Category: Uncategorized

Pax Tecum, Pax Tibi

Rusted Anchors[i] “Anchoring or focalism is a term used in psychology to describe the common human tendency to rely too heavily, or “anchor,” on one trait or piece of information when making decisions.”[ii]  How many rusted anchors are holding you down from accepting new and contradictory information to previously held assumptions?  In a recent NYT article on Donald Trump the author raised the issue … Read More Pax Tecum, Pax Tibi

Simplicity

I had plenty of adversity today.  But that is not my focus.  Only a hundred pages into a  novel, Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War, and a cord strikes home:  “After dinner they read books, sitting on either side of the fire.  They went to bed early in the room at the back of the house.  Isabelle had painted it and sewn the … Read More Simplicity

Isenheim Altarpiece: A Portrait of Agony; a Message of Hope

I cannot imagine caring for patients with “St. Anthony’s Fire” in the 1500s.  Our medicines have come along ways and palliative care nurses are by the sides of those facing unremitting symptoms, torment, and anguish.   Nevertheless, patients with serious conditions are faced with their own mortality and the instinctual drive to defy our destiny with ashes. When to fight on, what medicines to … Read More Isenheim Altarpiece: A Portrait of Agony; a Message of Hope

The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor

A 600 plus page fictional story of an Irish family and Father Kennedy’s pastoral life. Fascinating use of Irish humor and Russian pessimism from an American author.  I would like to say a hidden gem of American literature – but it was published in 61 and won the pulitzer prize in 62….so perhaps only hidden from me.  Captures a generation of relationships thru the eyes … Read More The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor

Review of Resistence to Evil

June 26 marks the birthday of one of the great pioneers of liturgical reform in North America: Virgil Michel, OSB (he was born in 1890— happy 126th, Virgil!). He made a great many contributions to the liturgical movement throughout his career, but arguably the most significant was the connection he relentlessly drew between liturgy and […] via Justice, Evil, and Worship – Remembering Virgil Michel, OSB … Read More Review of Resistence to Evil

“Odi ergo sum. I hate therefore I am” : The two sides of Islamic belief

“Odi ergo su.” is a quote  from Umberto Eco, author of The Prague Cemetery (I book and author I do not know).   It is easy to see how extremist in our society and around the world thrive on hatred.  Below is a critical and biased view of Islam based on several readings I have read the last two days.  It summarizes I believe … Read More “Odi ergo sum. I hate therefore I am” : The two sides of Islamic belief

The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton

  Book Review:  A collection of anecdotal stories, parables, or sayings from the Hermits of Scete as collected by and scribed by Thomas Merton.  The Hermits formed an important thread in the fourth century by capturing Christian contemplation and prayer as they sought out solitude in the desert. The humility and passion of these Hermits exceeds current day monasteries.  I like the story where … Read More The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton

“Can We Write a History of Jesus?” by Rev. Jerome Murphy O-Connor[i]

A gem of a presentation by Rev. Jerome Murphy O-Connor that in 11 brief pages or about 25 minutes of lecture tackles the slippery slope of historical criticism of scripture, its history, and impact on the current day church.  Rev. O’Connor describes the descent of the validity of scripture in light of literary and historical criticism and the re-emergence of scripture, or the ascent, … Read More “Can We Write a History of Jesus?” by Rev. Jerome Murphy O-Connor[i]

“Inspired by the Divine Spirit”

44,717 Days:  On September 30, 1943, 18,212 days after Pope Leo XIII’s “The God of all Providence,” Pope Pius XII issued “Inspired by the Divine Spirit” known as Divino Affante Spiritu. [i] This encyclical built on “The God of all Providence,” which is listed by Catholic Exchange as one of 7 Papal Encyclicals that changed the world.[ii] Pope Pius XII need not be insulted … Read More “Inspired by the Divine Spirit”

Trump, Evangelicals, and the Road Ahead

In 1934, at the age of 28, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a letter to a friend about an upcoming conference that would involve members of churches from several countries and denominations. In this lette… Source: Trump, Evangelicals, and the Road Ahead

Furor versus Fuhrer – Abortion and Politics

In 1973, Justice Harry M. Blackmun (appointed by Republican President Nixon) wrote the following: “the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of relatively recent vintage.” Providing a historical analysis on abortion, Justice Harry Blackmun noted that abortion was “resorted to without scruple” in Greek and Roman times.[7] Blackmun also addressed the permissive and restrictive abortion attitudes and laws throughout history, … Read More Furor versus Fuhrer – Abortion and Politics

The Divine Comedy: Purgatorio by Dante

“The natural was ever without error; But err the other may by evil object, Or by too much. or by too little vigor.” The above quote in canto XVII humanizes existence in purgatory.  Purgatory does not move far enough away from the horror of the Inferno and the disproportionate time assigned in purgatory is a hell in and of itself.  Still a vivid and … Read More The Divine Comedy: Purgatorio by Dante

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