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The Merciful Grace of the Truth

At the Easter Vigil a few weeks ago, tens of thousands of men and women, mature adults, were baptized or entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Each of them walked a unique itinerary of conversion; each of these “newborn babes” (1 Peter 2.2) is a singular work of the Holy Spirit. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Loving Intellect

What does it mean to be an intellectual? The word comes from the Latin word for understanding, intellego. Lego has dense, multifaceted meanings: to choose, select, collect, and gather. It also means to read. When inter gets added, which means “between,” we get a compound meaning, something like . . . . Continue Reading »

The Mystery of Eternal Love

One of the most common charges leveled against Christians in the early church was that they were atheists. They did not worship the gods of Rome and Greece, nor did they follow the mystery religions of the East. Indeed, they claimed to worship the one true God of Israel, the Creator of all that is, . . . . Continue Reading »

Don't Pray?

Another heartbreaking mass shooting happened late Thursday evening, in Lafayette, Louisiana. As of now it appears two victims have died, and another nine are injured. The gunman also killed himself.Numerous calls for prayer have been issued, including from the governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal. . . . . Continue Reading »

Agape Wins

There’s been much talk lately about the moral purposes of history, especially from those celebrating the recent Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage. History, we hear, is on the side of ever-expanding personal freedom, and those who counter this expansion are history’s losers. This . . . . Continue Reading »

The Three Fausts

We live in an age of science and technology. To say this means more than acknowledging the benefits we have derived from their accomplishments. Science and technology now claim authority in ethics, metaphysics, and theology. We give to science privilege in settling age-old questions of right and . . . . Continue Reading »

Marriage and Dignity

Recent arguments at the Supreme Court revealed deep confusion about the nature of dignity. Arguing that “the marriage institution did not develop to deny dignity or to give second class status to anyone,” but rather “to serve purposes that, by their nature, arise from biology,” attorney James J. Bursch described the push to legalize same-sex marriage as the desire to “take an institution that was never intended to be dignity-bestowing, and make it dignity-bestowing.” Justice Kennedy responded with suitable confusion: “I don't understand this ‘not dignity-bestowing.’ I thought that was the whole purpose of marriage. It bestows dignity on both man and woman in a traditional marriage. It’s dignity-bestowing, and these parties say they want to have that, that same ennoblement.” Continue Reading »

Loved Through Eternity

I wasn’t going to say anything further about being adopted, not beyond what I’ve said before. The wistful “melancholic nostalgia” I described about being adopted is gone. It has been replaced with . . . well, I don’t know, perhaps, a practical certainty I’m better off. The fact of adoption weighs on some adoptees, adopted as babies with little or no access even in later life to the real story. I was one of those.There is at the heart of things the knowledge somebody could not, or would not keep me. It puts a strain on things. It adds a tentative dimension to many relationships. I don’t like it, but there it is, hunched in a corner waiting to snag me unawares. So, no, I wasn’t going to say anything more. Continue Reading »

What Is Love?

Recently, I sat through a session of someone offering reflections on the “God is love” theme of I John 4:8. He did a pretty nice job of it until his wrap-up. “God is Love,” he said, “what a wonderful thought. But it is also a wonderful thing to realize that Love is God as well. But that’s a subject for another time!” Continue Reading »

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