November 29, 2014

Stallone. Schwarzenegger. Willis. Three names, among many, that we effortlessly associate with action, rescue, triumph. Somewhere, something in the world – order, structure, freedom – has fallen away. Or, perhaps, evil has overwhelmed good. An ordinary man gets pressed into service and, with guns blazing and bombs blasting, he becomes a one-man rescue operation. Loud. Aggressive. Masculine. Effective. The world is set to rights and all is made well yet again. Our focus is easily drawn to the dramatic, our attention uncontrollably compelled to the sensational. We… Read more

November 22, 2014

The temperature has dropped considerably here in New York City – seemingly earlier than usual. And the homeless, ever present, are now even more noticeable. No, not as people. But rather as bundles of battered, shivering flesh. The lucky ones have blankets, and hats and gloves. And cups for begging. We might never look into their faces. But we see enough of them to realize that they are there – so that we can side step them. For all practical purposes, they aren’t… Read more

November 16, 2014

We recently observed the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. Back when I was in college, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, such an event was simply inconceivable. It had been, after all, only 33 years earlier that the Soviet Premier, Nikita Krushchev, had proclaimed that communism would economically – and perhaps in other ways as well – bury the West (although some slight alternate translations have been proposed). Not having grown up with fall-out shelters in school basements… Read more

November 9, 2014

  The Catholic Church has long recognized that a not negligible number of men and women experience deep-seated homosexual tendencies. Catechism of the Catholic Church (“CCC”) 2358. It further recognizes that for many these tendencies constitute a very real trial. Importantly, the Church doesn’t try to analyze – either psychologically or theologically – why these tendencies exist. Nor does it condemn those who experience them. What the Church does do is set forth certain moral obligations and guidelines – but not solely… Read more

November 2, 2014

On All Soul’s Day each year, we remember those who have departed this earth before us – those upon whose shoulders we stand. Their existence is the very reason that we are able to journey just a little bit further from where we started – whether in the fields of science, mathematics, philosophy, music, or theology. Without their courageous exploration, their sense of curiosity, their scientific experimentation, their life-affirming passion, our lives today would be very different. Perhaps, even, non-existent. Today is also a day… Read more

October 26, 2014

It’s a little over a week now to the mid-term elections here in the United States. I am, by training, background, and nature, a die-hard political junkie – following the very latest polls with a super-abundant interest and a (mostly) unabashed partisanship. The names of the incumbents and the challengers in each of the contested US Senate races around the country flow ever so easily from my lips, along with the latest projections from Nate Silver and Election Projection. While my one and only… Read more

October 23, 2014

Father Barron briefly weighs in on the recently-concluded Synod. His common sense is, as always, comforting. Approaching the goings-on from an historical perspective, he reminds that the Holy Spirit is always at work no matter how messy things may seem at the time – so let’s all take a deep breath. Yes, the process wasn’t pretty. But it is a process. And it is still on-going. We are at the very beginning of a conversation that may well last a very long time. Perhaps even generations. Have… Read more

October 19, 2014

Church politics. As a recent revert, I’ve managed to avoid thinking much about it. My heart has been gratefully focused upon the warmth, the charity, and the peace that has come from being back home. Until now. The Synod goings-on, the exploding heads, the earthquakes that really weren’t, the release of the final relatio, the perhaps deliberate confusion. Intrigue. Hidden, and not so hidden, agendas. Vanity. Accusations and counter-accusations. Deceptions and denials. Fear and loathing. No, this is not what I wanted to think about…. Read more

October 13, 2014

Scientists tell us that Microquakes are imperceptible earthquakes with magnitudes less than 3. Why should we be concerned with microquakes?  They do not harm anybody, right?  Nonetheless, just as an irregular heartbeat is not a heart attack, it can indicate imminent danger. Hold on to that. I’ll get back to that in a minute. I have – so far – been silent about the on-going Vatican Synod. As a recent revert, I’m still just trying to take it all in, still… Read more

October 5, 2014

One of the main issues that I had with the Church as a practicing Protestant – and which continued somewhat into my early time as a revert – concerned the legitimacy and the necessity of the Catholic Priesthood. After all, my last interaction with a Priest hadn’t been a good one, and was largely responsible for my falling away from the Church at age 14. No, nothing sexual. Far from it. Let’s just say that a very teachable moment – and the opportunity for mixing in… Read more

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