Does God Make Us Less Lonely?

Sometimes we believe that God is obliged to make us less lonely. We think: God knows me. He wants me to know Him. God wants to share his life with me, and I should never be lonely if I’m sharing … Continue reading

The Paradox of Christian Autobiography

“Know thyself,” proclaimed the oracle at Delphi. St Catherine of Siena echoed this teaching with her emphasis on the importance of the “cell of self-knowledge” to the spiritual life. But how can I know myself? This question became especially pertinent … Continue reading

The True Axis of the Earth

In C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, dead souls ascend by bus from a hellish suburbia to the edge of heaven. For the dead souls, everything in this new land overwhelms. The leaves are heavy, the light blinding, even the … Continue reading

Lord, that I may see (more than myself)

After listening to a talk about the dangers of narcissism in the spiritual life, a brother turned to me and said, “I’m pretty sure that whole talk was about me.” I assured him that the talk was definitely about me. … Continue reading

Homesick for Heaven

I recently came across a line by Samuel Johnson that struck me as having a particular relevance to Dominican friars: “A man uncommitted is at home everywhere; unless he may be said to be at home nowhere.” As mendicants, we … Continue reading

Latin and the Language of God

Prayer can be described as conversation with God, but in what language? What if, when God speaks, it sounds like nonsense to us? Learning to pray, to be with God, to converse with him, is a bit like learning a … Continue reading

The Face of an Angel

Yesterday we celebrated the birth of the Son of God. Today we remember the death of a man. Through Advent we watched for the coming of God, before being surprised to see angelic hosts and to hear the cry of … Continue reading

The End of Mercy

During my novitiate year, I visited residents in an assisted living facility every week. Sometimes the interactions were whimsical (once, a resident advised me on cheap places to take a girl on a first date—I don’t think he quite understood … Continue reading

It was good for me to be afflicted?

After years of interrogation at the hands of the Soviet secret police, the American Jesuit Walter Ciszek reached a breaking point. He had been falsely accused of spying for the Vatican and was subjected to isolation and near starvation. As … Continue reading