Recent Blog Posts

Darkness at Noon: Reflections on Passion Sunday

Posted on March 30, 2012

Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalms 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
Philippians 2:6-11
Mark 14:1-15:47

Crowned with thorns, our Lord is lifted up on the cross, where He dies as “King of the Jews.” Notice how many times He is called “king” in today’s Gospel - mostly in scorn and mockery.

As we hear the long accounts of His passion, at every turn we must remind ourselves - He...

The "Hour" Come: Reflections on the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Posted on March 22, 2012

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
Hebrews 5:7-9
John 12:20-33

Our readings today are filled with anticipation. The days are coming, Jeremiah prophesies in today’s First Reading. The hour has come, Jesus says in the Gospel. The new covenant that God promised to Jeremiah is made in the “hour” of Jesus - in His death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father’s right hand.


Inspiration and the Relationship of Divine and Human Authorship

Posted on March 20, 2012

This is part of a continuing series of posts on the fundamental Catholic doctrines of Scripture.  It picks up from my last post in inspiration, only dealing now with the relationship between human and divine in the composition of Scripture. 


Divine and Human Authorship

The Catholic doctrine of inspiration is commonly understood to entail that God is the primary author of Scripture, and the sacred writer is the secondary author. Phrased...

BREAKING!: New Document Promotes Priority of Scripture in Theology

Posted on March 12, 2012

Today[March 8th 2012] has been an extremely exciting day!

The International Theological Commission has a new document out, Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria. This is an incredibly helpful guide to doing Catholic theology.

To be sure, this is not a magisterial document—an official document from the Church’s teaching office. Nonetheless, this is important reading for Catholics interested in theology. Even non-Catholics I think will find it illuminating.


Spiritual Sacrifices: Reflections on the Third Sunday of Lent

Posted on March 09, 2012

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19:8-11
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
John 2:13-25

Jesus does not come to destroy the temple, but to fulfill it (see Matthew 5:17) - to reveal its true purpose in God’s saving plan.

He is the Lord the prophets said would come - to purify the temple, banish the merchants, and make it a house of prayer for all peoples (see Zechariah 14:21; Malachi 3:1-5; Isaiah 56:7).

The God...

Inspiration of Scripture in the Catholic Tradition

Posted on March 09, 2012

This is part of a series of posts on the fundamental doctrine of Scripture within the Catholic Church.



The fundamental conviction of the Church, relying on the faith of the Apostles, is that the Scriptures, in all their parts, are “inspired” or “breathed” by God, in such a way that God can truly be said to be their author.

2 Tim. 3:16 - All scripture is inspired by...

Bonds Loosed: Reflections on the 2nd Sunday of Lent

Posted on March 02, 2012

Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18
Psalm 116:10, 15-19
Romans 8:31-34
Mark 9:2-10

The Lenten season continues with another story of testing. Last Sunday, we heard the trial of Jesus in the desert. In this week’s First Reading, we hear of how Abraham was put to the test.

The Church has always read this story as a sign of God’s love for the world in giving His only begotten...

Intro to Lent III: Almsgiving

Posted on March 01, 2012

Third in a series of three posts.

Of the three marks of Lent — prayer, fasting and almsgiving — almsgiving is surely the most neglected.

And yet, in the only place where the Bible brings all three together, the inspired author puts the emphasis firmly on the last: “Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness … It is better to give alms than to store up gold;...

Supernatural Revelation

Posted on March 01, 2012

We continue this series of posts on the basics of Catholic understanding of revelation, now moving from natural revelation to supernatural revelation.

Supernatural Revelation
In addition to the revelation of God available in nature, God has also communicated directly with mankind through history, which may be called supernatural revelation. Supernatural revelation communicates to humanity truths that which transcend human reason although are not opposed to it (e.g. the Trinity, or the divinity of Christ), as...

My Ordeal

Posted on February 29, 2012

It was exhausting and exhilarating. Between the end of one semester and the beginning of the next, I spent ten days working to establish a more visible and permanent presence for the St. Paul Center in southern California—teaching, speaking, taping, consulting with bishops, meeting with scholars and Hollywood stars. At night I sometimes caught chill, and I had no appetite for eating. But I chalked it up to the frenetic activity.

I came home briefly...