My Easters With Robert Duvall

We all have our holiday traditions whether it’s watching college football and having a big dinner with the family on Thanksgiving or Midnight Mass on Christmas and opening presents afterward. On Easter Sunday, I spend most of the day with my family. Sometime in the late evening hours, however, I also spend some time with actor Robert Duvall. To be honest, I have never met him. I just watch Duvall in a little film he made, Tender Mercies (1983)… . Continue Reading »

The Death of Pope John Paul II: A View from the Square

“He was as alone as a man can be,” the Polish journalist Jerzy Turowicz remarked of John Paul II at the moment of his election. At his death on April 2, 2005, between the thousands packed into St. Peter’s Square, and the group of doctors, nuns, priests, and bishops in his bedroom, John Paul ended his papacy as far from alone as one can be… . Continue Reading »

Death on a Friday Afternoon
Richard John Neuhaus

Exploration into God is exploration into darkness, into the heart of darkness. Yes, to be sure, God is light. He is the light by which all light is light. In the words of the Psalm, “In your light we see light.” Yet great mystics of the Christian tradition speak of the darkness in which the light is known, a darkness inextricably connected to the cross… . Continue Reading »

Axis Mundi

I recently read an article in which a Methodist minister referred to the Eucharist as “revolutionary.” It would be easy to dismiss her use of a term used to advertise a new shampoo or safety razor. But the claim that the Eucharist is revolutionary is a reminder we very much need to hear, for it is very much true… . Continue Reading »

A Return to Mystery

Hans Boersma is a distinguished evangelical theologian who holds the J.I. Packer Chair at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. In Nouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology he reveals himself to be not only a scholar but also something of a mystic for our times. In studying the Catholic nouvelle théologie of the twentieth century, Boersma aims to overcome what Jesuit theologian Jean Daniélou described as the “rupture between theology and life.” … Continue Reading »

Johnny Cash: One More Time

As goes Scripture, so goes country music: The great lines are reused forever. Just listen to the final song that Johnny Cash composed, titled “I Corinthians 15:55,” and the refrain, which goes like this: Oh death, where is thy sting?
Oh grave, where is thy victory? Oh life, you are a shining path
… . Continue Reading »

Scoundrel Time(s)

The sexual and physical abuse of children and young people is a global plague; its manifestations run the gamut from fondling by teachers to rape by uncles to kidnapping-and-sex-trafficking. In the United States alone, there are reportedly some 39 million victims of childhood sexual abuse… . Continue Reading »

Bad Medicine

A kind of exhaustion always settles in, murky and miasmatic, after battle. The nation’s conservatives foresaw the apocalypse if the Democrats’ plan for health-care reform passed, and on Sunday”yesterday, as I write”it did pass. The world didn’t end. The people didn’t rise up in rage. Furious lightning didn’t descend from the heavens to smash the apostate Capitol into rubble… . Continue Reading »

Should Catholic Charities Settle for Harm Reduction?

Sr. Maureen Joyce, CEO of Catholic Charities in Albany, New York, described its recent decision to implement a needle exchange program for HIV/AIDS prevention as mere “common sense””a perfect reflection of the conventional, which is to say misguided, wisdom of favoring “harm reduction” techniques over other methods of confronting drug abuse… . Continue Reading »