​Praise Be to You, Lord

From Web Exclusives

The First World War lingers in the memory as humanity’s first encounter with industrialized killing on a mass scale. New weapons of the machine age obliterated forests, villages and fields—an entire way of life. This new type of war also deeply shaped the thinking of men who experienced it . . . . Continue Reading »

Fire Upon the Earth

From Web Exclusives

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus speaks the first words of his adult ministry not to his family or to his friends”but to his adversary, Satan, in the desert. He says,“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” And in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus begins his public ministry with these first words: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” … Continue Reading »

Wisdom, Christian Witness, and the Year of Faith

From Web Exclusives

A long time ago in Germany, a man kept a diary. And some of his words are worth sharing today, because they’re a good place to begin our discussion. The man wrote: “Speak both to the powerful and to every man”whoever he may be”appropriately and without affectation. Use plain language. Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance, and be ready to let it go. Order your life well in every single act… . Continue Reading »

Pope Francis and the Christians of the Middle East

From Web Exclusives

At the start of his installation Mass this week, Pope Francis prayed at the tomb of Peter, near the place in the Vatican where the first bishop of Rome was martyred. The small group Francis asked to join him in the crypt under the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica included Iraq’s Patriarch Louis Sako and other heads of the Eastern Catholic Churches… . Continue Reading »

Evangelizing Young Adults

From Web Exclusives

The current White House, and many others in our nation’s leadership classes, have a very different understanding of religious liberty from what our country’s founders intended. As a result, I’ve thought a great deal about St. Thomas More. We revere the witness of Thomas More because we know his story. But the reason we know his story is the courage of his daughter Meg… . Continue Reading »

Holy Impatience

From Web Exclusives

Some years before he was elected pope, Joseph Ratzinger was asked what he thought about the health of the Church. He answered that she was doing very well; she was just a lot smaller than most people thought. He was exactly right. We need to think of the Church in our age as a seed of life embedded in layers of dead tissue. We also need to distinguish the Church in the emerging world from the Church in developed nations… . Continue Reading »

Fighting for Religious Freedom

From Web Exclusives

Earlier this spring I had the privilege of being asked to take part in the funeral of Chuck Colson. Because of other pastoral duties, I couldn’t attend. But the invitation meant a great deal to me. Chuck embodied what it means to be a Christian leader. He was a man of faith, wisdom, humility, and courage. These are easy virtues to list. They’re much harder to live”but Chuck did live them, and he cultivated them in others through the daily witness of his own actions… . Continue Reading »

Yeshiva Lessons

From the Aug/Sept 2012 Print Edition

When the prophet Isaiah spoke to the Jewish people and said, “You yourselves shall be named priests of the Lord, ministers of our God shall you be called,” he was addressing all of God’s people. So when the Church proclaims this same Word of God in the Catholic liturgy, God, through . . . . Continue Reading »

Launching the Fortnight for Freedom

From Web Exclusives

I’ve known Greg Erlandson as a friend for many years. So I was glad to accept his invitation to join you tonight. And I’m very glad to speak on the theme of religious liberty because events in our country have made it an urgent concern. I can sum up my remarks tonight in five simple points. First, religious freedom is a cornerstone of the American experience. This is so obvious that once upon a time, nobody needed to say it. But times have changed… . Continue Reading »

Catholics and the American Future

From Web Exclusives

My theme focuses on Catholics and the American future. But sometimes the best way to look at the future is through the lens of the past. One of the most sacred symbols of the Roman state was an altar to the goddess Victory. It stood in the Roman Senate for nearly 400 years. In a.d. 382, a Christian emperor removed the altar as idolatrous. Two years later, after his death, the pagan prefect of Rome”Quintus Aurelius Symmachus”wrote one of the most interesting letters of Late Antiquity… . Continue Reading »