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A Prophetic Tour in the Land of Ruin

August 7, 2018 1 Comment
A Prophetic Tour in the Land of Ruin

At Mass for Tuesday of the 18th Week of the Year, we read from one of the later chapters of Jeremiah the Prophet, who wrote during the time of the Babylonian exile. He serves as a kind of “tour guide” through a land of ruin, one that seems all too familiar to us today. The […]

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Of Hunger and Hallucinations – How the Stages of Starvation Describe the Decaying West

July 8, 2018 5 Comments
Of Hunger and Hallucinations – How the Stages of Starvation Describe the Decaying West

Physical hunger is a serious problem; We are obliged to assist the starving and malnourished. But even more prevalent these days is spiritual hunger, if not outright starvation. As is the case with physical hunger, the source of spiritual hunger is not God, who has given us abundant grace and truth; it is we who are […]

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Unmoored Freedom is No Freedom – A Reflection on the 4th of July

July 3, 2018 4 Comments
Unmoored Freedom is No Freedom – A Reflection on the 4th of July

To most modern minds, freedom is a very detached concept; it is an abstraction of sorts, a free-floating power unmoored from any limits or defining standards. Freedom today is often viewed as personal and self-referential, with little consideration as to how one’s “freedom” might affect that of someone else. A healthy sense of the common […]

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Two Stories About Detachment

July 2, 2018 2 Comments
Two Stories About Detachment

It is common to think of detachment as something the poor easily have and the rich seldom have. Whatever the statistics on detachment as related to wealth, it is certainly true that there are some poor folks who are greedy attached to this world’s riches, while there are some rich people who are quite generous […]

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Two Teachings on Discipleship from Jesus

July 1, 2018 2 Comments
Two Teachings on Discipleship from Jesus

In the Gospel for today (Monday of the 13thWeek of the Year) Jesus gives two teachings on discipleship. They are not easy, and they challenge us—especially those of us who live in the affluent West. Poverty– The text says, As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you […]

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In Times of Harsh Political Discourse, What Do the Scriptures Say?

June 26, 2018 10 Comments
In Times of Harsh Political Discourse, What Do the Scriptures Say?

We are in times of strident political protest that includes a lot of harsh language, personal attacks, name calling, and even debased and profane terms. There are tweets, and angry monologues, harsh commentary on news networks, and interruptive press conferences and news interviews that sound more like a brawl than a debate. To put it […]

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1968 – A Year When Many in the Church Drank the Poison of the World

June 19, 2018 28 Comments
1968 – A Year When Many in the Church Drank the Poison of the World

There was something awful about the year 1968. Fifty years later we are still reeling from its effects. Perhaps we do well to ponder the deep wounds that still fester today. I was a young lad at the time, and almost everything I saw on the television news terrified me. Harrowing nightly reports from Vietnam […]

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What Ails Us? The Rise of the Imperial, Autonomous Self

June 12, 2018 11 Comments
What Ails Us? The Rise of the Imperial, Autonomous Self

A rather succinct and accurate summary of our current malaise is that we live in the age of “the imperial, autonomous self.” In effect, many if not most people claim an authority, a right, to craft their own reality and live according to their own notions of it. Not so long ago, it was generally […]

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