me the science full of sweetness. And there I gave to Him Myself without reserve; There I promised to be His bride. Without reading too much into this, it’s not hard to imagine that John of the Cross experienced some same-sex attractions.  I’m not saying that John of the Cross was… Read more

This Coming Apocalypse

Each generation has had to contend with Biblical ideas about death, judgment and the resulting eternity spent in heaven or hell, but none have yet seen the “day” alluded to in scripture. Millennia have passed as people, from time to time and to varying degrees, worried about the end of the world. Apocalyptic fervor might have spiked at the year 1,000 and again in 2012, but God (not being into numerology) did not come. Life continued. So it is that… Read more

Jesuit Superior General intends to retire

We’ve got David Bowie playing on repeat over at TJP.  Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes! The worldwide head of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás announced this morning that he intends to retire and will call a General Congregation for the Society of Jesus in 2016.  This announcement follows a recent trend of Church leaders whose prayer and discernment have lead them to conclude that the demands of running international organizations requires more energy than they can provide.  You can read more about… Read more

Mass Exodus: Why Young People are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith

Half of young Christians say that they have struggled with significant frustrations and doubts about their faith. Six out of ten report that they have dropped out of church altogether. Concerned pastors, befuddled parents, and social scientists are all asking the question: “Why?” (more…) Read more

Becoming Peter, on Betrayal and Faith

In an aptly-sad, darkly-hopeful, meditation of an essay over at On Faith, Tim O’Brien confesses his sympathy for Judas. “Yes, that Judas,” he writes, “Judas Iscariot. The betrayer. The Lost One. The bad guy who rivals only Satan in the collective Christian imagination.” Confession made he turns quickly to the main question: just what is the difference between Judas and Peter? He’s right to ask. These Holy Week readings place precisely that question – and a number of others as well – right… Read more

What Martyrdom Means

Editor’s Note: A Jesuit, Fr. Frans van de Lugt, S.J., was martyred in Syria one week ago. In an effort to understand what happened and what it means Paddy Gilger, S.J. wrote the following for America Magazine. The beginning of that article is excerpted here.   Fr. Frans van de Lugt, S.J.—who on April 7 was shot in the head, twice, in front of his home in the city of Homs, Syria—had been living under siege for twenty months when,… Read more

Why Is the Religious World Quiet on the Keystone XL Debate?

Why is the religious world quiet on the XL Pipeline debate? Editorial note: This post was previously published on Saturday, March 22. On Sunday morning, March 23, the post was deleted due to a technical error. Unfortunately, all of the reader’s comments were also deleted at this time. We are working to restore those comments. For more details and summaries of the comments please check the note at the end of the post. *** As Catholics, we are likely aware… Read more