Pope Francis and the EvangelicalsJan 19, 2016 11 Comments
The whole Christian world has watched with fascination as Pope Francis, over the past several months, has reached out to evangelicals. But does his outreach to evangelicals go beyond the merely symbolic? Is it grounded in more substantial theological commitments? I would argue the affirmative and to do so on the basis of Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel).
“The Revenant” and the Search for a Higher JusticeJan 12, 2016 4 Comments
How much of human history has been dominated by revenge which produces an endless cycle of violence? Alejandro Iñárritu’s new film, “The Revenant,” carries a crucially important message: if there is a God who provides a moral compass and presides over human affairs, then one can let go of vengeance and seek a higher justice.
Saint of Light, Saint of DarknessJan 05, 2016 3 Comments
Like so many others around the world, I was overjoyed to hear of the recent decision of the Vatican to canonize Mother Teresa. Mother’s life reveals so many aspects and profiles of holiness, but I would like to focus on three of them: love, prayer, and her light in the shadows.
All That is Visible and InvisibleDec 29, 2015 1 Comments
Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See”, which won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, is one of the most beautiful and finely-crafted novels I have ever read. And it affirms a core religious truth, that both the visible and the invisible are real and that they wrap around one another in powerful ways.
The Spiritual Master Pope Francis Wants You to ReadDec 15, 2015 12 Comments
This year marks the 750th anniversary of the birth of the great Catholic poet Dante Alighieri, whom Pope Francis has said, especially in this Year of Mercy, we should read and reread.
What Precisely is the Gospel?Nov 24, 2015 3 Comments
Catholics hold that the Gospel cannot be reduced to the mechanics of justification, or to state it differently, that justification is a richer and denser reality than Martin Luther thought. The basic meaning of the “Good News” is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, that God became one of us that we might become participants in his life.
“Bridge of Spies” and the Path to VirtueNov 17, 2015 3 Comments
To understand the nature of virtue, we should, as Aristotle suggested, watch the virtuous man in action. Steven Spielberg’s latest film, “Bridge of Spies,” gives us a prime opportunity.
René Girard, Church FatherNov 10, 2015 11 Comments
René Girard, one of the most influential Catholic philosophers in the world, died last week at the age of 91. The recovery of Christianity as revelation, as an unmasking of what all the other religions are saying, will remain his permanent and unsettling contribution.
Ross Douthat and the Catholic AcademyOct 29, 2015 65 Comments
Several Catholic professors and pundits recently signed an open letter to the “New York Times” claiming that op-ed columnist Ross Douthat had politicized his coverage of the Church and was unqualified to write about religious matters. The regrettable letter is indicative of a much wider problem in our intellectual culture, namely, the tendency to avoid real argument and to censor what makes us, for whatever reason, uncomfortable.