Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Playing House

From Web Exclusives

Thirty years ago, as her wedding day approached, Princess Diana’s uncle tastelessly reassured the curious press that she was in fact a “bona fide” virgin. Today, on her son’s wedding day, almost every press outlet has reassured us that the royal bride’s virginity is no longer an issue. No one would expect the bride and groom to “adhere to an ideal that fell out of fashion several generations ago.” … Continue Reading »

The Problem of Weevils

From First Thoughts

This morning On the Square , Russ Saltzman ponders the intricacies of a Eucharistic faith: Then there are questions bothering me yet about elements that are inadvertently added to the elements. I have reluctantly swallowed a fly (wasn’t much way to avoid it) from the chalice while . . . . Continue Reading »

Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted

From First Thoughts

In our second On the Square essay today, Wesley J. Smith tells the story of Fr. George Calciu, a Romanian Orthodox priest imprisoned and tortured for his faith: George Calciu was the youngest of eleven children, raised by devout parents as a faithful Orthodox Christian. Romania became communist in . . . . Continue Reading »

How to Preach the Resurrection

From First Thoughts

This morning On the Square Russ Saltzman teaches preachers how to preach the Resurrection: Here is what I do need to hear. Before you preach Christ raised make sure you preach Jesus dead. This is a frequently neglected point in sermons on Resurrection Sunday. Oh, I know something will get said of . . . . Continue Reading »

Thank God

From First Thoughts

In our second On the Square piece today, Alma Acevedo asks: To whom is Richard Dawkins grateful when he expresses “an abstract gratitude that I am alive to appreciate these wonders, when I look down a microscope it’s the same feeling, I am grateful to be alive to appreciate these . . . . Continue Reading »


From First Thoughts

This morning On The Square Russ Saltzman plans ahead for the sermon he will have to give on January 29, 2012. The text will be Mark 1:21–28, the story of the unclean spirit whom Jesus commands to leave the man it has possessed: With umpteen years of ordination behind me I should have said . . . . Continue Reading »

Russell Saltzman on Immigration. Again.

From First Thoughts

In last weeks On the Square column Russelll Saltzman provoked the ire of many readers with his One Thousand Five-Hundred or So Uninformed Words on U.S. Immigration Policy . Today, he offers One Thousand Two Hundred Or So Winsomely Forceful New Words on Immigration to clarify and defend his . . . . Continue Reading »

NFP Outreach Summer Institute

From First Thoughts

Natural Family Planning Outreach has announced its National Summer Institute to be held July 11-15 at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. The topic for this years conference is “Catholic Healthcare Identity: Medical and Pastoral Strategies.” NFP Outreach has marshaled an . . . . Continue Reading »

The Lonely Campaign Trail

From First Thoughts

In this morning’s On the Square, Russell Saltzman recalls his time working on a friend’s political campaign, the pain of voter rejection—even when not a rejection of you personally—and concedes the possibility of a noble politician: Did I learn anything? Yes, a few things. I . . . . Continue Reading »