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

April 14, 2019

As Catholics know all too well, our Church has a serious illness, one that has been insufficiently treated for too long. Whatever causes we may each prefer to blame, St. Paul gives us a prescription in today’s epistle reading, the great Christ hymn preserved in his letter to the Philippians: Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, / did not regard equality with God / something to be grasped. / Rather, he emptied himself, / taking the form… Read more

March 23, 2019

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s response to the horrific mosque shootings in the city of Christchurch has been rightly hailed as exemplifying strong and compassionate leadership. Her (and her country’s) combination of compassion and resolve, lamentation and action, demonstrates what a national response to a tragedy can look like in a way that looks downright enviable from within the present American context. Still, I have to wonder whether every part of that response is fully translatable. I’m not talking… Read more

March 7, 2019

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the mass readings from two weeks ago, February 17 (the sixth Sunday in ordinary time).  I actually got the idea for this post at mass.  This happens a lot–I get an idea, I chew on it for a few hours, but it doesn’t get written down and fades away.  This one, however, has stuck with me.   Part of it is that the Gospel of St. Luke has always been my… Read more

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