Anna’s Story: A Field Hospital In The Heart Of Manhattan


 With Memorial Day weekend now upon us, we remember and honor all who have battled and died for our freedom - and, at times, for our very survival.As Pope Francis has reminded us, war is madness.It is nothing less than a failure of the heart.But that is all the more reason why we must take the time to honor those men and women whom we, as a country, have called upon to fight on our behalf.Francis, however, has reminded us of something else as well.That there are … [Read more...]

10 Surprising Things You Can Be Even If You’re Catholic

Contrary to popular belief, Catholics are not, and never have been, monolithic in their non-doctrinal, political views or thinking.Nor are they required to be.Not by the local parish, not by the Archdiocese, and certainly not by the Pope.Behold the great diversity within the Universal Church:Gay – just ask Eve Tushnet A supporter of the death penalty An opponent of the death penalty A supporter of the 2nd Amendment A supporter of further gun restrictions A supporter of … [Read more...]

Faith And The Social Contract

“From the standpoint of religious freedom, you might say it’s a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother. I’m going with the Little Sisters” - Jeb Bush, Liberty University Commencement Speech  Say what you will about Jeb Bush (and much can be said), with those words last week he neatly framed the increasingly caustic debate over religious freedom - especially religious freedom as expressed in the public square.Actually, to label it a "debate" is to engage in an act of generosity, if … [Read more...]

That Thin Blue Line of Love (Updated)


From today's reading, May 10, 2015: This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15: 12-13 Just last week it was New York City Police Officer (and fellow Long Islander) Brian Moore, age 25.Today, two more are gone: Hattiesburg, Mississippi Police Officers Benjamin Deen, age 34, and Liquori Tate, age 24.Young men, young lives.Gone.They are three among the countless thousands each day who … [Read more...]

When Life Overwhelms


It's not something that I particularly wish to dwell upon.But it's unavoidable. It's pervasive.And it's real.It touches each of us in some way. Sometimes measured in smaller or larger degrees of connectedness to others, sometimes reaching down and disemboweling the remains of our own lacerated core.This isn't at all about the ordinary sadness that we sometimes feel when life disappoints, or when our emotions sometimes get away from us, seemingly infused with a life of their own … [Read more...]

5 Ways That The Church Is Really All About The “Yes”

Ours has become a culture of yes.One that trusts first and last in the individual instinct, however base, without regard to what was once considered objective truth.This is "my truth," as a former New Jersey governor once pronounced upon his resignation.It is a yes to the self.It is a yes to the physical, to the material, and to all things visible.It's no wonder that we have looked over all that we have transformed our selves and our culture into and have, sans the least bit o … [Read more...]

A *catholic* Mass For Peace

The Nicene Creed each week reminds us that when we invoke our Catholic (n.) faith, we declare unity with the church in its all-embracing oneness - our catholic (adj.) existence. As Father Robert Barron has made clear on occasion, the word catholic, traced back from the Greek, means something along the lines of "according to the whole." Another translation would be closer to "throughout the whole."Although the word catholic is often used today to denote a church which is universal, there is so … [Read more...]

Favor and Knowledge Still Test Our Faith: 10 Biblical Examples


It may be difficult for us, sometimes, to realistically imagine life beyond our own everyday existence. We might, for example, tend to look back at what we call biblical times with no small amount of longing as we wonder just how much easier our faith would have been back then.After all, if we had been present during the days of Abraham, Moses, Christ, or the Apostles, we might have witnessed innumerable and extraordinary events that would have more easily inclined our hearts upwards.At t … [Read more...]

Tsarnaev: The Death Penalty (Somewhat) Revisited

In light of the recent Boston Bomber verdicts and the now looming penalty phase, the death penalty once again takes center stage.Here is what Boston's four Bishops recently said about this case: The defendant in this case has been neutralized and will never again have the ability to cause harm . . . [b]ecause of this, we, the Catholic Bishops of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, believe that society can do better than the death penalty. More: The four bishops quoted a 2005 statement by … [Read more...]

My Three Post-Lenten Questions

I'm sitting, at this very moment, in a hospital waiting room in Pennsylvania while scheduled, but major, surgery is being performed on a loved one.  No matter how routine - and this one is relatively so - the sights, the sounds, and the smells all around me remind me that this is no ordinary place, and that this is no ordinary day.For this is a place of pain. It's a place of vulnerability. It's a place of uncertainty and fright.But more than anything, it's also a place of healing - or at … [Read more...]