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On Fear of Losing Our Voice.

There has hung over US Catholics a sense of dread and despair for the last decade or so. At least, as long as I have been conscious of the Catholic-blog-o-sphere, it has seemed to be conscious of looming trials and coming sufferings. Now, whether this be true or not I cannot say (though, for the sake of transparency, I admit that our situation does appear a drastic one). On issues of human identity and sexuality, we are hemmed in on every side. Many people in our culture argue with us. Most just ignore us, even as they admit that the cultural definition of life and sex is inadequate. Almost all disagree with us. And when it comes to one of the most interesting Papal Elections in centuries, the AP and Reuters seems more concerned with the ‘scandals’ in the Vatican than with the Pope in the Vatican. In short, in a society where dialogue is supposed to be a supreme virtue, our voice is overlooked, undermined and out-right ignored.

I do not think the important thing now, though, is to pay attention to our own sufferings. The Church in the United States of America is suffering. It is suffering from political, social and cultural attacks the likes of which our grandparents (or, for that matter, even our parents) could never have foreseen  I feel inadequate to comment on politics or society, but I can say something of our culture. Culturally, Catholicism is already being given a tragic halo, as if it were one of the long-dead pagan cultures. Living Catholics are seen as the last remnant of some out-moded lifestyle. We are thought to be walking museum pieces, quaint like the Quakers and as amusing as the Amish. Those more sympathetic to our well-being like to give us advice. They kindly tell us that the world is moving on without our old-fashioned way of looking at things. Wouldn’t it be best, they suggest, to simply abandon some of our more stringent beliefs in favor of fitting in.

I will mention only in passing that their argument is not a new one. A century ago, the Romantics were telling us the same thing, as they gave lip service to our penances and criticized our virtue. The Jacobins said the same sorts of things 100 years prior to them, exulting in the Church’s devotion but forgetting that we are founded on Faith. And the Reformers some 200 years prior to that made the same sorts of errors, thinking that devotion to Mary was a distraction from Evangelization. As GKC was fond of pointing out, the Church seems always to be dying in the eyes of the world, and it is! That is, because it is always resurrecting.

The main point of this short essay is not an observation but a rebuke. I do not wish to join the chorus of those other noble voices in our Church, warning us of impending doom. The doom is not impending. It has fallen and it continues to fall everyday. The world has ever been hostile to the Church. Therefore, on the grounds of charity and hope I rebuke any pessimism or fatalism that infects our cultural dialogue. In the name of the hope of the cross, I stand against anyone that would have us be dissuaded from carrying our own. Good heavens: we are the light of the world! When we are dimmed, it is not us that suffers but the world. When we grow slack in spirit, we still may be saved. It is those to whom we are called that suffer the violence.

Babies are dying, and we complain that our voice is not heard!? Who gives a fig for ‘our voice’ when a child is never given the opportunity to use her own? The poor are suffering, and we get upset at greedy politicians. Oh, so has Christ made us the critics of the rich!? Did he come with tirades against Herod or Pilate? What are we, Church? Are we mere activists? Is the gospel about raising awareness? No! If we protest abortion (which we absolutely must do), then we do it in the name of love. We aren’t out to overturn Roe V. Wade as much as we are out to overturn human hearts. We aren’t called to flip-off the rich, but to flip their tables, as Our Lord did in the Temple. We are a people of action, not of criticism. The world is covered in critics like leeches. What it needs is not more critics, but more Christians.


This Lent, consider well how you speak. These forty days are meant to be difficult for us, but only so that we may lighten the load of the world. We can expect injustice to be done against us: it is our lot. What we cannot be satisfied with, what we must not stand for, is when injustice is done against others! It is a time to pray for others that they may live, to fast that they may eat, to give alms that they may be nourished. If our faith lacks this positive generosity and charity, I feel that something dire is wrong with it. If our words lack it, then I feel it would be better for us to just shut up.

St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, pray for us.

Left Hungry

Everybody has an opinion on the Hunger Games series, which is quite appropriate since the series seems to have little opinion of itself. Just as people are always quick to praise the exulted quiet man, be he hero or villian, the great mass of readers (yes, there are still enough of us to compose a ‘great mass’) will say as much as they can about the popular book that has little to say on its own. There was that author that commented he had stopped reading his fan mail and book reviews because he was tired of people telling him what he had said. He explained that he never meant to say half the things they said he said. Suzanne Collins might voice a similar complaint, but the irony is that, even if she doesn’t deserve all the attention she is getting, she does deserve all of the comments. That is because the Hunger Games begins and ends on an empty stomach. Should the fans be blamed if they are forced to stuff their mouths with commentary (if not, like the characters of the book, with food) because not enough was served them by the author?

