Remembering Which Sacrifice?

It’s an easy temptation, wherever the false doctrine of exceptionalism is rife, to treat national holidays as liturgical ones, especially when they happen to occur in proximity.  So let us be reminded: today, the universal Church celebrates the feast of the body and blood of Christ.  Not anything else. The universality of the Church’s feasts, [Read More…]

The Feast of the Epiphany: What will you give to the Lord?

Another week, another attempt at a homily.   Thanks to all for the feedback on my homily for the Feast of the Holy Family.  This week I got started earlier–in fact, as soon as I posted the last one, I went to check out the readings for today.   Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, the [Read More…]

Fourth Sunday in Advent: Why Should the Lord Come to Me?

My last homily for Advent and it is a day late.  This week I had a hard time making myself sit down and read the readings, let alone reflect on them.   And I have only been doing this for two months.  My respect for pastors who have done this for years, and give thoughtful sermons [Read More…]

On Divorce: Ratzinger Then and Benedict Now

It seems that Pope Emeritus Benedict has changed his mind, and wants to make it  known that he is repudiating an argument he made forty years ago.   Six years ago the Pope asked Gerhard Mueller, then Bishop of Regensberg, to oversee the publication of his collected theological works.  Benedict was  a prolific theologian, and his [Read More…]

Singing Is Believing

I was converted by Haitian Eucharistic hymns. Of course, there is a good deal more to the story than that, but the statement is nonetheless true – especially if one considers the conversion process (which never really ends) to contain many conversions, big and small, along the way.  And my first conversion in relation to [Read More…]

The Revised Translation: Once More Into the Breach

I ran across something today that got me thinking about the revised English translation of the liturgy again.  I guess I should let this go, but things I read keep bringing it back up.   Maybe I am obsessed, or maybe this is a case of a process Richard Feynman described:  you keep a bunch of [Read More…]

My Futile Search for the Perfect Mass

Since I’ve been more transient than usual of late, I’ve experienced parish life and worship in a variety of settings within recent weeks and moths.  And since I’ve been endowed with a critical mind that was hard enough to tone down even before seriously studying theology and liturgy, there is always something I end up mentally [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…]

A Catechetical Thought for the Feast of Corpus Christi

It has been widely reported in recent years that there is a divergence between what the Catholic Church believes about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and what many people in the pews believe.  As reported in US Catholic, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate has some new survey data on [Read More…]

The Day it All Began

Eight years ago on this day – the feast of St. Francis Xavier – I began to be converted. Following an unofficial yet well-honored Mennonite tradition, I was doing a year of post-college voluntary service in Haiti under the church-based development organization Mennonite Central Committee.  And in an ironically Mennonite twist, I was first drawn [Read More…]