Make Hell Hot Again

I have a problem with hell that goes beyond squeamishness. The problem is one of inserting the damned into God’s endgame, his final fix—creation brought to its triumphant completion. Doesn’t the presence of everlasting torment put a damper on the success story? I went to Aquinas for . . . . Continue Reading »

Observe His Prayer

At the outset of Moby Dick, Father Mapple preaches to a congregation of whalers. His text is the Book of Jonah, and it stands out as one of the most enjoyable fictional sermons of all time. After God has assigned him the task of preaching repentance to the city of Nineveh, Jonah flees “with . . . . Continue Reading »

Suffering Poorly

am glad you feel you are ‘standing still’ in your spiritual life. I should be still better pleased if you felt you were losing ground! Whatever makes for humility is so much to the good.”

Frames of Mind

My attention span is waning. I’ve noted it for the past couple of years: no longer can I sit for hours with a single book before me—barely recognizable is my teenage self who marathoned through Harry Potter volumes the day they arrived at my door—and the convenient packaging of 25 minute episodes of my favorite TV-shows has so shaped me that even sitting through a two hour long movie is at times difficult. I’ve no doubt as to the cause of my attention shortage, though. The recurring itch to check phone, e-mail, and social media as I attempt to work through any text of depth or any movie of richness reminds me again and again that my ability to focus was exchanged over time for the instant gratifications of the alerts and messages my electronic devices have brought me. Continue Reading »