The test by which any science fiction or fantasy must be judged is how realistically it portrays humanity. Tolkien was fond of pointing out that the suspension of disbelief should not be shyed away from, but embraced but it is embraced on certain terms. I can believe in human beings being tempted by an all-powerful ring because I have seen human’s tempted. The fact that I will never (God willing) come across an all powerful ring is a minor detail in comparison to the fact that I will (devil willing) come across powerful temptation. I can believe in an evil galactic Empire that existed a long time ago in a galaxy far far way because I have studied evil european Empires that existed a short time ago. It is the humanity of science fiction and fantasy that must ring true precisely because we do not rely upon the believability of the technology or the magic. Nevertheless, this technology and magic must be consistent with human nature. I accept the idea of an ‘Eldar Wand’ or a ‘Death Star’ because I know humans are always trying to build more awful and more deadly weapons. However, I also know that these weapons rarely work to benefit those who build them. The reason why the stories that contain these menaces are received with such relish is because, deep down inside, we all know that those who live by the sword will perish by the sword.

It is the lack of this lesson, or the confusion with which it is presented, that makes the Hunger Games less than satisfying. The story has a lot of potential. It begins with a simple and powerful conflict: a progressing post-Apocolyptic society, an evil Capitol, hungry slaves, illegal black-market deals, a young warrior, and an oppressive gladiator style competition (and thats just the first 50 pages). However, written in typical ‘page-turning’ fashion, the reader is given little chance to dwell on these facts. The bad guys get things going too fast, and the narrator is too worried about mere survival, for full rumination on the subject of human dignity, the greater good or the nature of self sacrifice. In a world where injustice draws names out of a hat and the good guys shoot first and do not even ask questions later, virtue and vice become matters of reflex, not matters of choice. Good and evil seem to be little more than instinctual. Life is a game. The driving force is hunger. If there is any greater depth to life in Panem, Katniss Everdeen never discovers it.

There are many powerful points in the plot, too many to mention because the author overloads the story with them. If the reader comprehends their significance, its only because she has taken the time to dismiss the urge to flip the page. That is to say, she has chosen to make a choice that none of the characters make: the choice to reflect in order to grow. As long as the action keeps coming, this is no problem to the stream-of-conscious plot (though it should present problems to the conscience). But when the series draws to its conclusion, and Plutarch Heavensbee smugly suggests that victory over the Capitol may or may not change anything after all, the honest reader wants to throw the book across the room. Or when the love triangle resolves itself because one of the guy’s philosophy on total war shoots him in the foot. Or when Katniss ends up as a recovering morphine addict thanks to her 17 visits to the hospital over the course of 18 months. Without giving too much more away, I think that these examples suffice to show how the ending is less than thrilling. The fact that the first book showed so much potential only makes it worse. Here was a popular teen phenomenon that addressed such relevant points as solidarity, first-world vs third-world poverty, human rights, and a bitting critique of the media’s role in undermining human value. Even the love triangle was intriguing: ever-faithful Peeta vs. edgy, sexy Gale. There is so much here that could have challenged us. Instead, it merely charged us up for a less-than-satisfying conclusion. 

I really wanted to like these books. I really wanted to tell you to read them and like them too. Instead, I find myself warning you: if you do read them, don’t get your hopes up. Katniss Everdeen may be a girl on fire, but she is no phoenix. When the blaze of the games is over, she does not rise from the ashes. Redemption and resurrection have little place in this novel. It is never Easter season in Panem: yet one more reason to be glad that the place is fictional.

Friday Thoughts – Is Fiction Lying?

I subscribe to Fuel Your Writing with the amateur and fantastic intention of one day becoming a writer. The bloggers there usually have great insights into many aspects of writing. They often times keep me going. 

A month ago, I received one of their encouraging emails only to be thoroughly discouraged. It was called And Then the Beckham’s Paid Off Our Mortgage … Please read that quickly before continuing or this post might not make sense. 

