Lukewarmness is for Zero Sum Games [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.Apropos of yesterday's post on friendship, this week's chapter from Pope Francis focuses on the "Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth" passage from Revelation 3:16. When dealing … [Read more...]

We Can’t Be ‘Sanctimonious’ About Torture

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I'm at First Things today, discussing the unpleasant rhetoric that still surrounds the United States's torture program, and the way the President managed to acknowledge its existence while minimizing the gravity of the abuses:As the Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program comes closer to publication, truths are finally being extracted – not from suspected terrorists, but from publishers and politicians. The New York Times announced last Thursday that the paper will finally drop th … [Read more...]

Happy Churches are All Alike [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.We're nearly at the end of the "Letters to the Seven Churches" section of Pope Francis's book, and most of the letters discussed have had an air of fraternal correction.  However, this week's letter to Philadelphia and the discussion t … [Read more...]

“That He Lay Down His Life For His Friends”

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Mass of Solemn Profession of twelve of the Dominican Friars at DC's House of Studies.  This is the moment where they make their permanent promises to remain in the Order.  Earlier in their formation, they make temporary vows to live in community, under the community's rule, but, when those vows expire, they're free to go, unless both they and the order would like to see them become a member of the community until their deaths -- and sort of after, s … [Read more...]

Need Draws Out Grace

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The miracle of the loaves and fishes is one of the ones that I'd heard before I ever considered becoming Catholic.  But I'd always heard about it in isolation, as just one in a series of extraordinary (but interchangeable) events.  This past Sunday, the story came up in the Gospel reading, but, this time, the story started a little earlier than I expected, which gave me some additional context: When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by h … [Read more...]

Receiving Children and the Kingdom [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In his chapter on the city of Sardis, which kept up a pretense of their faith, Pope Francis turns to parental and grandparental relationships which, in his opinion, best reveal how we are handling spiritual tumult. It is easy to foo … [Read more...]

Of Metals and (God-)Men [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.Just a small note from this week's chapter.  In this selection, Pope Francis contrasts the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel with the vision of God granted to John in Revelation.  Francis writes: The burnished bronze fee … [Read more...]


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