June 9, 2019

Infinite and Ungraspable (What Really Matters, XII)

It is important to have a secret, a premonition of things unknown. It fills life with something impersonal, a numinosum. A man who has never experienced that has missed something important. He must sense that he lives in a world which in some respect is mysterious; that things happen and […]
April 14, 2019

Regular Ritual Practice (What Really Matters – IV)

This being Palm Sunday I anticipate that many of you reading this don’t come to Mass every week but are here because it’s a special day.  First, welcome! Second, I’d like to invite you to think with me about the importance of church ritual.  (Yes, this is an “ad” for […]
April 7, 2019

Becoming an Adult Disciple (What Really Matters – III)

“The woman caught in adultery” is a famous, but very strange, story.  (One aspect of its strangeness is that it doesn’t appear in early manuscripts of the John Gospel where we find it today [8:1-11], but does appear in some early texts of Luke [after Lk 21:38]; and scholars describe […]
March 31, 2019

Seeking the Lost (What Really Matters – II)

Today’s Gospel of the Prodigal Son is familiar; not so, Saint Luke’s comment that gives the setting for Jesus’ story: Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus. Isn’t that amazing? Jesus and his teaching are – attractive? Attractive to “tax-collectors” (in those days, local extortionists) […]
March 24, 2019

What Really Matters – I

(It came to me recently that I have only about a dozen more columns before I retire; so I’m going to aim – unless circumstances interfere – to focus on “what really matters” between now and June.) Jesus does something very interesting in today’s Gospel; we can learn from it. […]
March 17, 2019

The Proof of the Pudding…

…is in the eating, as the proverb goes.  With regard to the recent Vatican meeting dealing with the failures of church leadership to address clerical abuse of minors properly, I’ve had time over the past two weeks (since the meeting ended) to look for actions that might back up the […]
March 10, 2019

Two Different Worlds

I’ve been reading the materials from, and reactions to, the recently-concluded meeting at the Vatican on sexual abuse and its management (or lack of it) by the world’s bishops.
March 3, 2019

Practicing Catholic V: Listening to the Gospel

To be a disciple of Christ is to learn from Christ.  We meet the Risen Christ in His Word, especially as that Word is heard in the communion of the church.  But we only hear if we listen. Listening is hard, and rare.
February 24, 2019

Practicing Catholic IV: Discipleship and Life Together

If the communion of disciples, instructed by the Gospels and invigorated by the presence of the Risen Christ, is the seedbed of faith and sanctity, how we live together matters greatly.  Every day by our words and actions we encourage others toward Christ (and grow ourselves in closeness), or we […]
February 17, 2019

Practicing Catholic III: Discipleship and Silence

A few years ago I was faced with a pull from two sides: I regularly heard from one group of parishioners that they found the noise of chatter before Mass distracting and even damaging to their spiritual growth. Then if I talked about silence, I heard from (or was gossiped […]