On a Nationalized American Religious Disposition

I don’t take many calls that come in from 800- or similar area codes, but I took one this morning, because I am expecting a call-back from HP regarding a warranty replacement hard drive for Ezra, my Windows 7 desktop computer (which I had prematurely identified last week as suffering from software problems, but which were being caused by a failing hard drive). The call was from an organization looking to add my name to a petition supposedly being submitted somewhere or another as a token of protest against the legal successes of a militant atheist group ...

O Oriens

“O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” (O Antiphon for Dec 21st) Ironic, isn’t it?, that the antiphon for the Winter Solstice calls upon Christ as the Light of Dawn, or Rising Sun, or Dayspring from On High! Like all the antiphons of this octave, it recalls an Isaiahan Messianic prophecy: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown.” (9:1 in NAB – 9:2 in most versions). All the bells and w...

Divine Manifestation and Humility: Pentecostalism and Eucharistic Hope

I was wondering, a while back, what kind of difference it might have made in my life to have encountered a perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel when I was a young man seeking some sort of religious grounding for my spiritual life. I’m wondering about it again as I sit before the Blessed Sacrament on another Sunday late-night. Specifically, I’m thinking about that year or so I spent huddled in my apartment, trying to piece together the shards of my shattered life in the wake of the disaster that was my twenties, and seeking a path to actualize my nasce...

More Hope, Less Stress: Better Living

Today was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. I’ve been fittingly pensive and reflective lately, almost to the point of feeling haunted. This is a time of year that used to fill me with energy, but these days seems more likely to leave me thinking about lost opportunities. I became starkly aware last night, while driving downtown to teach my CCD class, of how short a fuse I was on, and how much stress I was feeling. That’s not a good thing for me, and I quickly had to coax myself back off the ledge. Thinking about how to go about lowering my stress ...

Why MaybeToday?

I was listening to a lecture by Peter Kreeft a while back, and he observed that time is the stuff of which life is made – time is life. People often say that time is money, but that’s an understatement. Kreeft is right: time is life. This isn’t meant to suggest that time is a metaphysical necessity, or that there can be no such thing as eternal life. Rather, it means that the life we each possess – our life – is ultimately a very precise allotment of time, and that each sunrise brings us one day closer to death. Time is really all we have, and the ...

“The Fruit of Abortion is Nuclear War.”

Today was the feast day of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose profoundly wise words grace the title of this post. It’s hard to overstate what she meant to the world during the last years of her life. Everyone, regardless of religious affiliation (or lack thereof), saw her as a living saint. Just the idea that someone like that can exist in our cynical times is a testimony to the truth, one that quietly cuts through the fog of modern despair with a beacon of hope. I can do no better tonight than to let her speak here in her own words: “...

Hitting the Road to Worship with Pope Hope

In less than 36 hours, Joyce and I will be in New York, for the papal Mass at Yankee Stadium. I’m very much looking forward to the experience, even if it means getting on a bus at 6:00am, and spending four hours traveling each way, just to sit high in the upper deck of the stadium. As much as anything else, I’m looking forward to the community. I expect celebrating the Mass with 50,000 Christians, or whatever it works out to be, will be exhilarating. I get energized on Holy Days when several hundred people crowd the church where I typically c...