January 3, 2019

Yesterday’s matins reading from Saint Gregory Nazianzen for the feast of two of the Cappadocian theological giants provides warmth in our emotional Pleistocene. Gregory presents an intensity of friendship that this loveless age with its queer puritanism of right and left cannot seem to fathom. Eros, the impassioned journey from self to other (the perfective transcendence of embodied spirit not simply reducible to sexuality) has been exiled from the American soul, and all sides have colluded in this fundamental act… Read more

December 1, 2018

The final readings of the liturgical year reveal that the Tree of Life produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month… my eschatological curiosity was piqued. A monthly cycle, not of blood, but of fruit. Read more

November 26, 2018

Ohio is expected to pass soon, even over the veto of Gov. Kasich, a prohibition on performing abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected. This would generally prohibit abortions after about 6 weeks of gestation, and clearly violate the Constitutional standard enunciated by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Ohio legislature is well aware of this, and the bill is explicitly crafted to go into full effect if and when the Supreme Court overturns Roe. Testing the… Read more

November 14, 2018

Who knows what to make of the Holy See’s move to forestall the American bishops’ deliberations on the Catholic abuse crisis at the fall USCCB meeting? One might hope it means that the Congregation for Bishops wishes to see a more fundamental reform in the hierarchical constitution of the Church: beyond necessary procedural changes, there must be a revolution in, and renovation of, Church order, to give pastoral charity a chance to have effect in this loveless realm of human… Read more

November 1, 2018

The Bishops aren’t going to save the Church. That was clear to me as I read the rough Google translation of the final document of the recent Synod. Synodality is not going to save the Church. Pope Francis is not going to save the Church. His successor chosen by and from among the College of Cardinals, whoever and whenever that is, will not save the Church. Stop holding your breath; the cavalry is not coming. Yet we know that the… Read more

September 24, 2018

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” — Mark 8:34b-35 (Gospel for 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time) “Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry)… you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath,… Read more

September 17, 2018

Moral imagination can be as important to training the conscience as logic, and probably more so for some. This metaphor of a hedge maze with God at the center is offered to help readers better understand progress through the Christian life, sin of various kinds, and the grace of being within the shelter of the Church and its teachings and Sacraments. Imagine the Christian life as a hedge maze garden. At the center is the fountain of God’s pure Presence and… Read more

September 14, 2018

Collect: O God, who willed that your Only Begotten Son should undergo the Cross to save the human race, grant, we pray, that we, who have known his mystery on earth, may merit the grace of his redemption in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091418.cfm Preface: It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,… Read more

September 8, 2018

The upper hand of power would extinguish the victim. From the totalitarian night of occupied France, the poet René Char recorded: “Light has been banished from our eyes. It’s buried somewhere in our bones. It’s our turn now to hunt for it and put back its crown.” The powers and dominations torture our eyes into not seeing either suffering or hope, the luminosities of the Cross, amid our thoughtless routines and certainties. Rather, we pretend our neighbor is not bleeding… Read more

August 28, 2018

Reading the tea leaves of clerical power politics is a fool’s game. And here we are, having to play it. In the years before the collapse of my marriage and the betrayal of my children by professional Catholics, including hierarchs of most callous soul, the Viganò “testimony” would have been something like catnip to me (except for the attack on the Pope). The former apostolic nuncio to America hits all the conservative notes. It seems so obvious, so clear. So… Read more

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