Articles

The Homiletic Directory

Crombie photos 4-8-15

In response to a request made by the 2008 Synod of Bishops, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recently published the Homiletic Directory. The Directory was commissioned to assist homilists in their … [Read more...]

Offering Dignity through Hope, Not Death with Dignity

To photos 4-10-15

In February of 2015, Valentina Maureira, a 14-year-old Chilean girl with cystic fibrosis, created a viral video appealing to Chile’s President for assisted suicide.[1. Worland, Justin. “Chilean 14-Year-Old with Cystic Fibrosis Asks to … [Read more...]

On a Small Point of Doctrine

Schall photos 4-7-15

He (Sir Thomas More) gave up life itself, deliberately; he accepted violent death as of a criminal, not even for the Faith as a whole, but on one particular, small point of doctrine—to wit, the supremacy of the See of Peter. (Hilaire … [Read more...]

Practicing What We Preach

Miller photos 4-10-15

As he struggled with the question of whether or not to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, John Henry Newman expressed his desire to encounter ministers of Christ carrying out the mission of their Lord and his Apostles in … [Read more...]

Not Guilty

Gates photos 4-2-15

Sacrifice has been bound up with biblical religion since the earliest, “pre-historical” chapters of Genesis. Genesis chapters 2 and 3 can be read as one continuous Sabbath day following the Seventh day of rest from Genesis 1, on which … [Read more...]

Lord, I Would Believe

Knight photos 4-6-15

In this little expostulation, let us take a closer look at the state of mind of the demoniac’s desperate father, who says, “Lord I believe; help thou my unbelief.” It is not uncommon to recollect this expression of hope in the words, … [Read more...]

More than Sentinels Wait for the Dawn

Valentine photos 3-25-15

I’ve had it, Chaplain. My right leg still hurts like hell from the shrapnel, and God only knows when the drugs will kick in. But physical pain is one thing; thinking about the insurgents I killed in that firefight last deployment bothers … [Read more...]

Words Written on Ice and Wind

Detail, fresco of St. John Chrysostum, artist unknown (13th  Century), Church of the Theotokos Peribleptos, Ohrid, Macedonia.

At the turn of the century, I graduated from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.  Armed with an MFA in creative writing, I set out to write the Great American Novel. I taught writing at the University of Central Florida in … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on Preaching

Fr. McGavin artwork on preaching

Articles on preaching typically emphasize advance preparation. The most crucial advance preparation occurs in seminary, or even pre-seminary, in the systematic reading of Scripture. Long years and discipline in Lectio Divina are the … [Read more...]

How to Read Christology and Still Keep Your Faith

Supper at Emmaus, Bartolomeo Cavarozzi (1615-1625).

“Christology” is everywhere. That is, if we take its basic etymology and understand it simply as “speech concerning Christ.” People can utter his name flippantly, even blasphemously. Popular films and novels can be … [Read more...]

New Testament Witness

Ordination of St. Stephen by St. Peter, by Fra Angelico (1447-49).

The faith of the early Christians in Jesus and the Kingdom of his Father constituted them as a community or Church. If it was their shared faith that formed them into a community, who and what they believed in would be the decisive factor … [Read more...]

St. Joseph: His Increasing Importance in Our Times

St. Joseph and the Infant Christ, Giovanni Battista Gaulli (1670-85).

In his Apostolic Letter Le Voci of March 19, 1961, the “Pope of St. Joseph,” St. John XXIII, invoked that saint as the Patron of the Second Vatican Council. Shortly after the beginning of that Council, he inserted the name of St. Joseph … [Read more...]

Jesus, the Flowing and Living Water of “Yhwh”

Christ Healing the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda, by Bartolome Esteban Murillo.

This essay is a theological reflection of two biblical passages and their implicit allusions in matters of theology and Christian spirituality. The first episode is taken from Ez 47:1-12, concerning the pericope of the stream of water that … [Read more...]

What Is the Spirit Saying through Pope Francis?

Photo credit: Tania Rego/ABr. The photo has been cropped.

When I was in seminary, I learned in moral theology the importance of avoiding moralistic preaching. In short, moralistic preaching is when a priest simply states the rules. For example: a priest preaches that abortion is wrong and sinful; … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds