August 24, 2019

The old question of holding hands during the Our Father has erupted again.  Before moving to the heart of this post, a bit of personal history seems in order.  The first time I remember this coming up was in the mid-1980s, at the parish we belonged to in Portland, Oregon.  Some people were for it, some were against it, and I cannot remember if we did hold hands or not.  (My wife says we did.)  The whole parish did it… Read more

August 19, 2019

It started off as another failed art pilgrimage. When I told our tour guide on our first day in Venice that I had come to see Titian’s masterpiece, her face fell. Read more

August 10, 2019

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a church group I am on the mailing list for, one that really set my teeth on edge. (I am going to leave the specific group out of it, as it is not relevant to the point I want to make.)  The email approvingly shared something labeled the Soldier’s Creed of the Catholic Army: I am a soldier of GOD.  I am a warrior and a member of TEAM JESUS. … Read more

August 6, 2019

Dorothy Day said that “I only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” Who do you love the least? For me, there is no question. It is Donald Trump, the most unlovable figure I can imagine. But Jesus loves him … Read more

August 4, 2019

Every time news breaks of another public shooting, I’ve come to have the same sinking thought: “What? No, not another one.” And then I automatically say a Hail Mary, a habit I’ve adopted on hearing news of any violent or otherwise untimely death. I have little more to add, having grown weary of trying to come up with something new to say time after time after time after time. But after a week when the US has been hit especially… Read more

July 30, 2019

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you… Read more

June 12, 2019

A nation that reflected Warren’s platform would be one in which the matrix of “a social order that welcomes children and an economic order that supports families” would be more fully realized and that matrix would provide women with greater incentives to reject abortion and bring their pregnancies to term. In concrete terms, this could mean tens of thousands of unborn children surviving pregnancy. Those are real human beings – not symbols in the culture war – who might live rather than die. Read more

April 20, 2019

You start by playing to fear. You will find plenty of people who, for various reasons, are feeling afraid and aggrieved. Exploit that for all it’s worth. Don’t bother concerning yourself with why they feel that way. After all, you’re not out to solve their problems or understand their concerns, but to win their loyalty. You can do this through branding, making superficial validations of grievances and vague but grandiose promises of restoration to greatness, and above all, feeding the fear…. Read more

April 15, 2019

“Oh my goodness – Notre Dame is burning!” I texted a friend just a few hours ago. He immediately replied with Mark 14:58, a verse particularly appropriate for Holy Week: “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.'” As I write these words, the great cathedral is still burning; the spire and roof have collapsed; we do not yet know how extensive this damage… Read more

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