June 3, 2018

This great Feast of Corpus Christi falls just a couple of days after my brief stay with a distant cousin who is a charismatic evangelical. It leads me to compare and contrast how she and I understand and experience the presence of Jesus. As I was making and eating breakfast in her house the other day, I couldn’t help but overhear a long video she was watching of a British charismatic preacher on her smartphone. I have no idea of… Read more

June 1, 2018

How are we to live? What is the good life? The central question of philosophy. But Christianity raises the stakes from there (as we began to explore in the last post), setting the good life within the limitless dynamism of the Trinitarian processions, revealing the fulness of the good life as an eternal life. An eternal life has everything to do with the resurrection of the flesh, the realization of new heavens and a new earth in which justice is… Read more

May 31, 2018

Who am I? What constitutes my “self”? An imperative might attend that interrogative: Find Yourself. Perhaps an injunction of consumerist inanity. Perhaps an Augustinian call to interiority. How do we become ourselves? Do we consume the world, in the hope of gaining enough substance to turn our black-hole personality inside out and shine again? Or do we endure our existential ache, attentive to where it points us (to our origin and end), ready to surrender whatever there is to us in… Read more

May 26, 2018

These are Pentecostal days, days of conflagration. That might come across as ominous. Is and isn’t. The Heraclitean fire arcing from alpha to omega is limitless love and supreme delight. But having to encompass every motion within its sanctifying motion, this fire of the Holy Spirit must also master malice and the empire of self. To love, we have to burn hotter than the fires of self-love (“To Carthage then I came burning”). Which means the Holy Spirit must burn… Read more

May 20, 2018

Happy Pentecost to you all! This great feast shakes us awake to the cosmic scale of the Christian mission. The Kingdom we are the instruments of realizing encompasses all time and space and every human soul who has or will ever live, in their tens of billions. Keeping this before our mind’s eye, humbles us and makes us more ambitious at the same time. Serenity and urgency characterize the Christian who knows what has to be done and Whose motive… Read more

May 19, 2018

Love one another, with a love so limitlessness it is divine. That is the one command refracted in all other true commands, attested by the entire Johannine corpus traversed in the liturgical readings of Eastertide. Love minus zero/no limit, Bob Dylan so aptly expresses it, and it is the most necessary thing for life. Everything grows from the Cross, as displayed in the riot of acanthus and doves in the San Clemente apse mosaic. Love one another as I have… Read more

May 16, 2018

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:14-17 This unique incident in Acts is well worth contemplating during… Read more

May 12, 2018

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15 This key verse of the Gospel for the Ascension of the Lord was also the theme for Pope Francis in a recent address he gave to about 150,000 representatives of the Neocatechumenal Way. Some reports of this event suggest that much of the address was a subtle rebuke to a group that has not always been exemplary in the way it goes about evangelization. But this is a constant… Read more

May 10, 2018

Happy Ascension Thursday! Here in Boston we observe the feast at its proper time, allowing for a novena of days before Pentecost. Today it is most true what Saint Paul says, “In [God] we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), for Jesus has recapitulated the whole of humanity within the starry reaches of love. We wish to see all the nations stream towards the heights, all people in deepest communion with each other, so I want to reflect… Read more

May 7, 2018

The iron ticking of the cosmic clock sounds like futility. Friends die or fade away; projects and accomplishments that once seemed so urgent look less and less meaningful; our bodies betray our infinite desire. Inexorable entropy. Yet there is a possible dawn in each moment, wherein God the Father might still surprise us. And no matter how hard life may be, spring has a way of stoking the hopeward embers of even the brokenhearted. Paternal providence works this Easter miracle… Read more

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