Inhuman Baseball

Unfortunately, the scene is now familiar to us. The runner on first breaks for second as the pitcher delivers the ball to home. The catcher jumps to his feet, throws a rocket to the second baseman as the runner slides into the base. The play is close, as are so many plays in this game of inches, but . . . . Continue Reading »

On Not Being Seventy

For the longest moment driving home two days ago, I was convinced that my next birthday, then just days away, would be my seventieth.I cannot think what trick of mind swayed me to that conclusion. True, I have been looking forward to being seventy, perhaps enough mentally to add a year to my tally. . . . . Continue Reading »

Silence of the Churches

Tomorrow, on April 29th, Rome’s white marble Trevi Fountain—its swirling waters and the charging baroque statues of Oceanus, his sea shell chariot and attendant tritons and horses—will all be turned blood red in a campaign to raise awareness about modern day Christian martyrs. The popular . . . . Continue Reading »

The Most Important Day of Your Life

During talks around the country in recent years, I’ve been asking Catholic audiences how many of those present know the date of their baptism. The high-end response is a little under 10 percent. The average is about 2 to 3 percent. This, brethren, is a problem. You know your birthday. You know (or . . . . Continue Reading »

Prince: Dance. Music. Sex. Religion.

Iʼm twenty years old, maybe twenty one. Weʼre four deep in my little two-door Saturn, on our way back from a show in the city. Itʼs late. I canʼt remember who played, but they were good. (They were all good back then, or at least I thought they were.) Weʼre passing the auxiliary cord, sharing . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pacifist Temptation

A few days after the Vatican unveiled Amoris Laetitia, the Pope’s impressive exhortation on families in the contemporary world, it hosted another event—one much less worthy of praise.The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, along with Pax Christi (an international Catholic peace movement), . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare the Conservative?

Writing at Salon, Colin MacDonald urges us to dispense with the “myth” of the conservative Shakespeare, the Shakespeare who endorsed the divine right of kings and genuflected to his royal patrons. To MacDonald, a poet who has Lear say, “Unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare, Four Centuries On

This Saturday, April 23rd, marks an important anniversary: four hundred years since the death of William Shakespeare. Or, at least, four centuries on from the traditional date of Shakespeare's death, dated backwards from his funeral on April 25th, 1616. Similarly, Shakespeare's birthday is not . . . . Continue Reading »