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Tag: Pope St. John Paul II

The Poetry of Molly McCully Brown: A Theology of Broken Bodies

October 30, AD2017 1 Comment
The Poetry of Molly McCully Brown: A Theology of Broken Bodies

Molly McCully Brown‘s The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded is a magnificent collection of poems, depicting the experiences of profoundly disabled persons who, shunned by mainstream society, are institutionalized and hidden from view. These are people whose bodies fail them so thoroughly they seem less than human. For Brown, these profound disabilities reveal how […]

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A Baby’s Corpse: The Disingenuous Eucharist of “mother!”

October 2, AD2017 1 Comment
A Baby’s Corpse: The Disingenuous Eucharist of “mother!”

Darren Aronofsky’s film mother! starts out well enough, making masterful use of its setting and cinematography and centring on stellar performances from Jennifer Lawrence as Mother and Javier Bardem as her husband Him, a writer. And then it falls apart, climaxing with a woefully trite parody of the Mass, particularly as it is connected to […]

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Did Neanderthals Have a Soul?

September 6, AD2017 29 Comments
Did Neanderthals Have a Soul?

The magisterium of the Church takes a direct interest in the question of evolution, because it touches on the conception of man, whom Revelation tells us is created in the image and likeness of God Pius XII underlined the essential point: if the origin of the human body comes through living matter which existed previously, the […]

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The Young Pope: Popes Are People, Too

August 26, AD2017 0 Comments
The Young Pope: Popes Are People, Too

The Young Pope, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, is premised on what is apparently a radical idea: that popes might experience spiritual growth even during their pontificate. Unsettling Catholics expecting a pope with more certainty in his spiritual life and baffling secular critics who don’t know how to recognize or discuss a spiritual journey, […]

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Living in the Mutable: Of Time and Eternity

August 14, AD2017 3 Comments
Living in the Mutable: Of Time and Eternity

Pope St. John Paul II begins the encyclical Fides et Ratio with the admonition “Know Yourself”. Most apparently, we are material creatures and as such are mutable. We change. Change is time. In contrast, God is immutable, eternally so. He does not change. This essay is a meditation on time, on our nature as material […]

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Fear, Trust, and Skinny-Dipping in the Platte

July 27, AD2017 1 Comment
Fear, Trust, and Skinny-Dipping in the Platte

I have trust issues. It’s precisely this fact about me which limits my public self-revelation, and which more than anything else explains why I’m still a bachelor in my middle age. In the imprecise, even sloppy way we use the word love, to love someone isn’t necessarily to trust them with our vulnerabilities. We have […]

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Sex, Desecration, and Shame in Terrence Malick’s Song to Song

July 21, AD2017 0 Comments
Sex, Desecration, and Shame in Terrence Malick’s Song to Song

As Roger Scruton says, “Sex is either consecration or desecration, with no neutral territory in between.” That’s essentially the thesis of Terrence Malick’s recent trilogy of films: To the Wonder, Knight of Cups, and now Song to Song. To the Wonder opens the trilogy by, in accordance with Pope Benedict XVI, emphasizing that the loves […]

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Reclaiming the Ancient Beauty of the Latin Rite

May 26, AD2017 6 Comments
Reclaiming the Ancient Beauty of the Latin Rite

This past Lent and Easter I spent a lot of time at a Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic parish near my home. As someone who often gets up between 4:30 – 5:30 am for work, making daily Mass is typically pretty hard to do on the average weekday. That’s why I was blessed to have this parish […]

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The Theology of the Body: Part II

April 10, AD2017 0 Comments
The Theology of the Body: Part II

theology of the body I have been waiting impatiently for the “theological timebomb set to go off.” This was George Weigel’s assessment of The Theology of the Body by Pope St. John Paul II as described in Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II (p. 343). Little did I realize that the […]

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The Theology of the Body: Part I

April 9, AD2017 0 Comments
The Theology of the Body: Part I

theology of the body 1979 was an exciting year. My wife was pregnant most of that year with our third child. This was not an entirely pleasant experience for her, although it was greatly ameliorated by her hopeful anticipation of a girl. Thankfully, our first daughter after two boys was born in late August of […]

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Slivers

January 31, AD2017 2 Comments
Slivers

I had a love-hate relationship with my mother’s tweezers and sewing needles growing up. I always ran to my mom when I so often would get wood slivers in my fingers as I spent summer days outside on our Northeastern Colorado farm. Back then I was found climbing fences, running in and out of sheds, […]

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Rosary Reflections: A Renewed Call to Prayer

