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What Do You Love?

My weight is my love. Wherever I am carried, my love is carrying me.­–Augustine, Confessions What do you want? This is the fundamental question of Christian discipleship. Christ asks two future disciples quite pointedly in the Gospel of John, and asks it indirectly in a number of places: “Will . . . . Continue Reading »

An Invitation to a Roman Lent

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since my son, Stephen, and I spent two months in Rome—all of Lent and Easter Week—preparing a book that would allow readers to make the city’s ancient Lenten station church pilgrimage at home. But so it goes; tempus indeed fugit. Yet the . . . . Continue Reading »

Worship Wars

I listened in on a conversation recently on “the worship wars” in evangelical-style congregations and I heard some interesting observations. My main dissent, which I did not express, was that the discussants were treating the battles about worship as a relatively recent phenomenon—several . . . . Continue Reading »

Dear Father: Please Stop It

In all the sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Council, is there any prescription more regularly violated than General Norm 22.3 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy? Which, in case you’ve forgotten, teaches that “no . . . person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything . . . . Continue Reading »

Planning for Beauty

Discussions of liturgical music in many Catholic parishes have become needlessly polemical. The one thing we all agree upon is the poor state of liturgical music in most Catholic parishes. Like silly children taking up their parents’ quarrels, however, it’s not uncommon to see thirty-year-old adults arguing polemically about the “Spirit” of Vatican II and “hidebound” Latin traditions. While this irony may escape some, 2015 marks forty-five years since the Vernacular “Novus Ordo” Mass was introduced. The liturgical revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries are dying out. Priests ordained before the Council are few, and folk groups are quite literally aging out. Continue Reading »

It's Vespers Somewhere

Growing up as the son of a Baptist minister I confess that my attitude toward alcohol was, at one time, less than positive. Drink was associated in my mind with drunkenness. Like most late-Gen X/early-Millennial evangelicals, my attitude changed. In fact, even my parents now enjoy a glass of wine on occasion.What I regret most about this upbringing is not the absence of adult beverages. Having an aversion to these things as a teenager may well have saved me a host of troubles. What I regret is not having been initiated in a positive manner into the enjoyment of fine drink by older and wiser men, for the culture and community in which we learn to drink affects us well into the future. I had to stumble around, so to speak, and find my own way. Continue Reading »

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