The writer, Christopher Johnson, is the editor for Fuel Your Writing and I have no doubt sincerely desires to communicate the best information to his constituency. Furthermore, I thoroughly respect Stephen King as a writer and a writer for writers, but I disagree wholeheartedly with his statement, “Fiction is truth inside a lie.” 

This originates from the concepts that myths are lies. Tolkein and Lewis spent their lives combatting this literary heresy. Myths and with them, fiction, are not lies. Rather, they communicate truth through their stories. They communicate the truth of the human condition, of the sinfulness of man, of the desire for redemption not found. Fiction is the battleground of the human soul wherein men and women come to see the world in a different light through flights of adventure, romance (which, by the way I’m not a fan of romance novels, but they still communicate that which is true, lust), mystery, even science fiction. 

Take the story at hand, the Beckham’s. This story communicates man’s desire for unconditional love, a love which no matter the depth, can never be fully requited by man. The Beckham’s, in the story, are an image of Christ’s love for his Church. He’s willing to give without expecting but a little repayment (our cooperation with His unconditional gift), a repayment certainly not to the degree of the gift. 

Instead of a lie, the Beckham story becomes an image of the reception of divine love and our reticence to receive because of our wanting to hold onto to our own will. Fiction is not lying. Fiction, at its very essence, communicates truth, namely Truth Himself. When fiction betrays that, it betrays itself and destroys the reader instead of lifting him/her up toward that which is greater. 

What to Read After a Powerful Retreat

I worked a retreat last weekend. I will be working another retreat this weekend. It came to mind to ask some of my friends along with probing my own mind, a question:

What books would you suggest to someone come off a powerful retreat?

From Sarah Reinhard: Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

From Andrew Jones: He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Cizsek, S.J.

From Brandon Vogt: Anything by St. Josemaría Escrivá, Fr. Robert Barron, and Fr. Thomas Dubay

I searched through their works and picked out five:

Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of Faith by Fr. Robert Barron
Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay
Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay
The Way by St. Josemaría Escrivá
Christ is Passy By by St. Josemaría Escrivá

My own recommendations would be:

Listening for Truth by Deacon James Keating
Discernment of Spirits: The Ignatian Guide to Everyday Living by Fr. Timothy Gallagher
Poverty of Spirit by Johaness Baptist Metz
Practice of the Presence of God by Br. Lawrence of the Resurrection

Do you have any suggestions?

Friday Thoughts – Canon Law and New Media

Now I’m sure Ed Peters has probably covered this in some sort of way or another, but something struck me in reading some of the canons in Church Administration class yesterday.
Canon 761

The various means available are to be used to proclaim Christian doctrine: first of all preaching and catechetical instruction, which always hold the principal place, but also the presentation of doctrine in schools, academies, conferences, and meeting of every type and its diffusion through public declarations in the press or in other instruments of social communication by legitimate authority on the occasion of certain events. (Italics added by me)

This is under the section entitled The Ministry of the Divine Wordas part of the teaching function of the Church.  Many of the previous canons are directed toward the ecclesial authority of the Roman Pontiff, the college of bishops, individual bishops, priests, and deacons.  Canon 759 references the ministry of the Divine Word entrusted to the laity.  The last two canons of this preface of the section, Canons 760-761, direct all the members of the Church, ordained and lay combined.   
This canon then is for all of us, bloggerss included.  It seems almost prophetic that Canon Law, codified in 1983, speaks of “other instruments of social communication” opening up wide for the possibility of proclaiming the Word of God through the social communication of weblogs, podcasts, vidcasts, and tweets.  We are called to use said means to proclaim the word of God, evangelize, and teach.   
“By legitimate authority” seems to focus on clergy, and indeed Pope Benedict XVI has directed priests especially to use these new means of social communication to evangelize.  

Now this certainly isn’t a definitive license or even explicit message for the use of New Media in Evangelization, but the fact the “other instruments of social communication” is mentioned in the Code of Canon Law is a juridical step in the right direction for us here on the digital continent.

