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The Woman’s Desire

I want to return to the deeply puzzling question: why does Genesis treat the woman’s desire for her man (Gen. 3:16) so differently from the man’s joy in the woman (Gen. 2:23)? Why does the one come after the first disobedience, and the other before—as if a woman’s sexual desire is a . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Elizabeth Warrens

The Republican establishment hung Ken Cuccinelli out to dry.  They deserve criticism for this, but where were the insurgent conservatives to come to his rescue?  Ever since the Dean campaign of 2003-2004, grassroots liberals have developed an infrastructure (and even more a culture) that . . . . Continue Reading »

Nothing New Under the Sun

I am currently enjoying Edward Short’s delightful and learned Newman and His Family , a study of John Henry Newman’s relationships with his parents and siblings, and a sequel to Short’s equally fascinating Newman and His Contemporaries . Protestant to the core of my being, I . . . . Continue Reading »

The Massacre of the Innocents

[caption id=”” align=”alignnone” width=”460”] Photo from The Guardian [/caption] From the   New York Times  this Christmas morning: At least 26 people were killed and 38 others wounded on Wednesday when a car bomb exploded in a parking lot near St. . . . . Continue Reading »

Glory in the Highest

In many churches, Christmas Eve is the first time we hear the Gloria since Advent began. We have been awaiting the coming of glory, and now here it is, the angels singing Gloria in excelsis: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace (Luke 2:14). Both the song and the occasion speak of a new . . . . Continue Reading »

When St. Francis Built the First Nativity

When Francis of Assisi orchestrated the first crèche in Greccio on Christmas Eve in 1223 with its scene of infant child surrounded by living animals, the intention was to humanize the birth of the messiah and so remind medieval Christians how near this God was. As Francis states, “I wish . . . . Continue Reading »

Public Funerals for Mob Leaders?

Vito Rizzuto, who last year returned to Montreal from a U.S. prison and (by all appearances, several of them bloody) resumed his career as a major Mafia boss, is dead of natural causes. Will he be granted a Catholic funeral, as was his son three years ago?  Nicolo, who was doing his best to . . . . Continue Reading »

Sign of the Times, Holiday Concert

When our kids sang that Santa’s getting thin for Christmas, I instantly understood it mocked this lean and cautious age we live in. Unintentionally, that is, which is less than good. To shape their minds with our preoccupations becomes our comeuppance: we adults binge on common sense, while . . . . Continue Reading »



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