Articles

Pentecost, the New Babel

One of the most beautiful and profound parallels of our dear Catholic faith is the notion of types and analogies. This means that many things in the Old Testament are foreshadowing of things in the New, or that certain things that were … [Read more...]

Worth a Thousand Words: Iconography as Language

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” as the saying goes. This common phrase hints at something deeper: the profound ability of images to communicate ideas. This should not surprise us. Words are signs, pointing to something … [Read more...]

Women Deacons: At What Price?

(This article was originally published in the print version of Homiletic & Pastoral Review, July 1996.) Now that Pope John Paul II has "definitively" ruled out women priests in his apostolic letter to the bishops, others are … [Read more...]

Beginning Each Day in the Presence of God

We’ve all heard, and we all know from experience, how important it is to start the day off right. If we wake up grumpy, or overly tired, it is much more difficult to face the challenges of each day cheerfully and with optimism. How often do … [Read more...]

The Power and Powerlessness of Mercy

In seeking to appreciate as well as to imitate the mercy of God—which the Church proclaims in a special way in this Jubilee Year—a concept of “power” would seem, if not contradictory, at least not helpful for our spiritual journey. When we … [Read more...]

John and John: The Last Two Prophets of the Parousia

Prophecy and conscience can be compared to a bride and a groom. Their relative individual strength depends upon the strength of the relationship between them. Prophecy, like a groom, offers itself to the conscience so that the conscience, … [Read more...]

The Metaphysics of Christian Love

Introduction This essay will largely confine itself to the thought of two Christian writers on the nature of love: Josef Pieper and Josef Ratzinger. The latter, being the younger of the two, is immensely indebted to the ideas of the … [Read more...]

Philosophy Is About Real Questions: Why the Pain If There Is No One There?

Although we are naturally philosophers (cf. Fides et Ratio, 3-4, 33), what will bring that search for the truth to the fore and confront us with a question in search of an answer? There are those, however, that claim that truth does not … [Read more...]

A Vast Depth of Meaning: The Sea in Luke and Acts

The sea has a special appeal to the human heart. It has occupied our imaginations since the earliest myths: Odysseus, tossed about on the sea; Aeneas, exiled by Juno's hatred across the deep; and the destructive, yet life-giving cycle of … [Read more...]

Amoris Laetitia: A Deceptive Joy

The recent publication of Pope Francis' document on the family and married life, Amoris Laetitia ("Joy of Love") has caused consternation, confusion, and deep anguish among Catholics. They wonder: Are the Church’s timeless teachings on … [Read more...]

Eastern Christian Liturgy in a Western Homily

St. John Paul II famously proclaimed that “The Church must breathe with two lungs”—speaking of the Western Church and the Eastern Church. Such breathing is meant to permeate all of the Church’s life and not just, say, the lives of … [Read more...]

A Garden Unfinished

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: … [Read more...]

At That First Fish Fry: A Message for Ordinary Time

So we now pass from the great liturgical seasons of Lent and Easter to “ordinary time.” Since mid-February, the Church has traveled the spiritual desert of Lent, has reveled in the joyous celebration of Easter, and has witnessed the final … [Read more...]

Life in the Spirit

God is Spirit God, in whom we live and move and have our being, is Spirit. We do not, and cannot, exist apart from God; for we are the created effects of the uncreated Cause that is effecting our existence. Our cognitive-affective … [Read more...]

Islam and French Politics: A Reflection

The freedom that we so easily demand is a freedom without reason, a freedom that does not need to give reasons since it always has a "right" or a "value" at its disposal; so marvelous are these claims that they are established just by being … [Read more...]