Confession and the New Evangelization, or How to Follow the Lives of the Saints

To say we get a great number of hits on this humble blog would be to flat out lie.  A small is fine with us because the joy of writing and writing about reading is consolation enough.  I must say, though, there is a post that stands above and beyond all other posts in our stats.  The next closest post is 842 views behind.  This post isn’t even of our writing per se (don’t worry, no plagiarists here) which is very humbling.  It is a copy of the novena to St. Jean-Marie Vianney, patron saint of priest.  I had posted it specifically for the Year of the Priest promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI nearly three years ago.  The constant stream of views of this novena is no small testament to the great devotion there is to this simple saint.  Of our writership, one is a priest, one soon will be, I will soon be a transitional deacon, and the three others are former seminarians/religious.  We all hold a devotion to this great Christian and singular priest.

This devotion, for me, has grown over the last year and a half as I have been reading the Curé d’Ars’ standard biography, The Curé d’Ars: St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney by Abbé François Trochu.  While in minor seminary, I saw guys carrying around this large volume, 627 pages (when the life of a saint rivals the size of entire volume of Butler’s, it is large).  It was in nearly even room except my own.  It was recommended to me by many of my confreres, but, due to my obstinence and God’s use of that for His providence, I had not yet taken up this tome for the first seven and a half years of my seminary career.  It entered my shelves at the behest of Bl. John Paul II from his book remembering his 50 years of priesthood, Gift and Mystery.  On All Saints Day 2009, upon the recommendation of the spiritual director of the seminary, I began a regular reading of the life of a saint.  I began with the life of the Florentine St. Philip Neri, who is the patron of the parish of my childhood.  After him it only seemed appropriate, being still in the year of the priest, to begin the life of the patron saint of priest.  Abbé Trochu had the great gift of having the process for Vianney’s canonization as his primary research material.  Through it he wished to give an accurate and still thoroughly pious representation of the life of this beloved French priest.

I could dwell on his extreme asceticism, or his miracles, or his holy gifts of reading souls of the living and conversing with the souls of the dead.  No.  There were four things that struck me about this man, and of which, I wish to imitate during my future life as a priest of Jesus Christ:

  1. his devotion to the Eucharist
  2. his devotion to the Blessed Mother
  3. his humility
  4. his tireless work in the confessional

This final virtue also struck me when I read the life of St. Philip Neri.  The “new evangelization” in Rome after the ridiculous frivolity of the late Middle Ages was done by Philip Neri in the confessional.  After the French Revolution, the religion of reason, and the Napoleonic Wars that led France to a committed atheism, it was the work of St. Jean Vianney in the confessional that brought the French back to their knees in prayer to God most high.  I am firmly convinced that in our current age of secularism and practical hedonism what is needed to bring Christians back to their faith is the confessional.  Rae Jericho had written a post about this topic a week or two ago.  Rae, this is my response.

Book Discernment

A fellow blogger and bibliophile, Sarah Reinhard, asked the question on her blog, Snoring Scholar, (a fellow alliteration blogsite), How do you pick what to read next?  I thought I would answer on her comments line, but I figured it was pertinent to the blog so here we go.

To have so many books one has not read the choices are vast.  I tend to “collect” books.  More books just seem to appear on the shelves, or when all the shelves are taken on the floor.  Which one do I choose to read next?  Should I read Dostoyevsky’s The Brother’s Karamozov or St. Catherine of Siena’s Dialogue or Karol Wojtyla’s The Acting Person or Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Evangelii Nutiandi or Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth: Part One and Part Two or G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday.  All good.  All worth reading.  None will disappoint.  All with be fruitful.  Some will be more difficult than others.  Over the years, I have developed a system for myself to help guide me choice of reading.

First of all, anyone who sees my Goodreads current reading list will find upwards of six books.  I don’t multitask well going from one to the other.  Rather, each book is for a certain “area” if you will.

Life of a Saint

First, there is the life of a saint, which saints say is good thing to read.  The more lives of saints I read the more they tell me to read more lives of the saints.  That is my bedtime reading to give me peace as I prepare to sleep.  It’s usually read in bed.  Fifteen or twenty minutes a night is a good preparation for rest.  My current book is The Curé d’ Ars by Abbé Trochu.

The Library

Since I was a child, when my father said he was going to the library, he had in his hand the daily newspaper and was heading towards the bathroom.  Since then, I have connected reading and taking care of business.  Sitting near the toilet is some small book that can be read in short intervals without being burdensome.  I tried reading Theology of the Body, and it just didn’t work to dense for the time period.  This current book is Dawn of the Messiah by Dr. Edward Sri.

