The coronovirus has revealed how fragile our seemingly invincible human world order is. Amazon no longer arrives tomorrow; it takes a month. The wealth of entertainment options has shrunk to those available at home. Travel plans have been cancelled or altered. Many are without the comfort and security provided by regular employment. Churches are shuttered, and factories stilled. For all intents and purposes, we are united against our invisible virus enemy by the hashtag #StayHome.Continue reading
Screen adaptations of Jesus’s life, whether for the big or small screen, tend to zoom in on Jesus himself and focus on the events outlined in the Gospels. These in turn tend to try to be faithful to the original or introduce some new, potentially heretical twist to engage audiences. The Chosen is the first treatment I’ve seen that pulls back and pans, widening the focus to take in the people touched by Jesus, filling in the tantalising blanks at the edge of the Gospels with compelling stories and subplots.Continue reading
This is my fourth Easter as a Catholic. My favourite part of the Vigil that I attended last night was seeing eight people baptized and welcomed into the Church. It reminds me of my own welcome into the Church, and in the renewal of baptismal vows I am reminded that my own faith journey is not at an end. Easter is the beginning of new and growing life in Jesus Christ!Continue reading
Saint Thomas Becket is a fascinating figure. His story has all the ingredients for a great adventure story; a sort of “rags to riches” element (not, as he was fond of reminding people, that he was poor, but he did rise quite high for his social class); a close friendship with a great King turned suddenly sour; a man who undergoes an immediate and total transformation, turning from a life of pleasure to the single-minded pursuit of a great quest; an ending mixed with equal parts tragedy and triumph.
“Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” – 1 Peter 3:15
I have a confession to make. I love it when Jehovah’s Witnesses come to the door. I’ve actually changed direction on the street to meet Mormon missionaries. Where many people hope not to have these encounters, I get excited. My wife is on board with this, thankfully!
In the process, I’ve been able to meet interesting people who are passionate about their faith. And each time I sit down, I get a chance to talk about my faith with them. Each time we finish, I feel like I understand my faith better, though not always in the way my new acquaintance might wish.
It has been some time since I have posted much of anything. As much as I love being a teacher, one of the downsides is that time becomes a scarce and precious commodity from September to June. Having a family only adds to that.
I wish I could say that I was breaking my silence with a long and meticulously planned post. In reality, I have only one, short, simple thought: God is good.
Eifelheim’s premise is a little zany. Aliens crash their spaceship in Medieval Germany, just outside a small village in the Black Forest. While one might expect ridiculous scenes of medieval knights fighting alien soldiers to fill the novel, nothing of the sort follows from this initial premise. Instead, the novel is a slow unfolding of a multi-layered plot which builds towards a conclusion that is not clear for most of the novel. The joy of Eifelheim is in experiencing this meticulously researched medieval setting coming into a complex intellectual and theological relationship with otherworldly visitors.
As Christmas draws near each year, it serves as an invitation to peoples of all stations of life. It is in this season above all that people experience the story of Christ, on some level, even if it’s just passing a nativity scene or seeing an advertisement for Christmas Mass. If people go but once a year to church, it’s likely over Christmas. Even the figure embraced as an icon of commercialism, Santa Clause, has deep roots in the Christian tradition.
A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. is the sort of book I wish I had known about sooner. A post-apocalyptic novel that tracks the fortunes of an abbey dedicated to St. Leibowitz (blessed Leibowitz at the beginning of the novel), A Canticle for Leibowitz is engrossing, amusing, and minutely detailed. It’s Catholic, it’s Science Fiction, and an award winning novel. What’s not to love? To be entirely futuristic, I listened to the audible audiobook version rather than reading it. Here are my thoughts.
I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you’d think He’s talking straight to you and me.
– Man in Black, Johnny Cash
In honor of Reformation Day, 500 years since Martin Luther’s theses.
Reformation day has always seemed a sombre sort of thing to me, even when I was a Protestant. I understand the desire to celebrate. From a Protestant perspective, Luther is the catalyst that makes it possible for later generations of Reformers to bring the fullness of the Gospel back into public consciousness. I’ve already seen a video in my Facebook feed celebrating his triumph over the “dark” “empire” of the Catholic Church, and remember how well I identified with that narrative.