Hating Ourselves to Death

From Web Exclusives

A few years ago I had occasion to spend a few days in Vienna. The beautiful city of museums and music remains a favorite but a forlorn one; its charming avenues and architecture and nightly concerts could not fully distract from the sleepy sense of diminishment that hung over the city, like the acquiescence of a cancer patient who has decided to forgo the next round of treatment… . Continue Reading »

Love, Limits, and Loss

From Web Exclusives

A too-long-undiagnosed bout with Lyme Disease has left me challenged with arthritis and some neurological damage. The arthritis has its uses: I can predict rain, and the pain gives me something to offer up in prayer, or as penance. Not so the neurological issues. At the peak of my illness I was unable to figure out how to do the dishes … Continue Reading »

Haiti, Stingy America, and Kristof

From Web Exclusives

The earthquake and disaster in Haiti immediately brought to my mind the Christmas Tsunami of 2004. Some may remember that when that horrific event struck, President George W. Bush immediately dispatched naval (and other) assistance and committed $350 million dollars (pdf) to relief efforts, to start… . Continue Reading »

Wrangling on Liturgy

From Web Exclusives

A few days ago Inside Catholic re-ran a piece of mine from 2007, wherein I related personal experiences with “old” and “new” Catholic liturgy. It was a gentle essay that concluded in the hope that Catholics could find a way to bring the best parts of past and present liturgies together and weave them into a marvelous whole cloth upon which we might all stand “as we wait in joyful hope, for the coming of the Lord.” … Continue Reading »

The Toxic Card of Racism Trumps Hearts

From Web Exclusives

A few months ago, during the Obama-at-Notre Dame controversy, I had a conversation with a journalist, during which I opined that the whole issue of life versus death was”and has been since the time of Moses”a contest between light and dark, and would continue to be so. The journalist said, “you just said ‘black and white,’” and teased me for being a racist. But I’d said “light and dark,” and he admitted, when he stopped laughing, that he had heard “light and dark,” but had immediately extrapolated it to “black and white” and then thought of Obama, hence the tease… . Continue Reading »