Spiritual Reading

The seminary has tried to foster spiritual reading in our lives.  I have taken to read 15-20 minutes each day from a certain work on the spiritual life.  Sometimes it is recommended to me by my spiritual director, which makes choices easy.  This book at the moment is Discernment of Spirits by Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV.

Regular Reading

This is the book that suits my fancy at the time.  Usually, it some theology or philosophy book, but on occasion to cut the density I’ll read a novel or collection of short stories.  I have my “library” of books sectioned off and I have tried to go through, Scripture, then Theology, then Philosophy, then Literature, then History, then Psychology, then Church Documents, trying to go in some sort of pattern to get a well rounded reading experience.  On the whole, this has been wholly unfollowed.  I’m too ADD to be that organized, but at least, it provides some sort of parameters for choosing, if nothing suits my fancy at the time.  This is usually the book I will spend the most time with in a given sitting.  The current book in this category is This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin.

ADD Ebook

This section is for those time when I don’t have anything to do, but have no available book in front of me.  I unlock my iPhone and start reading from iBooks or from a PDF saved on GoodReader or a word document on iFiles.  This has two books right now that I swap between both by Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles and The Innocence of Father Brown.


This will usually pertain to a certain time in the liturgical year or some other important event.  They have short runs and usually end up unfinished only to wait to be taken up by one of the aforementioned categories.  I have been reading for Lent Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre Caussade.

Hope this is helpful Sarah.

Catholic Media Promotion Day

Today is Catholic Media Promotion Day.  Being that, in some small way, this blog is Catholic media.  We are participating.  I speak for myself and not my colleagues with regard to the following picks:

Three Favorite Catholic Blogs:

The Sacred Page, which is co-author by Dr.’s Michael Barber, John Bergsma, and my own Scripture professor Brant Pitre, has been the blog that I have followed the longest.  As a man studying for the priesthood, their Scriptural insights help in reflection and will help in preparation for preaching.

Matthew Warner’s Blog hosted by National Catholic Register provides me with constant reflections on Catholic media and how to be Catholic in the digital age.  Matthew always has great insights and garners many comments, which provide for great conversation.

Quiet, Dignity, and Grace is probably not a well know Catholic blog having just got off the ground 4 months ago, but I love its content.  It’s written by a friend of mine, Luke Arredondo, who’s a Catholic high school religion teacher and masters of theology student.  Luke gives great insights on theological topics. 

Three Favorite Podcasts:
All of which can be downloaded for free from iTunes

The Catholic Underground is the Catholic Media anything that I have followed the longest.  I had the pleasure of being on a show back in 2007.  Fr. Chris Decker, Fr. Ryan Humphries, Joshua LeBlanc, and Daniel Kedinger talk tech and talk all things Catholic.  They always have interesting conversations, and lately they have streamed them live to allow for chatroom interaction from the listeners.  

The SaintCast has been inspirational, helpful, and a downright enjoyable listen.  Dr. Paul Camarata, a medical doctor and surgeon, talks saints.  He introduces the English speaking world to the world of the saints.  I have learned many great things from his podcast.  

The Catholic Foodie brings together the two best things about New Orleans, food and the Catholic faith.  Jeff Young brings much more to the table than merely recipes and reviews. The show highlights how food – good food – can be a sign to us of God’s love and care for each of us and our families. The tagline, “where food meets faith,” speaks volumes about the importance of family, which is so often developed around the kitchen table. 

Three Random Catholic Media:

I would be remiss if in a discussion of Catholic media I didn’t mention the first national Catholic media presence, EWTN.  This television station pioneered Catholic media in the United States.  Mother Angelica’s tiring efforts paved the way for many others to attempt authentically Catholic media.  EWTN has now branched out onto the internet with a great database of Catholic writings, Catholic news, and Catholic film.  

In this, I feel the need to mention my favorite Catholic book publisher, Ignatius Press.  This San Francisco company is not only the pope’s American publisher, but has republished classic Catholic works from the early twentieth century.  They always have great books, fiction, non-fiction, theology, and philosophy.  They also have built up a small but solid group of films about saints.  Along with all of this, their blog Insight Scoop provides excerpts from the books it publishes as well as very as sundry things from the mind of Carl Olsen.  

