This Campaign of Christian Service

Maybe because of the areas where much attention has been drawn of late, something stood out to me in the collect of this morning’s Ash Wednesday mass.  The prayer begins, Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service… The word “campaign” immediately brought to my mind a political [Read More…]

Humility, Humility, Humility: A Brief Thought on Today’s Lectionary Readings

Conduct your affairs with humility…. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are. Go and take the lowest place. Bishop Robert Barron, who I heard referenced in this morning’s homily, said quoting St. Bernard of Clairvaux that “the three most important elements of the spiritual life” are “humility, humility, and humility.” As I listened to [Read More…]

Nationalism is not catholic.

Yes, the lower case in this title is intended to make a point: while the same should follow in the “big-C” sense of “Catholic”, I want to make it clear that I am referring to a thing called catholicity – without which calling ourselves “Catholic” wouldn’t mean much.  It is a reminder for those of us [Read More…]

On Catholic Dress: Sexuality, Status, Modesty and True Humility

Back in February I had a post on modesty and dress, which I analyzed through the feminist lens of the “male gaze.”  This is a subject we have discussed regularly on Vox Nova (see here, here, here, and here).  I my last post there were a few interesting questions left open, in particular a suggestion [Read More…]

Benedict the Radical

One year ago, Pope Benedict XVI carried out what will surely go down in history as the most radical act of his pontificate: leaving it.  It was this startling act – the first papal resignation in six centuries – that made possible the next great surprise: the election of his successor, the first pope to [Read More…]

The Conspicuous Absence of Things

The font is dry.  The bells are silent.  The tabernacle is bare.  On the one day of the year that no Mass is celebrated, the abnormal absence of these tangible reminders of who we are, ironically, makes us sit up and take notice.  Ordinarily, perhaps, we need Ordinary Time to hear the resplendent message of the Church’s [Read More…]

A Chair, a Shepherd, a Servant

Beloved: I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and the one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.  Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but [Read More…]

Fr. Greg Boyle’s Thought for Today

Recorded at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles earlier this morning: [youtube] [Read more…]

Holy Week is the School of Humility

In his classic, Humility of Heart, Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo wrote:  “In Paradise there are many saints who never gave alms on earth: their poverty justified them. There are many saints who never mortified their bodies by fasting, or wearing hair shirts: their bodily infirmities excused them. There are many saints too who were not [Read More…]

Hematite Crucifix: A Lenten Meditation

Two years ago on Good Friday, I became a little more Catholic by acquiring the first and only crucifix I have ever worn.  I bought it from a teenage girl in a coffee shop who was selling jewelry as a fundraiser for her church youth group.  Although she was not Catholic, there were a couple [Read More…]