December 29, 2019

Not that long ago, I met an Anglican woman who told me that at every service she attends, when the sign of peace is passed, she always shakes the hand of a solitary stranger before that of her spouse and children. “I know how awkward it can feel to attend Mass alone,” she says. “I want to make sure they feel included.” This struck me as a lovely gesture. As a single woman who routinely attends Mass by myself, I’ve… Read more

December 24, 2019

I posted this piece eight years ago.  It was written as a homily (I was in diaconate formation at the time and wanted to practice) to be delivered to a group of Secular Franciscans.  The images I found still haunt me, and this Christmas season I wanted to share them again. Wishing all of our readers a blessed Christmastide! (more…) Read more

December 9, 2019

I received the following reflection second hand via email.  It comes from a Catholic Worker email list, and is a lecture by Jim Forest, a long time member of the Catholic Worker, biographer of Dorothy Day, and friend of Thomas Merton.   I find his comments about compassion and peace-making to be very pertinent given the divisions in the world today, which is why I thought it appropriate to share on Vox Nova. Despite his physical distance from centers of protest… Read more

November 10, 2019

I have been asked by the Consistent Life Network to write 800 words on the Bible and the death penalty.  This is to be included in a document that will be some variant of “Consistent Life Answers to Common Questions.”   I readily agreed to do this, but on reflection I am realizing that this is a bit tricky, since I need to be able to speak to this in ways that cross Protestant/Catholic divides and several different ways of interpreting… Read more

November 6, 2019

In his response of the recent document of the Congregation for Catholic Education, “Male and Female he Created Them:” Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education, Fr. James Martin asks the Congregation, and Catholics more generally, to “Listen to the L.G.B.T. person.” It is true that in the section on listening (the first of three sections in the document, the following two being reasoning and proposing), the Congregation is concerned not primarily with the… Read more

November 1, 2019

In a time when fear holds so much sway, when violence is so often touted and life and dignity disrespected, may the witness of martyrs and messages of prophets strengthen us to walk the Gospel Way in the service of the Prince of Peace. For the strength to lay down all instruments of death, giving our first and greatest allegiance to Jesus Christ the eternal king rather than fight the wars of men, Saint Marcellus of Tangier and Saint Martin… Read more

September 27, 2019

To our readers:  just a note to let you know that thanks to your readership, the blog has made a donation to Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. Read more

September 26, 2019

I can’t get the image out of my mind. Ever since her impassioned speech at the United Nations, her tears and rebukes to world leaders, Greta Thunberg has stayed in my mind. In just a year’s time she has gone from an ordinary child to a global icon. A teenager who looks like a child in her unprovocative clothing and slightly untidy braids, she strikes a cutting image – whether protesting outside the Swedish Parliament, sailing across the Atlantic on… Read more

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

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