Three Catholic Apps:

iBreviary Pro Terra Sancta is by far one of best apps on the market for Catholics.  I provides daily updates of the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayers and readings for each daily liturgy, it has all of the rites used by a priest, as well as some of the blessings from the book of blessings.  It is one the most used apps on my iPhone.  

iPieta , though, tops even iBreviary.  Not only does it have the full Douay-Rhiems translation of scripture, but all the daily readings (in the D-R translation, not NAB).  It also has the full host of prayers you would find in the Pieta prayer book.  It has most prayers that you would ever need, including the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.  These things alone would make it a great app, but its developers didn’t stop there.  It also contains a library of the great works of Catholic spirituality from St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila, St. John Vianney, St. Therese of Liseux, St. Louis de Monfort, and many others.  And that would enough for app, but why stop there.  It also contains the full texts of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, his collection of commentaries on the gospels by the fathers named the Catena Aurae, the 21 Ecumenical Councils, the Haydock Bible Commentary Series from Genesis to Revelation, Encyclicals from Gregory XVI (1835) to Benedict XVI, and writings from many of the Church Fathers.  

Here I have to support the work my diocese has done in Catholic media.  They have created an app, iFaith, that allows anyone in the area to access info about mass times and confession times.  It uses the GPS of the phone to locate where the person is and recommends the closest churches.  It also provides news, an events section for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, a connection to Archbishop Gregory Aymond’s v-logs, and a connection to the Archdiocese’s Twitter feed.  

What a Christian Is?

For the sake of a friend I repost my first ever blogpost, originally written January 30, 2008.
“Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” Deus Caritas Est 1
There is this idea in the world today that Christianity, Catholicism in particular, is no different than every other religion (to each his own). That is not true. In fact, it is a lie. Pope Benedict shows us in the aforementioned quote why. You can’t reduce Christianity to an ethical choice. Christianity is not solely an ethical system wherein the Ten Commmandments set up guidelines and boundaries to live our lives. It is not a group of people who casuistically tell if you’ve sinned, and, therefore, need redemption. Although some of these things have their part, they are not the core of Christianity.

Christianity is about Christ. It says so in it namesake. As St. Paul says, “We preach Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” We are not Ten Commandmentians. We are Christians. Our focus, our meaning, our lives are centered on the person of Christ and the decisive event of the Paschal Mystery, His death and resurrection.

There’s an interesting point here. In the quest for the “historical Jesus” there has been this drive to find out who Jesus really was. Was he just a liberal Jew stirring up things in an already chaotic time in history? Was he a just a rabbi with followers who got some crazy ideas that he rose from the dead after he was crucified for plotting an uprising? Luke Timothy Johnson, a Catholic Scripture scholar, wished to put his two-sense into this empirically driven quest. He bases his claims on the New Testament just as the rest of the scholars did. He said that these scholars tended to separate the gospels as individual entities without any correlation except Luke and Matthew using Mark as a source. Johnson, however, finds a continuous thread throughout not only the gospels but even many of the Pauline epistles. In all of them there is a “story of Jesus” as he calls it. “It expresses the meaning of Jesus’ ministry in terms of its ending: Jesus is the suffering servant whose death is a radical act of obedience toward God and expression of loving care for his followers,” (LTJ The Real Jesus 165-6). In other words, the common thread among the Synoptic Gospels, the Gospel of John, the Pauline and Petrine letters is Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Now I’ll return to the previous train of thought

The person of Jesus and the event of the Paschal Mystery opens new horizons of eternal life; opens the new horizon of union with the Creator, opens the new horizon of communion.

Finally, Christ gives decisive direction to our lives. No longer are we nomadic wanders looking for the next unsatisfying meal. No longer are we lost in the jungle of uncertainty and lies. No longer are we in fear of the future. Christ satisfies, certifies, and is the future of our very beings.


Sorry for the lag in posts.  All of us are adjusting to new situations, which hopefully will provide new insights to publish here.  Soon we will be adding another contributor who will probably eclipse all of us with his writing style alone.  As for books and the such here’s a few books to check out

Dr. Michael Barber suggests a new book for the biblical scholar in you.  It is a very important look at the role of the Temple in the Gospel of Mark.  It is called The Temple in the Gospel of Mark written by Tim Gray, who is a scripture professor at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver.

For the one desiring fiction, Ignatius Press put out a novel featuring the famous Inklings, J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.  It centers on a look for the spear of destiny through the lens of research on the Authorian legend.  It seems like a good read.  Written by David Downing, it’s called Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel.