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Monthly Archive for February, 2009

Lenten Resources

Here is my Lenten movie, music, book list for 2009… Willa Cather:  Death Comes for the Archbishop. This American classic is essential. Why is that lay people and Willa Cather was the ultimate one…lesbian, Protestant…do the best in writing about priests. J.F. Powers, Garrison Keillor, Georges Bernanos, and Graham Greene are the others. George Eliot […]

Praying the Eucharist

Sometimes people say, “Why should I pray? God knows what I need and has no need of my words.” But the words in the Jewish and Christian liturgies are the words of a story and we pray the story. Saying the blessing is praying the story. We bless God by telling God the divine story. […]

Newman’s Birthday Feb. 21…

John Henry Newman’s life spanned one century (1801-1890) and two Churches…Anglican and beginning in 1845, Catholic. His sermons, preached and published when he was at Oxford, are still in print! His autobiography, the Apologia Pro Vita Sua (this is NOT translated as “excuse me for living”) and The Idea of a University are English classics. […]


Lent is a preparation and we need to prepare for the preparation or we won’t get anywhere near a take off on Ash Wednesday. There are no Hallmark cards in black and white saying, YOU ARE DUST AND UNTO DUST YOU WILL RETURN so we will have to come up with something personal and not […]

Young and…stupid? responsible?

This keeps popping up so I address the issue. What in heck is a teen-ager? A young adult who can get an abortion without parental consent? Birth control pills or appliances without parental consent? Or is a teen-ager a child? Sex with a child, even a consenting 17 year old, is child abuse. This petard […]

John Updike again

Fr. George Hunt, SJ, was the editor of AMERICA magazine when it gave the Campion award to John Updike as a Christian man of letters. Later, in his collected essays, DUE CONSIDERATIONS, Updike recommended to Hunt an essay on faith. The essay I remember very well…and Hunt reproduces it: But then, getting up to go […]

Germ warfare

When I was in an honors seminar in philosophy at Catholic University, the priest professor mentioned his talking with personnel from, perhaps even visiting, the germ warfare labs out in Maryland. I remember very well him saying that the lab people told him that biological warfare was far more effective than chemical. Later, of course, […]

Do good, avoid evil…

That is the principle of natural law. Nobody needs permission to do good. In fact, everyone is compelled by natural law to do good even if doing so were to bring punishment. So the Church…This week we had a double header…Bishop Williamson and Fr. Maciel of the Legionaries of Christ. One a rampant anti-seminite in […]