Recent Blog Posts
Intro to Lent 1: Prayer
First in a series of three posts.Reprinted from 2007.
How do you know it’s Lent?
It’s not so much by the ash mark on your forehead or fish marks on the calendar. Tradition tells us that Lent has three distinguishing marks: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
This three-part series will examine those practices. Prayer is surely the best place to begin, because it’s the one that unites them...
The New Creation: Reflections on the First Sunday of Lent
1 Peter 3:18-22
Lent bids us to return to the innocence of baptism. As Noah and his family were saved through the waters of the deluge, we were saved through the waters of baptism, Peter reminds us in today’s Epistle.
And God’s covenant with Noah in today’s First Reading marked the start of a new...
Gods Great Amen: Reflections on the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24-25
Psalms 41:2-5, 13-14
2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Today’s Gospel makes explicit what has been implied in preceeding weeks. Namely, that in healing the sick and casting out demons, Jesus is manifesting God’s forgiveness of His people’s sins.
They had wearied of God, refused to call on His name, we hear in today’s First Reading. Despite that, God promised...
Thoughts on the Church’s Old Testament Canon
The Canon of the Old Testament in the Days of Jesus
There was no universally-accepted canon of Scripture among the Jews in the first century A.D. Instead, different sects within Judaism had divergent views of which books were inspired and authoritative. The Samaritans and the Sadducees, although very different in their religious views and practice, were agreed that only the five Books of Moses were divinely inspired Scripture. The Pharisees, on the other hand, accepted a...
Made Clean: Reflections on the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1
In the Old Testament, leprosy is depicted as punishment for disobedience of God’s commands (see Numbers 12:12-15; 2 Kings 5:27; 15:5).
Considered “unclean” - unfit to worship or live with the Israelites, lepers are considered “stillborn,” the living dead (see Numbers 12:12). Indeed, the requirements imposed on lepers in today’s First Reading - rent garments, shaven head,...
“Paschal Sacrifice: A Heavenly Banquet for Earthly Beggars”
Does your mind wander at Mass? If so, here’s some very good news for you drawn from the Banquet Theology in the Gospel of St. Luke....
The Real Campaign
The year has hardly begun, and in the United States we’re already well into our race to November’s presidential elections. The campaign follows us wherever we go. The media micro-analyze every candidate’s every word and gesture. And then the news stories make their way into our conversations at work and at home.
The papers and blogs and news networks—and even the political parties—count on us to get...
The King’s Authority: Reflections on the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Last week, Jesus announced the kingdom of God is at hand. This week, in mighty words and deeds, He exercises His dominion - asserting royal authority over the ruler of this world, Satan (see John 12:31).
Notice that today’s events take place on the sabbath. The sabbath was to be an everlasting sign -both...
RERUM OMNIUM PERTURBATIONEM: Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on St. Francis de Sales
TO OUR VENERABLE BRETHREN THE PATRIARCHS, PRIMATES,
ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS, AND OTHER ORDINARIES IN PEACE
AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE.
1. In Our recent encyclical We examined the disorders with which the world today struggles for the purpose of discovering a sure remedy for such great evils. At that time We pointed out that the roots of these evils lie in the souls of men and that the sole hope of curing them is to have recourse...
Today’s saint, Agnes of Rome, is long overdue for a revival. Why? She was probably the most revered female martyr of the early Church — outstanding in a field that included Blandina and Perpetua, among others. St. Jerome was not a man easily impressed, but of today’s saint, his near-contemporary, he wrote: “Every people, whatever their tongue, praise the name of Saint Agnes.” Prudentius wrote a long poem and a hymn in her...