Culture

A Pilgrimage of Sacred Art

A Pilgrimage of Sacred Art

The sacred art of this world is not eternal, but it calls us to what is. This is never clearer than when art invites us to contemplate the “last things” in Christian hope. In relation to our end in God, all of life is a pilgrimage that begins in the fount of baptism.

Priests: Formed as Men of Communion

Priests: Formed as Men of Communion

The formation of priests has received significant attention in recent months. This attention is due in no small part to issues surrounding the most recent revelations of abuse in the Church, though the work of continually reforming priestly formation is not solely a response to this crisis.

The Chronicles of Narnia: A Spiritual Journey

In a world grown cold without wonder, how do you reimagine the drama and joy of Christianity? For C.S. Lewis, the answer was to invite us into a different world that would help us see this one with fresh eyes. That world was Narnia, and when Lewis wrote that world into existence, he created more than a story — he created the possibility for a moral and spiritual journey.

“The Chronicles of Narnia” span seven books, each a narrative unto itself, that come together to form a larger whole. Lewis started writing these stories with “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” (published in 1950) because he had this image in his mind of a faun standing next to a lamppost, and he wanted to tell a story about that. In the course of writing that first story, it soon became a Christian story because he imagined what kind of redeemer a world like the one he was imagining would need.

Read more at OSV Newsweekly

Love Is Always Conditional

We want to say that love is unconditional. It seems right. It is equal parts comforting and challenging. It is comforting because if I am loved, then there is nothing I can do to lose that. It is challenging because in order to love, I have to will to be untroubled by obstacles. We do not want to say love is conditional because we fear submitting love to the twisted logic of relationship terrorism: if you do not meet my demands, I deprive you of what is good for you, or vice versa. We think of conditions as qualifications and we do not want to attach qualifications to love. So we say love is unconditional. But that is wrong. Love is always conditional.

Read more at Church Life Journal

The Wilderness Within: Pope Francis, Moses, and Religious Liberty

The Wilderness Within: Pope Francis, Moses, and Religious Liberty

Retelling the story of the American People as a story that began in the pursuit of liberty, that progresses in seeking this liberty for all, and that shall always be an ongoing project to secure liberty so that dialogue and peace may become its fruits, makes the story of the United States a story of religious liberty.

The Real Work of the Synod of Bishops

The Real Work of the Synod of Bishops

We must, must, must commit ourselves personally, as disciples within our parishes, schools, and homes, to heed the mission of the Gospel and present its beauty to our young people in word and deed. We must become the witnesses who show them God’s love and testify to that love with our lives.

A Better Response to Fr. Jim Martin

A Better Response to Fr. Jim Martin

…I’m still not completely happy with how I’m saying what I’m saying here, but at least I’ve taken some more time to think about than I did in my initial, somewhat impulsive, totally Twitterish intervention. If Fr. Martin reads this or any others who responded critically to my initial intervention, I really do hope he and you will receive a sense of my respect along with my words, because I definitely do intend that.

Google Classroom and the Unintended Consequences of Unintentional Decisions

Google Classroom and the Unintended Consequences of Unintentional Decisions

My wife shared an interesting observation over dinner with friends last weekend. She said that one of the small, daily arguments with our eldest son just stopped this year. Why? Because he switched schools, and unlike the one he attended last year, his new school does not use Google Classroom.

A Short Reflection on Three Home Football Weekends

A Short Reflection on Three Home Football Weekends

…This is of course part of the culture at Notre Dame—the cost for all the extraordinary benefits that the football program affords the university and its community (and they are extraordinary, not only in financial terms but in communal terms also). But the sequence of three straight weekends at the very start of the semester has been, in my view and the view of the students I talked to yesterday, unfair and actually rather cruel to our students. We have not put them in a position to start strong this year and to set a foundation for success. Instead, they’re already behind and playing catch-up. …

Images of Fatherhood to Nourish the Catholic Imagination

We need better images. It has become increasingly obvious that we are starved for trustworthy and reliable images of manhood in our present age. The unreliability of the current popular images of “man” are likely related to the deteriorating image of “fatherhood” in the modern world.

The men felled by sexual misconduct allegations over the last nine months have offered an image of manhood that consists of using others to satiate their own appetites. Perhaps these prominent men show the inevitable outcome of unchecked power, of misdirected authority, of self-indulgent customs that fuel the cults of personality. But this behavior exists in private places, too, and indeed a widespread remediation is necessary to cure our young men of the tendencies that might lead to such actions.

Using others makes everyone a slave of their own appetites. What is missing is the power to fulfill responsibilities, to create life and secure wellbeing for others, and to trade away selfish desires for another’s good.

Read more at Our Sunday Visitor.

Reconsider veto of Women's Care Center facility in South Bend

Last Friday, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg vetoed Bill 05-18, which would have amended a residential zoning ordinance for the construction of a new Women’s Care Center facility at 3527 Lincoln Way W. Known for his thoughtful and impartial consideration of local issues, Buttigieg had the opportunity to overcome the polarization that affects so much of our national, state, and now, we regret to say, local politics.

He had the opportunity to usher in the peaceful coexistence of two organizations that have fundamentally different views about the nature of women’s health care. He had the opportunity to give women in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city a choice in approaches to care. He had the opportunity to serve our community rather than kowtowing to the national interests of his political party. He failed.

Read more at the South Bend Tribune.

(Co-authored with Jessica Keating)