Pope Francis and the Clash of Revelations

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In his Spirit of Mediaeval Philosophy, Etienne Gilson considers how medieval Catholic philosophers would have regarded “an exercise of reason that would be purely philosophical and systematically withdrawn from the influence of faith.” According to Gilson, they would have said that it was technically possible, but pointless. Why? … Continue Reading »

The God of Silver Linings

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The first time Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence), one of the stars in Silver Linings Playbook, appears on screen, she’s wearing a cross. I figured it was a token inclusion, Hollywood’s nod to that part of America for whom traditional religion still means something. But I was wrong. Though the director may not have intended it, the cross was not a ploy; it was the foreshadowing of an allegory steeped in Christian themes, making Silver Linings Playbook an unexpected gift for those seeking faith in film… . Continue Reading »

With Me in Paradise

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Is this a “Catholic moment”? Six of the nine Supreme Court justices are Catholic, the vice president and former vice presidential candidate are Catholic, and Catholic moral theology, specifically the Church’s opposition to contraception, has hit mainstream. In venues like the New York Times and the Huffington Post, as well as more traditional and conservative web sites, Catholic thinkers have weighed the proper approach to poverty, abortion, and marriage, pushing into matters”Is Paul Ryan a Randian? What is “intrinsic evil”?”normally found in footnotes… . Continue Reading »

Celebrating St. Ignatius of Loyola

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As the Jesuit high school where I work began to wind down for the year, I reached a point where I needed clarity, something to bring calm to the chaos of the closing weeks and to center me in a reality more timeless than the NBA playoffs. So I decided to return, as I do often, to the life and thought of the man whose feast day we celebrate today, and every July 31: St. Ignatius of Loyola… . Continue Reading »

The Gift and Grace of Doubt

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“I am plagued by doubts. What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet. If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.” ” Woody Allen, Without Feathers. It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if we all had so clear a sign, and gazing at our carpet never hurled us into existential grief? … . Continue Reading »

Easter Season and Mysterium Tremendum

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So the tomb is empty, He is risen, and we rejoice. Mimosas and friends, in fact, greeted me after Easter Mass, and my soul felt like the chorus of Handel’s Messiah. My phone buzzed with happy text messages. It was a good day. I don’t think that reaction is bad (when are mimosas ever bad?), but untroubled elation does not necessarily capture the original Easter mood… . Continue Reading »