Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, a Tale of GraceAug 16, 2016 12 Comments
Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have produced a new instantiation of the epic film, “Ben-Hur”. What principally differentiates it from the 1959 Charlton Heston version is its greater stress on the strange power of Christ to bring about forgiveness—an emphasis much needed today.
World Youth Day 2016: Source of HopeAug 09, 2016 0 Comments
We are passing through a particularly dark moment in the world’s history. But in the wizened faces of the members of Karol Wojtyła’s Środowisko, in the enraptured cries of 25,000 young people in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, in the serene witness of Poland’s martyrs, and in the mercy, within mercy, within mercy proclaimed by Faustina, I found much ground for hope.
3 Reasons Why “Vikings” is the Most Religiously Interesting Show on TVJul 26, 2016 11 Comments
if you’re a bit tired of the dreary secularism that dominates so much of contemporary entertainment and politics, I might invite you to watch a program that makes religion—and Christianity in particular—the central theme.
How Strange is the CrossJun 28, 2016 6 Comments
Fleming Rutledge’s “The Crucifixion” is one of the most stimulating and thought-provoking books of theology that I have read in the past ten years. There is so much value in this text that I plan to dedicate a number of articles to analyzing it. In this initial interpretive foray, I focus on two themes that run through the entire book and that ought to shape any Christian’s understanding of the cross: the sheer strangeness of the crucifixion and the weight of sin.
Thomas Aquinas and the Art of Making a Public ArgumentJun 21, 2016 8 Comments
There is, in many quarters, increasing concern about the hyper-charged political correctness that has gripped our college campuses. Might I suggest that it would help our public discourse immensely if all parties would return to the Thomistic method of debate rather than engaging in verbal violence or retreating to a "safe space" amidst controversial conversation.
4 Lessons on Divine Mercy from the Woman at the WellJun 07, 2016 8 Comments
As a basis for my presentation to priests from around the globe, I used the wonderful story from the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel concerning Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well. From this encounter I derived four principles regarding the divine mercy, namely that God's mercy is relentless, divinizing, demanding, and mission oriented.
Why “Last Days in the Desert” is so BoringMay 24, 2016 10 Comments
With his latest film “Last Days in the Desert” Rodrigo Garcia has accomplished something truly remarkable. He has taken a portion of the life of the single most compelling person who has ever lived and turned it into a colossally boring movie.
Daniel Berrigan and Non-ViolenceMay 10, 2016 38 Comments
Last week saw the passing of Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., an advocate of non-violence and one of the most provocative and controversial religious figures of his time. His death helps us remember that even as we hold to the legitimacy of violence under prescribed circumstances, so we hold to the legitimacy of non-violent forms of resistance, again, under the right circumstances. Precisely by living now as we will all live in the eschaton, advocates of non-violence plant the seeds of eternal life in the soil of the fallen world.
Shakespeare and the Fading of the Catholic WorldMay 03, 2016 11 Comments
Last week the world marked the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language. Whatever his personal religious commitments, the great poet, throughout his work, was indeed mourning the loss of something that came apart in the sixteenth century—something beautiful and something worth putting back together.
Why You Should Read C.S. Lewis' “The Great Divorce”Apr 26, 2016 3 Comments
C.S. Lewis was that rare sort of genius, able to combine high theological insight with vivid imagination, and it is precisely this coming-together that makes his writing so memorable--especially his classic fantasy book, “The Great Divorce.”
Porn and the Curse of Total Sexual FreedomApr 19, 2016 20 Comments
The most recent issue of “Time Magazine” features a fascinating and deeply troubling article on the prevalence of pornography in our culture. Yet neither the author nor anyone that he interviewed or referenced ever spoke of pornography use as something morally objectionable. Until we see that the laws governing sexual behavior, which are often read as “taboos” and invitations to repression, are in fact the manner in which the relation between sex and love is maintained, we'll never find true love.
“Miracles from Heaven” and the Problem of TheodicyApr 12, 2016 4 Comments
The surprisingly thoughtful and affecting film, “Miracles from Heaven,” illuminates a few aspects of the anguished problem of suffering: the rarity of miracles, God's delight in working through secondary causes, the Christian expectation of suffering, and the fact that suffering often gives rise to love.
First Thoughts on “Amoris Laetitia”Apr 08, 2016 56 Comments
In Pope Francis' new exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia,” he wants the truths regarding marriage, sexuality, and family to be unambiguously declared. But he also wants the Church’s ministers to reach out in mercy and compassion to those who struggle to incarnate those truths in their lives.