Friendship and Hidden Things

The greatest things in life are hidden. Not just treasure, passageways, and tracks, but the substantial parts of life: beauty, love, goodness, justice, mercy. Intellectually and experientially, we know them, but the knowledge is partial. We can’t point to one … Continue reading

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

Ending and Beginning

Starting and Stopping: whether in writing or in life, the beginning and end are crucial. A writer’s  punchiest point, nestled two-thirds through the page, will fall flat without an introduction and conclusion. Why? Because human beings are like trucks that … Continue reading

Damning Silence

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”      – Edmund Burke Why do we do nothing? Why do we see evil and stay silent? In part, it’s because our culture excessively … Continue reading

St. Dominic’s Favorite Book

What was St. Dominic’s favorite book? As a scholar and preacher, it would have to be one that reflects the wisdom and goodness of God, one that he could return to again and again without exhausting it. Maybe one of … Continue reading

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

This summer, a lady approached me and asked a surprising question: “Can I sleep well and still be a good Christian?” She went on to tell me that she often found herself worried at bedtime, either about her own tasks … Continue reading

How to Talk About Homosexuality

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on August 6, 2014. Fr. Gabriel Torretta was ordained a priest in 2015 and now serves as a parochial vicar. How do we talk about homosexuality? Christians are caught on the horns of … Continue reading

At the Hedge

The Word of God, solitary, magnificent amid the vicissitudes of human history, turns to me, his face shining from his vision of the Father, and speaks to me. As in all human love, only more so, I am exposed; I … Continue reading

Check Yourself

“Yo, priest! You best check yo’self!” A priest who taught me the faith when I was a boy used to tell this story. Once, when he was leading a group of high school students on a pilgrimage to the March … Continue reading

Toward a Spirituality of Sloths

It is difficult to be Catholic and also a fan of sloths. “Why do you like something named after a deadly sin?” I have been asked on no few occasions. When I try to justify myself by pointing out that … 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

Betrayal’s Foundation

There are two great betrayals in the Passion of Christ by two of Christ’s very apostles: Judas and St. Peter. Only one now has the title “saint” before his name. Why did Judas betray Christ? It was not a spontaneous … Continue reading

The Love of Money

Money can be a tricky thing to get a handle on. On the one hand, it can seem that all of the world is measured in money. We encounter prices all the time, on gas station signs, in store windows, … Continue reading

Sins of Speech

There’s a lot to be said for the old dictum “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But we’re not merely bones. To a certain extent, we need the respect of others in order … 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

Suspect the Good

It’s nearly impossible to have a civil conversation nowadays with someone who disagrees with you. For example, take Sally, who is pro-choice, and her friend Alice, who is pro-life. Sally and Alice had never talked about this issue before, but … Continue reading

A Discerning Eye

My father once remarked that after years of eye exams, he had memorized the eye chart. This level of mastery of the material would guarantee success on an algebra or biology test, but it is not helpful in an eye … Continue reading

Truth or Death?

The Princess Bride just starts to get interesting with the kidnapping of Buttercup and the following pursuit. The Man-in-Black chases after the kidnappers, overcoming all obstacles to track Buttercup down. “There is no misunderstanding,” Vizzini says to the Man-in-Black once … Continue reading

Burdened under the Law

The Church’s moral law has received attention in the public square for many years now, on topics ranging from contraception to torture. These sorts of discussions take place within the Church as well, as seen in the current discussion on … Continue reading

A Song Beneath

Kino heard the little splash of morning waves on the beach. It was very good—Kino closed his eyes again to listen to his music. Perhaps he alone did this and perhaps all of his people did it. His people had … Continue reading

Christian Birding

One of my closest friends in college, Christian, was a borderline-manic birder. When he was thirteen, he (and his binoculars) went missing one morning during a Texas family vacation. Hours after his disappearance, as his distressed mother was describing her … Continue reading

Resolutions

Is it better to make resolutions or to keep them? To keep them, obviously, you might huffily reply. Then why do we continue to make resolutions, seeing as we so often and easily break them? New Year’s resolutions in particular … 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

Locking Out Jesus

Jesus is the One who holds the keys to Heaven, but there is one door He won’t unlock without permission: the door of our hearts. Christmas is close, and today the Church’s liturgy calls upon Christ as the Key of … Continue reading