September 19, 2019

God doesn’t send anyone a cross to bear. How many times have you heard the pious pablum that He does? It’s not just insipid; it actively harms people’s faith in God when they are in pain and they hear this message. So let’s do better than just not saying it ourselves. We need to get clear about what “bear a cross” refers to, so we can refute its misuse and comfort those who have been damaged by it. Friends, despite… Read more

September 2, 2019

Mystical theology seems to have become a lost art in Western Christianity, at least from the 17th century onwards. Is it possible for Western Christians to make this course of study without joining an Eastern monastic or liturgical tradition? And why has it been so muted in the West for the past 400-some years? Read more

August 6, 2019

Why are these massacres occurring with crushing and accelerating frequency? I can’t help but perceive not simply “lone wolves” without consciences, but a spreading evil spirit animating these murderous acts. But lest anyone think I’m saying “the devil made them do it,” let me explain what I mean by conscience. Read more

July 23, 2019

Half Taiwanese, half white, I heard from random strangers, both black and white, growing up in Arkansas, “Go back to China.” Of course it’s racist to say something like that. It’s asinine to argue otherwise. But what matters far more to me is how many days will we allow to go by as children sleep on concrete, under fluorescent lights, separated from their families? THAT trauma, already enacted under Obama and made so much worse under Trump: is this all… Read more

July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day to you all! Political self-determination is a human necessity because it gives scope to love. Mark Helprin in one of his novels calls America the “ardent unlimitedness.” Let us always be grateful for the limitless American mission to see and honor the dignity of every human life and to pursue that mission more earnestly today than we did yesterday. That mission is our glory and our judgment. Last year, I posted this for Massachusetts Citizens for Life… Read more

July 2, 2019

When we read the Bible, what are we looking for? Clarity? Instruction? Inspiration? Whatever we seek, that is what we will find. Read more

June 2, 2019

I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world [cosmos] wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in [have faith in, entrust themselves to] me; about righteousness [what God deems just], because I am going… Read more

May 14, 2019

In the grand arc of Scripture, we see again and again that there are two heads of households that vie for dominion over every person: the Good Father and the Father of Lies. Reading the Scriptures through this frame opens up a wealth of deeper understanding. Read more

April 26, 2019

This Triduum that just passed, I was abundantly blessed to be able to hear the words of the sacred liturgies with newly attuned ears—ears become familiar, for the first time, with an anthem that the disciples would have known by heart. Recognizing the themes and allusions in Jesus’s words and actions, they would have received a much richer understanding than most of us can glean from our modern perspective and superficial biblical knowledge. And thanks to a most incisive lecture… Read more

April 13, 2019

To continue the series on ways of deepening our relationship with the Holy Spirit, I have been doing quite a bit of research into charismatic renewal and prayer groups over the past couple of months. One thing I discovered is how fraught with negative connotations that word “charismatic” is for many people. For some, their experiences with “charismatics” conjures up word associations such as “crazy,” “hucksters,” “cultish,” and even “abusive.” And they have gut-wrenching true stories that make those associations… Read more

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