About Joshua B

Cyril of Alexandria on Mary, Mother of God

(Note: Somehow this didn’t get published yesterday. Better late than never.) In honor of this solemnity, excerpts from a homily of St. Cyril of Alexandria: Mary, Mother of God, we salute you. Precious vessel, worthy of the whole world’s reverence, you are an ever-shining light, the crown of virginity, the symbol of orthodoxy, an indestructible [Read More…]

Salvation and Evangelization: rooted in Joy

Almost a year ago I wrote a post reviewing  and critiquing parts of Ralph Martin’s book Will Many Be Saved?  in which he critiques the maximalism, optimism, or universalism (depending on which term you prefer) of Rahner’s and von Balthasar’s readings of Vatican II on the salvation of non-Christians. Martin blames this optimism for the practical disappearance of [Read More…]

Hauerwas, Weigel, and the future of Catholicism in the U.S.

Prominent Protestant theologian Stanley Hauerwas recently penned a provcative piece on the end of American Protestantism. Hauerwas writes argues that American Protestantism is dying precisely because of its success. America is the first instance of Protestant society not having to overcome and grow out of a Catholic culture and history. Thus he sees the U.S. [Read More…]

Newman on the Mission of St. Benedict

John Henry Newman on the organic nature of renewal and reform affected by Benedictine monasticism of old. “When the bodily frame receives an injury, or is seized with some sudden malady, nature may be expected to set right the evil, if left to itself, but she requires time; science comes to shorten the process, and [Read More…]

The anthropological fact of the Tree of Knowledge – and the consequences of its rejection

Whenever I teach the second creation story to my undergraduates, some of them often express dismay over God’s “decision” to place the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden. For them the Tree represents an unnecessary test of Adam and Eve. God was setting them (and us) up to fail. He knew what was [Read More…]

Two Takes on Francis’ Feet Washing

There has, of course, been a good deal of controversy over Pope Francis’ decision to celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper at Casal del Marmo and to wash the feet of women and non-Christians. However, as with many things of this nature, much of the commentary has seemed to me to be knee-jerk reaction [Read More…]

Why the Church can’t be Synagogal

In the comments to Julia’s recent post , Ross very kindly complemented one of my prior posts, which looked towards a more exilic ecclesiology. Ross laments that the Church is not more like Judaism of exilic times. “Yoder’s reading of Jeremiah, the Jewish communal life in the exile took on a few key characteristics, characteristics which [Read More…]

Benedict’s last audience: God guides his Church

 Farewell, Holy Father Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood! Distinguished Authorities! Dear brothers and sisters! Thank you for coming in such large numbers to this last General Audience of my pontificate. [I am so moved by your presence – when I see you, I see the living church.] Like the Apostle Paul [Read More…]

Benedict XVI, Vox Nova Reflects – Demystifying the Papacy

Like many here, I have grown to love and admire Pope Benedict. As a student of his works I have come to realize that his thoughts and intentions often go far deeper than the surface layers seem to indicate. He is one of the great teachers of our age who has a knack for cutting [Read More…]