Questions Answered – January 2021

What Does It Mean to Judge? Question: When can we and when can we not judge? Answer: “Judge not, lest you be judged.” (Mt. 7:1) This text is the origin of much handwringing on the part of Christians about judging others. As a confessor, … [Read more...]

Outgrowing Jesus?

How Atheist Richard Dawkins' Recent Book Misleads Young Adults

Outgrowing God, the most recent book by famed evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins, caught my eye when being prominently displayed in a local bookstore following its release in late 2019.[1. R. Dawkins, Outgrowing … [Read more...]

The Hail Mary and Love

At the Annunciation, St. Gabriel brought a message from God that was really a declaration of love. No doubt some people reading this have heard that praying the Rosary is not as repetitive as it may seem at first glance, because with each … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – June 2020

At Mass with Jesus on Calvary: Reflections on the Prayers of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist By Fr. Gene Martens, SJ. Reviewed by Fr. James Swetnam, SJ. (skip to review) Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of … [Read more...]

Springs of Mercy in the Coronavirus Desert

This period of pandemic has been one of significant suffering and substantial sacrifice. Most notably, we mourn the physical suffering and loss of life of those most deeply affected, and the grief of those who love them. Those of us less … [Read more...]

The Book of Jonah

On Repentance, Mission, and Compassion

Of the twelve minor prophets, the book that has been consistently pondered and examined with much fascination is the Book of Jonah. This is attributed to its mythical imagery, which illustrates the prophet’s journey to the land of Nineveh. U … [Read more...]

God the Father Revealed in “The Prodigal Son”

Traditionally the parable of The Prodigal Son has been one of the greatest sources of hope for mankind, as Jesus provides us with a metaphor for His Father that stresses His forgiveness and mercy. We stray as the prodigal son strays, but … [Read more...]

Homily Possibilities for the Sunday Scrutinies

During the three middle Sundays of Lent, the Christian people welcome in a special way the Elect who are presented to Christ’s Church as those seeking full communion. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent thus provide great opportunities f … [Read more...]

Running in the Bible

Its Implications for the Christian Life

In the United State of America in the early twenty-first century, running is one of the most popular forms of physical exercise. Of these, today’s runners, one might ask: how many know that running has a significant place in the Bible? Many … [Read more...]

Preaching the “Story of Stories”

Of the many writings from the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, one stands out simply by virtue of its intriguing title — “Life: A Story in Search of a Narrator.”[1. P. Ricoeur, “Life: A Story in Search of a Narrator,” in eds. M.C. Doeser and … [Read more...]

What Is True Mercy?

Is mercy merely the affirmation, allowance, or clemency an authority figure extends toward a subject — in light of the subject’s understanding of an act he or she desires to engage in given a specific circumstance? Or, is mercy something muc … [Read more...]

Conscience as Relationship, Part II

A Dialogue through Which God Takes Us beyond Ourselves

In the second of these two articles on conscience[1. See Francis Etheredge, “Conscience as Relationship, Part I: General Principles and Personal Experience,” Homiletic & Pastoral Review (Jan 2020), hpr … [Read more...]

Well Directed — Lessons Learned
from Saint Paul

The Importance of Spiritual Direction in the Ministry and Mission of Evangelization in Light of the Life and Ministry of the Apostle Paul

We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may … [Read more...]

The “Female Diaconate” after the Amazon Synod

The Mystery of Human Sexuality in the Woman at the Well and the Vital Sacrament of Apostolic Succession

In light of the recent Amazon Synod, the question of the female diaconate has once again been raised. It is more than obvious that novelty and change are today’s signs of progress. In the twentieth century, for example, scientific a … [Read more...]