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

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

Hearts Like His

You’re always hurt most by those closest to you. The sharpest knives are wielded by family, religious brothers, or intimate friends, for they have a particular access to our hearts that is born of the strength of the bond between … Continue reading

First Mass

A Short Story Clenching the wheel of his community’s beat-up beige Ford Taurus so tightly the color had fully drained from his hands, Father Eugene Felusiak raced up the Jersey Turnpike. As he successfully steered the vehicle from one lane … 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

In the Fisherman’s Net

Not ours the wounds, the bloodied flesh, of those fire-tested ancient souls;Theirs the bones for grinding lion’s teeth to gnaw to living breadOr the blood to spell their credo, a sanguine testament witnessed boldlyAs fisherman’s inverted across the sea from … Continue reading

The Lord’s Fear

Anxiety develops in three ways: the tidal waves of sudden tragedy, the rising flood of compounded stresses, and that heavy, salty air of ambient anxiety caused by constant tension or worry. Save me, O God,for the waters have risen to … 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

Lenten Conference Audio: Blinding Darkness

Dominicana is happy to offer this audio recording of “Blinding Darkness.” It was given by Br. John Paul Kern, O.P. as the second installment of the 2017 Lenten Conferences at the Dominican House of Studies. Listen to the whole series on … Continue reading

I Am Able

If only we could have the confidence of James and John. “‘Are you able to drink the chalice that I am to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We are able’” (Mt 20:22). And lest we think that they don’t know … Continue reading

Blood Red Love

The love of St. Valentine goes unrequited on Valentine’s Day. The cities are painted red with roses, lips, young love, and small chalky candies with audacious imperatives: “be true,” “hug me,” “be mine.” Yet, the true red of St. Valentine’s … Continue reading

A Sign of Hope

After an exhausting year, which made me grateful that my hope is based solidly upon God alone and not upon any human person or institution, I was nonetheless ready for some sign of hope to start this new year. The … Continue reading

A Sign of Contradiction

For many Christians, making the sign of the cross can be as mechanical as brushing one’s teeth or clearing one’s throat. On the one hand, it’s beautiful that such a simple sign can contain such profound meaning. It’s very simplicity, … Continue reading

Spiritual Deafness

We all have our sufferings and problems, but sometimes other people can see better than we what’s wrong with us. For example, the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus stars a music teacher and composer who finds out that his baby boy … Continue reading

Embrace of the Cross

The idea of a hug from Jesus can bring to mind the figure of a blue-eyed man with tousled brown hair, probably a big beard, and a cheesy grin with his arms stretched wide waiting for you. Or this time … Continue reading

Tolkien and Hope

Throwback Tuesday I sit beside the fire and think  of all that I have seen,of meadow-flowers and butterflies  in summers that have been; Of yellow leaves and gossamer  in autumns that there were,with morning mist and silver sun  and wind upon my hair. I … Continue reading

Hardly Idyllic

The Holy Family had a rough start, don’t you think? To begin with, it almost ended before it started. Mary was found to be with child, in a pregnancy planned by God but unplanned by men. So “Joseph, being a … Continue reading

Advent Conference Audio: Mother Teresa

Dominicana is happy to offer this audio recording of “Jesus Messed Everything Up.” It was given by Br. John Thomas Fisher, O.P. as part of the 2016 Advent Conferences at the Dominican House of Studies. Series flyer with more information … 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

A Prayer of Christian Philosophy

Why, O Eternal Wisdom, do the heavens move as they do, the rains fall, and the windows fog? Why does my breath make clouds? Why does the oil hover on the water and the light burn up the darkness? Why, … Continue reading

The Standing Now

In a few days we will celebrate Christ the King, which anticipates the moment when Jesus returns, time ends, and eternal life begins. But what do we mean by “eternal”? Is it the same sort of eternity as a traffic … 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

The Visceral Reality of God’s Love

I once heard a preacher tell his congregation that Catholics have a peculiar fascination with the gruesomeness of the crucifixion and that this sick fixation on “gore” was behind the death and darkness now celebrated on Halloween. “They love their … Continue reading

The Waters Have Risen to My Neck

“Do not babble like the pagans doThinking many words louder than few.”But I can merely mumble oneAt the smashing news: I am heard in none. I met a woman this summer, poor and weary, working 60 hours a week as … Continue reading