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INTERVIEW: A Bishop Speaks on Coronavirus and Church Closures

Many Catholics are deeply anxious about the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in. Some are frustrated and even angry about parish closures in a time when we long for access to the sacraments. And it is looking increasingly as if we may have an historic Easter without public celebration of the Triduum. In light of these developments, I wanted some...

Peace, Be Still: Making the Most of the Storm We Face

Fear is a mental and spiritual virus. It spreads faster and more efficiently than any airborne disease. Its symptoms are at times anger, aggression, isolation, despair, irrationality, loss of faith, and clouded judgement, among other things. And if there is one emotion that dominates the world at this time, it is a deep and abiding fear. It is no wonder,...

Suffering and Strength

One of the most pernicious lies of the modernity is that we were made for comfort. Every day, thousands of advertisements and so-called experts promise us a life free from suffering and pain---if only we buy one more thing.  Yet, the comfortable life they promise is an illusion. For all our advancements in science and technology, suffering is no further...

Relics and the Gritty Faith of the Early Church

At the northern tip of Via Giulia in Rome, you’ll find the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini. The large dome that crowns this church is one of many that accent the Roman skyline. San Giovanni dei Fiorentini If it’s hot, airy churches like San Giovanni provide the weary pilgrim with a spiritual and physical oasis. Most likely, you’ll be...

Calvary: A Film for Our Times

The following is a review of the film Calvary. Spoilers Ahead. Calvary is rated R and earns this rating. Viewer discretion advised.  I first watched the film Calvary four years ago. I remember leaving the theater feeling shocked and not a little disgusted. It was a brutal film, even an ugly film. And yet, four years later, I believe it is exactly the film we...

A Royal Priesthood: Salvation, Election and the Power of Mediation

The history of salvation is in many ways a history of mediation. In the Old Covenant, God raised up mediators in the form of priests and prophets---like Moses, Aaron, and Samuel---to intercede for the salvation of his people. These mediators were specifically chosen, often reluctantly, to carry out the divine mission. These men were types or pictures of the One...

The People of the Cross: The New-Martyrs of Egypt

Yesterday, Palm Sunday, was the beginning of Holy Week. Worshippers of the ancient Coptic Orthodox Church in Tanta, Egypt were gathered together, palm branches in hand, to remember the Lord's entry into Jerusalem and the beginning of his Passion. Without warning, an explosion violently rocked the front row of the church, spraying the attending priest with blood. Deafening noise and dark...

Life’s Not Fair: Finding Joy by Accepting Things As They Are

One of the most pernicious lies of the modern world is that life is supposed to be easy and comfortable. There is even a sense in which moderns believe they are entitled to this comfort and ease---that it is some sort of fundamental human right. Many of us have absorbed this subtle thinking, even though we may not realize it. When trouble...

St. Thomas More: A Saint for the Persecuted Church

St. Thomas More is one of the great English saints of the Church and he is a wonderful saint for those individuals who are undergoing persecution for their Christian faith. St. Thomas More was born in 1478 in London where his father was a lawyer and judge. He received a stellar education at St. Anthony’s school and became a household page...

Miserere Nobis: A Plea for Conversion in the Midst of a World in Crisis

The world, it seems, is falling to pieces. Each day brings ever worsening reports of war, violence, and devastation. Protests, riots, bombings, beheadings, rapes, kidnappings, persecutions---the list goes on and on. Yesterday, yet another horror unfolded in Paris, one of the most devastating yet in the Western world, and we feel with foreboding that it likely will not be the...