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...]

A Due-Process Compliant Pathway to Restore Constitutional Fetal Personhood and Reverse Roe v. Wade

Rafferty article collage

“The power of the modern state {including one of its arms, such as its highest court} makes it possible for it to turn lies into truth by destroying the facts which existed before, and by making new realities to form what until then had … [Read more...]

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

Shaneyfelt-Maher photos 2-21-15

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some 20 years earlier … [Read more...]

“We Will Be Judged by Love”—and Other Insights of Jorge Bergoglio

Echeverria photos 2-17-15

We are still trying to figure out the thought of Pope Francis. Examining several insights in his collection of writings and talks, entitled, Only Love Can Save Us, will help. Embedded in letters, homilies, and talks he wrote between 2005 … [Read more...]

What Does Authority Have to Do with Religion?

McDermott photos 2-19-15

“Authority” is generally used as a derogatory term in our world. Nazism gave the word a bad name as German officials, one after another, at the Nuremburg war trials sought to excuse themselves by claiming that they were just obeying a … [Read more...]

Jansenism and Ireland

Van Hove photos 2-22-15

Too often, writers claim that classic Irish religious culture was “Jansenistic,” or pessimistic, and that Ireland was nothing more than an island with a dark and dreary religious history. Harsh critics point to the recent “scandal” … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds