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The Acid Bath of Ingratitude

Early last week, there was a terrible accident. A young mother, driving on icy Wyoming roads, lost control of her car, and two of her three children became lost to heaven. A photograph of the family in happier days circulated the Internet and brought a stunning sense of pain to perfect . . . . Continue Reading »

Marriage Equality Now!

I’m committed to it. You should be, too. The inequality’s a scandal in our society. Like good schools, marriage has become something the rich can take for granted. Everybody else? Well, they’ve got to make it on their own. We need to do something about this. It’s time to get . . . . Continue Reading »

Not Just for Catholics

I am not a Roman Catholic, but I love the churches of Rome. Where else on earth is there such a concentration of hallowed houses of worship, sermons in stone and light, in art and architecture, that reveal so completely the antiquity and historical density of the Christian faith? That is why I was . . . . Continue Reading »

The New Monasticism Gets Older

Nearly ten years ago, Christianity Today highlighted the emergence of “the new monastics,” referring to them as an “intentional community” of “new friars.” The September 2005 article traced the birth of the new monasticism to a conference in June 2004 where . . . . Continue Reading »

Living Inside-Out

I am growing weary of the continual complaints from traditionalist Christians about current trends in Western culture. Not that matters aren’t growing darker. Believe me, in more than twenty years as a committed activist on behalf of the sanctity and equality of human life, I have witnessed . . . . Continue Reading »

Celebrity Pastors’ Walter White Problem

In the final season of Breaking Bad, Walter White, the chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin, has made more money than he can spend without breaking his cover as a mild-mannered cancer survivor. In one scene, he and his wife stare disconsolately at a ton of hundred dollar bills stacked two feet . . . . Continue Reading »

Isolated in the Information Age

Young voters are more politically up-for-grabs than one would think. They are more likely to favor same-sex marriage, and are unreceptive to the kind of fear of big government/socialized medicine political shorthand that is commonplace in conservative discourse (the scare words don’t scare them). But young voters are also closely divided on immigration policy and a narrow majority favor restricting most abortions. Continue Reading »

Let the Battle for Purity Begin

Each year on March 19, Catholics throughout the world interrupt the austerities of Lent to celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, patron of fathers and of the universal Church. Coming as I do from a Sicilian family, this feast has always carried a special significance. My father was not unlike St. . . . . Continue Reading »

Finding Truth in the Top 40

I’ve always been caught by words. Lines of poetry, in particular, have shown up on the doorstep of my memory, been invited in for fellowship, and never left. Take Shakespeare’s “Dirge,” for example, Golden lads and girls all must,As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.Humorous and . . . . Continue Reading »

Orthodoxy, State and Society

In a conversation about Russian Orthodoxy some dozen years ago, that famous source who can only be quoted off-the-record, the Senior Vatican Official, said to me, “They only know how to be chaplain to the czar—whoever he is.” Such asperity reflected deep frustration over the Russian . . . . Continue Reading »

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