Never Despair of God’s Mercy

On Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict’s birthday, we are filled with gratitude for the existence of such a man.   And in light of the latest manufactured kerfuffle about our current Holy Father, I want to highlight what I love most about Benedict: his profound universalistic tendency. In this, he is more radical than his theological colleague …

Christian Radicalism and Worldly Existence: The Desert, Modern Family Life, and T. S. Eliot’s “The Cocktail Party”

[I wrote this last year as one of the firstfruits of my friendship with my blogging partner, which has been such a gift of grace.] Sex, power, and property submerge us in the fundamental rhythms of the world, which reverberate from past to future, requiring planning and compromise. For the majority, marriage and family and …

Dying for the Invisible: The Elevation of Domestic Economy into the Economy of the Kingdom

“By faith, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom it was said, ‘Through Isaac shall your descendants be named.’ He reasoned that God could raise even from the dead; indeed, Abraham received Isaac from the dead, in …

Martyred Flesh: Icon of the Passionate God

We note martyrdom’s liturgical prominence during the Christmas Octave. The mystery of martyrdom is another name for the mystery of the Incarnation. Martyrdom is giving bodily witness to the reality of truth and love, in a world in which power and success alone seem real. The mystery of the Incarnation is the mystery of the …

The Strange Prudence of the Kingdom

I wrote this meditation on a Gospel reading from a couple of weeks ago. It seems to me to have its own kind of timeliness, especially as we approach the end of the liturgical year and the Feast of Christ the King, grappling with what political and social existence must look like given that Jesus …

Oneself as Another: The Fire and Revolution Entailed by Christian Ethics

If we are simply comfortable, we are not Christian.   Sunday’s Mass readings hammer this home, with no mitigation.   Incorporation into Christ remakes one’s most intimate sense of oneself–restructures self-consciousness within a new way of feeling oneself a body in the world, a person in the world (even unto Rousseau’s sentiment of existence and …