Raphael Among the People

“The most beautiful painting in the world,” Raphael’s Transfiguration, belongs not in a museum but in a liturgical setting, the master of pontifical ceremonies and a scholar of liturgy and sacred art recently declared in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, speaking of a painting that now sits is the Vatican’s own Pinacoteca Museum… . Continue Reading »

Progressive Catholicism’s Simplistic Thesis

Nearly fifty years have past, but the legacy of the Second Vatican Council (it ended in November 1965) still remains a matter of debate. Not surprisingly, studies of the history often become advocacy. The American Catholic Revolution: How the Sixties Changed the Church Forever, by Mark S. Massa, S. J., is no exception. Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, Fr. Massa hangs his history on the old caricatures that have dominated liberal interpretations of modern Catholic history for decades… . Continue Reading »

Cogito and Christ

A radical shift in the Zeitgeist was occurring: authority began to be questioned; a skeptical relativism spread among the intelligentsia; claims about God and moral absolutes were rejected; human belief was perceived to be nothing more than a social-construction; the Christian worldview continued to crumble, its primacy supplanted by secularism… . Continue Reading »

The Eternal Shrug of Rome

It takes a traveler mere minutes in Rome to understand why she is called the “Eternal City.” Speeding from the airport, the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica suddenly looms from beyond the Vatican walls and time seems to turn in on itself. Insta-communications and all the glories of the present age become as passing fanciesu2014the grass that withers and fades… . Continue Reading »

The Appeal of a World Scattered and Scorched

King K’inich Kan Bahlum II reigned in Baalak from 685 AD to 702 AD. Like his father, the great K’inich Janaab Pakal, he was responsible for many of the most glorious architectural and artistic achievements of Mayan civilization’s “classical period;” it was he who oversaw the completion of the great pyramidal Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque, on one of whose walls he left a legend predicting that his dynasty would last until 21 October 4772… . Continue Reading »

The Deepest Rest of Restless Man

Labor Day is upon us, the long weekend that puts an exclamation point on summer’s end. I’m planning, if that’s the right word, to do nothing in particular. Rest, however, is never simple and often ambiguous. We sometimes speak of those who have died as finally at rest, or as resting in peace. It’s not a negative image, but then again it’s not positive either… Continue Reading »