Between #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter: Being Called to Conversion

Earlier today, we posted an image applying a quote from Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium to the current discussion about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackLivesMatter: there cannot be peace unless we're all in it together.— The Jesuit Post (@TheJesuitPost) December 5, 2014We got some replies that suggested a better hashtag would have been #AllLivesMatter. If you search that hashtag, you’ll find that there are … [Read more...]

Some Catholics

Some Catholics are the priest on the south side of Chicago who went up to a crack house at midnight, knocked on the door and told the people inside to shut it down and leave his parish. Some Catholics are the military couple who recently ushered their seven sons and daughters into the middle of a bright cafeteria of retired missionaries and cued them to sing for the old men. Some Catholics are the spiritually obstructed man who was advised by a priest to stop wringing his hands in agitation … [Read more...]

Physicist Stephen Barr discusses faith and science

Dr. Stephen M. Barr, professor of physics at the University of Delaware, recently shared his thoughts with me on why science and the Catholic faith are "profoundly in harmony." His insights on the big bang and theory of evolution are worth reading. In our America magazine interview, he shared the following hope for his readers: I hope they come away with the realization that the church has never been an enemy of science, but rather a great patron and friend of science, and that scientific … [Read more...]

This Is What Authority Looks Like: Francis Bows Again

This is what authority looks like: like bowing and asking for a blessing.I woke this morning to this stunning image in my Facebook feed, courtesy of the Deacon’s Bench. As I’ve spent much of the morning driving back from seeing my family for Thanksgiving, it’s kept coming back to mind, as if it had something more to say.The context for the photograph is Francis’s visit to Turkey, and meeting with Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch. In addition to being the first Sunday of Advent th … [Read more...]

Between Mercy and Cheap Grace: Martin and Douthat on the Synod

As a newly appointed associate pastor, I found the e-mail conversation that took place recently between Ross Douthat and Jim Martin at America Magazine to be a breath of fresh air, both for its openness and honesty and for the sights I can glean from it.  Perhaps surprisingly, I found Douthat’s “less” pastoral approach more pastorally helpful than the “more” pastoral approach of Jim Martin.  Let me explain briefly.I was struck by Douthat’s perspective on how apparent mercy can sometimes work … [Read more...]

There’s More to Man in Interstellar and The Giver

Memory, like sleep, hath powers which dreams obey, Dreams, vivid dreams, that are not fugitive: How little that she cherishes is lost! –Wordsworth This article contains plot spoilers.What does the “science” in “science fiction” signify? I would propose that it is not astronomy or physics or biology, but anthropology: good science fiction explores the science of what it is to be human. I am reminded of this by two recent films that explore how our culture and memory shape our humanity. … [Read more...]