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Reading the Data and Preparing for Exile

  “The Father and I are one.” The Jews again picked up rocks to stone him. – (John 10:30-31) One day at Mass, a favorite priest remarked on the whole of John 10:30-42. I took notes, but still am paraphrasing a little: “I think the men who wanted to stone Jesus were offended that he would come in their era, that he would intrude on their time with his messianic talk. Because it’s one thing to look for and hope for Messiah, and quite another to have to encounter Messiah, which demands an interior, real, and lifelong change, a delivering up of self. But we cannot chose the time of God’s coming; all we can do is learn to read the data and then respond in a right way, understanding that many, many will seek the world and its answers, because the way of the world appears easier.

Peterson, Newman, and the Cross

  Those following the Jordan Peterson phenomenon know that one of the central themes of the psychology professor turned intellectual superstar is the cross. In fact, the cross is arguably the symbolic center of his whole program. “The centre is occupied by the individual,” he writes in his best-selling 12 Rules for Life. “The centre is marked by the cross, as X marks the spot.” For Peterson, the cross—an instrument of torture and execution in ancient Rome—conveys two great existential truths: first, that that your life will inevitably involve great suffering and malevolence; and second, that the best response to that suffering and malevolence is an imitation of Christ. In other words, accept the suffering and malevolence, hoist it onto your shoulders, and “struggle impossibly upward toward the Kingdom of God,” transforming your own life and the lives of those around you for the better. This cross, and…

Beholding Beauty: Giordano’s Agony in the Garden

There is no event in world history that has left a more profound or influential impression on the heart of humanity than the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. His Paschal Mystery stands as the definitive moment of all time inspiring countless artistic expression all of which hope in to manifest and understand the Paschal Mystery. Artists of every age have sought to convey the ineffable drama of man before God, and Luca Giordano is no different. Born in the year 1632 amidst the cultural flourishing of Naples, this young Italian painter quickly found himself immersed in the realm of sacred art. By the age of sixteen, his prowess came into full-swing. Luca began creating stunning oil-based paintings depicting the life of Christ. One of his most beautiful and well-known works portrays Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In this particular portrait, we find Jesus in the very moment…

What We Must Not Forget About Lent

Lent is the black and crippling walk to the cross—but that’s not where it ends.

Three Questions from the Desert

Lent is a time of paring down—a time spent in the desert, if you will—as exemplified by Jesus’ forty days of fasting in these arid, barren lands. He was tempted three times by Satan, and rejected each attempt, giving glory to God at every turn. This is the lesson for us: that we make God the center of our lives and not test him. We are here to do his will, which is clarified through our own Lenten sacrifices.

Christians Need to Recover Fasting: Reorientation

So much has happened in our country lately that has been quite disorienting. Notably, New York legislated the country’s most aggressive abortion bill that viciously attacks the unborn. Internet assumptions, uncharity, and scapegoating characterized the incident between the Covington Catholic teens and Nathan Phillips. The government continues to show its disunity as it remains obstinately divided over many issues, including immigration and the southern border. And in the Church, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and McCarrick scandals have shed and re-shed light on some dark corners within the Church. Much has been disorienting. When the news of the scandals broke out, a number of seminarians and priests in my diocese began a time of intentional prayer, fasting, and penance. Increasingly desperate times call for increasingly desperate, or rather heroic, measures…   For three months, two of my classmates and myself gave up alcohol, prayed a daily Divine Mercy chaplet, intentionally set aside…

The Stark Choice Before Us: Everything or Nothing At All

All around us is a great battle between the True God and an authentic Nothing, where there is no life.

[VIDEO] Why Lent? Bishop Barron Explains

Why Lent? What does it all mean?

Everyone: Please Stop Praying to the Universe

The universe is a creation, not a Creator.

The Principle & Foundation: Ignatian Spirituality in a Nutshell

Ignatian spirituality can be summed up in the few paragraphs at the beginning of the Exercises: sharing life with God and responding in gratitude to God's gifts in freedom.