The Bully Lover

The word “bully” has a surprising history. We’re used to its current meaning: a person who harasses or intimidates those who are weaker. But its original meaning is quite different. “Bully” originally meant one’s sweetheart or beloved. Coming later, Shakespeare … Continue reading

What’s Up with Sacrifice?

Sacrifice is tough. It is even more so because it’s hard to make sense out of why we should bother in the first place. As one who also struggles with sacrifice, I turned to a trustworthy brother (Thomas Aquinas) for … Continue reading

A God of Failures

The Presentation in the Temple looks like a failure. In memory of the slaying of the firstborn of the Egyptians—man and beast alike—the Israelites were commanded to sacrifice their own firstborn to the Lord. This in general seems to have … Continue reading

The Paradox of Willfulness

Lent is more than half over, a good time to remember why we carry our cross. We do it to be disciples of Christ, to do His will in our life and not our own. But surrendering our own willfulness … Continue reading

The Memory of His Passion

Why does the Catholic Mass focus so much on Jesus’s death on the Cross? For someone unaccustomed to Catholic worship, this may seem morbid or even embarrassing. Does not Christianity claim to be a religion that holds out the power … Continue reading

More Eloquent than the Blood of Abel

Growing up the third of four boys I have thought long and hard about the story of Cain and Abel. Beside pondering fraternal conflict and the effects of original sin, the story of the brothers intrigues me with regard to … Continue reading

Are You Lonely?

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”  (Mt. 3:2). This Advent, John the Baptist invites us to go out into the desert to prepare for the … Continue reading