January 29, AD2017 1 Comment
Rosary Reflections: A Renewed Call to Prayer

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. Nobody comes to the father except by me.” He identified himself elsewhere as a “door,” and encouraged us to knock on that door with persistence, like a friend asking for bread. “Knock and the door shall be opened.” Catholic tradition is deep–2,000-years old deep, […]

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Sexuality, Reality, and the Sacramental in Knight of Cups

September 7, AD2016 1 Comment
Sexuality, Reality, and the Sacramental in Knight of Cups

  “The artist penetrates the concrete world in order to find at its depths the image of its source, the image of ultimate reality.” Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners A few months ago, I offered a commentary on Terrence Malick’s film To the Wonder, outlining the relationship it depicts between the love of eros and agape, […]

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Strange Dignity: Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God

July 21, AD2016 7 Comments
Strange Dignity: Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God

Lester Ballard, main character of the novel Child of God, commits murder, necrophilia, sexually harasses women, and is generally considered to be crazy. This being a novel by Cormac McCarthy, the most shocking thing about him is none of these. Rather, it is the suggestion that he might still have dignity, like anybody else, and […]

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What Theology Teaches About Corporate Responsibility

June 9, AD2016 11 Comments
What Theology Teaches About Corporate Responsibility

As business people, sometimes we forget just how connected the world of work is to the work of God in the world. Without question, individual business persons are moral agents. However, based upon the accepted conception of the corporation, there is often a lack of consistency in the view of the moral agency of the […]

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Behold Your Mother: This Mother’s Day, This Month of May, and Beyond

May 8, AD2016 0 Comments
Behold Your Mother: This Mother’s Day, This Month of May, and Beyond

When speaking to groups of Catholics, or sharing one-on-one, I often ask, “Are you consecrated to Mary?” And the large majority of the time the response is “no” or “I don’t know” or “what is that?” I can’t blame them because that was my response as well some 30 years ago. In fact, I only […]

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In the Shelter of His Rays

April 10, AD2016 2 Comments
In the Shelter of His Rays

Entering Into the Resurrection – “The Shelter of His Rays” One of my favorite Rosary Mysteries is the Resurrection of Christ, though they all have their place for different times and seasons. And, so, during this Easter Season I would like to invite you into the graces, the “rays of mercy,” that I experience. First off, […]

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Put Out Into the Deep of Your Heart This Lent

February 9, AD2016 7 Comments
Put Out Into the Deep of Your Heart This Lent

“Put Out into the Deep” In the missionary community of which I am a part, one of our charisms is receptivity. Why is that? At the beginning of this new millennium, Pope St. John Paul II told us, “a new stage of the Church’s journey begins, our hearts ring out with the words of Jesus… ‘put […]

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The Hope of Mercy: Be Not Afraid

November 17, AD2015 0 Comments
The Hope of Mercy: Be Not Afraid

“Be not afraid, just have faith.” – Jesus (Mark 5:36) At the beginning of his papacy the late John Paul II said these words: Be not afraid. He later said he could not anticipate what the Holy Spirit was saying in that moment, and what a profound message it would turn out to be for […]

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There is Little to Joke About in the Three Secrets of Fatima

May 13, AD2015 88 Comments
There is Little to Joke About in the Three Secrets of Fatima

The following is an unofficial translation of an address given by His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Amato at the Pontifical University Antonianum on the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal. The address was published in Italian on the web site of L’Osservatore Romano from which this translation was made. 1. When I was the Secretary […]

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Depression: Down, But Not Out

April 10, AD2015 23 Comments
Depression: Down, But Not Out

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at any given time, approximately 3 % of adults have major depression, also referred to as major depressive disorder, a lasting and severe type of depression. In fact, major depression is the leading reason for disability for Americans between the ages of 15 […]

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Evangelium Vitae: 20th Anniversary Novena

March 12, AD2015 2 Comments
Evangelium Vitae: 20th Anniversary Novena

The idea of contraception isn’t new; Egyptian scrolls, dating back as far as 1900 BC, refer to birth control of varying types. It seems, mankind has been trying to circumvent the procreational aspect of human intimacy all through history. Yet, some of the earliest instruction put forth by the Bible also condemns such acts. As […]

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Cardinal Burke On Female Altar Servers

January 12, AD2015 33 Comments
Cardinal Burke On Female Altar Servers

On January 5, 2015, Matthew James Christoff of the organization The New Emangelization published an interview he conducted with Raymond Cardinal Burke. In this interview, the cardinal made some very candid remarks about the Catholic Church becoming “feminized” as a result of radical feminism from the 1960s and 1970s. The candor of the cardinal’s remarks […]

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