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The First Commandment: Orienting Us Away from Our Idols

“Not only does the devil have the best music,” a former pastor used to tease, “he also has the best lines in movies and the most interesting of the Commandments—the ones we want to break.” It was a smart, funny observation, and Father employed it with some regularity because it guaranteed a laugh. Anyone who had ever thrilled to Smeagol’s dementia over his “Precious” or repeated Darth Vader’s “Come to the dark side”—or had ever entertained angry or lustful fantasies (in other words most of us)—could appreciate the truth of it. After all, when we think of the Ten Commandments, those injunctions against stealing, killing, fornication, and covetousness come immediately to mind; they interest us because we know the struggles we wage against our worst instincts and fallen natures. In preparation for confession, we quickly find ourselves dwelling within that prompt-list of easy sins: yes, I took the Lord’s name…

Fake News and Speaking the Truth

You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. (Ps. 52:3) Evidently, lies spread more than truth on the internet. A group of scientists published a research report, “The spread of true and false news online,” in Science magazine in March of last year. The study spanned ten years of Twitter, analyzing over 100,000 contentious stories, most of which also spread to other social media platforms like Facebook. According to Jill Lepore in The New Yorker, Facebook’s “trending news” feature helped aid the notorious “fake news” of the 2016 election cycle; the feature has since been terminated. The online catalyst for false news is not just found on social media. The larger media circuit has also flubbed. Without accusing anyone of malice, we may say that erroneous news, although retracted, has had tremendous consequences. One example comes from the 2019 March for Life. An altercation…

A Lent of Eloquent Silence

Praise no one before he speaks, for it is then that people are tested. (Sirach 27:7) Every Lent calls for a fasting from words. Not simply to make them fewer, but to make them worthier of our dignity and his Majesty. This Lent, more silence for the mouth, the ears, the phone, the keyboard. Fewer words, spoken with more consideration and care, more thought and deliberation, more reflection and repentance. Words that emerge from a place of depth, and not from the swampy shallows of superficiality. Words that tremble in the presence of their Creator, the Word through whom all things were made, he who once said to us, “On the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter” (Matt. 12:36). Be silent, or say something better than silence. This Lent, choose to “let no evil talk come out of your…

The Dignity of Choice

What does a homeless man choosing the colour of his donated gloves and a child choosing which snack to eat have in common? The dignity of choice.

Five Features of Faith

In our efforts to evangelize and proclaim the Gospel, it is good to keep our focus and prayer on the goal of our work—that others will come to faith in Christ and enjoy a personal relationship with him. This intrinsic connection between faith born from evangelization begins with Jesus himself in Mark’s Gospel where his first words are: “The time has come and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Good News!” (1:15). For St. John in his Gospel, his entire life of preaching and writing about Christ has been at the service of faith in him: “These things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that through your faith in him you may have life” (20:30). So what then does this faith look like? What kind of faith do we hope to be born…

Taken, Blessed, Broken, and Given: An Examen

A new audio examen on how we've been taken, blessed, broken, and given.

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.

Love Doesn’t Make Sense

The way Jesus radically loves doesn't make sense if you use the criteria of this world.

Partial Knowing

Take, Lord, my understanding. Ignatius' prayer calls us to mystery and unknowing.

Change! The Kingdom is Near!

What does Jesus mean when he talks about God's "kingdom"? He spends a lot of time offering many metaphors for it.