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...]

Spring Reading for March 2015

Book Review photos 3-28-15

Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer. Leah Libresco (Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 2015) 192 pages; $12.12. (Reviewed by Fr. David C. Paternostro, SJ) --------- Master Thomas Aquinas and the Fullness … [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...]

Questions Answered

Mullady photos 3-2-15

Pope John XXIII was recently canonized, but I have read that he allowed documents to be produced saying that Jews were Christians to save them during World War II. Is this not a lie? A father of teenagers recently tried to get me to … [Read more...]

Homilies for March 2015

"The Transfiguration", by Giulio Romano.

Second Sunday of Lent—March 1, 2015 The Transfiguration Purpose: This Sunday’s readings focus on the idea of sacrifice. Abraham offers the greatest sacrifice of thanksgiving possible, his only son Isaac. This sacrifice prefigures … [Read more...]

Revisiting the Rabbits

Meconi photos 2-18-15

He said it. I wish he hadn’t said it, but he said it: “God gives you methods to be responsible. ... Some think that—excuse the word—that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits. No.” Pope Francis’ unguarded … [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...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds