Grace and Responsibility

Some days ago, a friend shared with me a lecture that Jacques Barzun had given in 1969 entitled “Present Day Thoughts on the Quality of Life.” It had just recently been rediscovered and was published this month in “The American Scholar." In it he speaks of, for all their questionable tendencies, the valid critique of western culture that inhered in the revolutionary movements of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Given the secular and rational-functional reductionism of our culture, we have come to identify usefulness with human value. And if this was true in 1969, it is even more true[read more]

Redemptive Suffering

Unless one lives in total illusion, it will cross one’s mind and heart more often than seldom that life is difficult. Of course, it is also blessed and joyful, but in the course of life each of us will find ourselves confronting the painful reality that human life is fragile and, in some foundational way, broken. We experience this in sickness, in natural and human made disasters, and especially in the way we live out our relationships and commitments to each other. In today’s gospel, then, the disciples hear from Jesus a very painful, although truthful, teaching. “It is necessary[read more]

Doing Rather Than Keeping Busy

If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. . . . In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce[read more]

Seeking Our Home

For three crimes of Israel, and for four, / I will not revoke my word: / Because they sell the just man for silver, / and the poor man for a pair of sandals. / They trample the heads of the weak / into the dust of the earth, / and force the lowly out[read more]

Love and Responsibility

Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? As you go to a magistrate with an adversary, try to make things up with him while still on the road. Otherwise he might drag you before the judge and the judge will hand you over to the bailiff and the bailiff will throw you into[read more]

Right Speech

Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives, nor did it work through deception. But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the Gospel, that is how we speak, not as trying to please men, but rather God, who judges our hearts. Thessalonians 2: 3-4   Today is the Feast[read more]