The Radical Vision of the Christian Family

I was asked to comment on the marriage-family crisis in our society.This interview was published elsewhere last week. I thought it would combine to make a good blog post. Enjoy.Is there a marriage crisis in the United States? How would you characterize it?“Crisis” is a good word to use because part of its definition is “a testing time.” Marriage is going through a time of testing. As a society we are re-examining what “marriage” means. As usual with tests there are a lot of wrong answ … [Read More...]

Two Jacks

CSL and JFK – Two Jacks

Today is the fifty first anniversary of the death of C.S.Lewis.He died, of course, on the same afternoon that JFK was gunned down in Texas.Both men were nicknamed "Jack" and that's pretty much where the similarity ends.The two Jacks symbolize two different ways through the world.Jack Lewis stands for the world of the intellect and imagination.Jack Kennedy stands for the world of practical power.Jack Lewis is the man of real faith combined with scholarship.Jack Kennedy … [Read More...]

Padre in the NYT

 I was asked to contribute this small piece to the New York Times on the subject of priestly celibacy. Catholics may think it nice and easy to support a married man with two children. But if the man and his wife are young and fertile, can Catholics support a large clerical family? Do … [Read More...]

Is “I Am Legend” a Christian Film?

My article for Imaginative Conservative this week is an analysis of the Christian symbolism and themes in the sic fi horror film I Am LegendThe film conveys the tense dread of living alone in an abandoned city inhabited only by humans who have turned into monsters. The atmosphere of a New York … [Read More...]

Living in the Past in the Present

Part of being a Catholic is to live in the past in the present.What I am getting at is the idea that the universality of the Catholic faith means that it transcends not only particular cultural circumstances and particular locales, but it also transcends time.Think about it. At Mass the … [Read More...]

Are US Bishops Attacking Pope Francis?

My article for Aleteia this week asks whether conservative Benedict XVI appointed bishops are out to get Pope Francis. In a highly biased report, radical progressive Michael Sean Winters twisted the Archbishop’s comments into criticism of Pope Francis. Archbishop Chaput replied, “There are people wh … [Read More...]

Is There a List of Mortal Sins?

One of the strengths and weaknesses of the internet age is that people write to strangers with personal problems which are often complex, but there is no context or background.So I'll get an email out of the blue from someone I don't know asking "What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Why … [Read More...]

I’ll Be Back

I've had a lot of other stuff to think about the last few days, and the head that usually thinks about churchy blog type stuff has been otherwise occupied.I haven't given up though.I'll be back. … [Read More...]

Life is a Casting Off

What is it in me that likes the difficult sayings of Jesus more than the easy sayings?Everybody loves Jesus who says, "Let the little children come to me" and "Neither do I condemn you"But have you read the gospels lately?  Jesus' teaching is much more forceful and strident than we like to … [Read More...]

Old Monk on Stability

Novice: I think God is calling me to join a different community Old Monk: As you go you will be taking the problem of this community with you. … [Read More...]

The Vulnerability of Beauty

A friend of mine once exclaimed, "Oh, the vulnerability of beauty in a world of useful things!"What he was observing is the fact that beauty cuts across utilitarian and economic ideals. Of course a thing that is efficient and useful might also be beautiful, but something which seeks to be … [Read More...]

Tolkien and the Great War

In honor of Armistice Day my article for Imaginative Conservative this week explores the influence that World War I had on Tolkien and his writing.It is from these first hand experiences of war that Tolkien was to find the ground and content for a fantasy that was empowered by vivid realism. … [Read More...]

One of God’s Little Women Warriors

Mother Cabrini was frail and tiny of body but strong of soul. Read about her here. Cabrini was born July 15, 1850, in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, in the LombardProvince of Lodi, then part of the Austrian Empire, the youngest of the eleven children of Agostino Cabrini and Stella Oldini, who were we … [Read More...]

Hate the Sin Love the Sinner – How Do I Do That?

It's a typical Christian bromide: "Hate the sin. Love the sinner."The problem is--how do I do that?The sinner sins. How do you separate the sin from the sinner, and to be honest, at the final judgement it is the sinner who is condemned for his sin. It's not like Jesus says, "There, there, … [Read More...]

Is There a Burke-Francis Feud?

 This week's article for Aleteia analyzes whether there is a personal feud between Cardinal Burke and Pope Francis There is gossip galore in the little world of the universal church. American Cardinal Raymond Burke has been transferred from his powerful post as Prefect of the Apostolic … [Read More...]

The Ancient Radical Vision of the Family

Here is an article/interview on marriage for Georgetown's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs: I have a very subversive and radical vision for Christian marriage. It is just as radical as it was when it first hit the scene in the Roman Empire in the first and second centuries. It … [Read More...]