To even a casual observer of American history, it’s obvious we’ve long had a problematic deficiency of empathy in this country. From slavery to the genocide of Native Americans, Jim Crow, segregation, Japanese internment, persistent discrimination against minorities, women and LGBTQ people, and systemic poverty and food insecurity in one of the wealthiest nations … Continue reading The Good Samaritan has no place when compassion is a crime
Today is the Feast of the Visitation, recounting the episode in Luke’s Gospel in which Mary, who’s just been told by the angel Gabriel she will give birth to Jesus, goes to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. In Luke 1, starting at the 39th verse, we’re told: “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in … Continue reading Praying with Mary and Elizabeth
On this Memorial Day, as our nation flirts with a wholly unnecessary and foolish war with Iran, it is worth pausing to reflect on what, exactly, we are memorializing with this holiday. In our nation's brief history, more than 658,000 of our children have died in combat, including more than 6,800 in the Global War on … Continue reading Facing the true meaning of Memorial Day
This last week has given us two important opportunities to reflect on civil rights and religious freedom in American society. Wednesday was Harvey Milk Day, commemorating the birthday of the groundbreaking LGBTQ rights activist, and last Friday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would extend the provisions of the 1964 Civil … Continue reading It’s time to embrace equality, with open arms, hearts, minds
I had the opportunity last Saturday to attend the pilgrimage of the heart of St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, patron saint of priests, to St. John of Nepomuk Catholic Church in Yukon, Oklahoma. This occasion was momentous in itself, but also gave me an opportunity to delve into the question: Why relics? St. Jean Vianney The two-day … Continue reading The heart of a saint … Why relics?
If I were prudent, I would stay away from this topic. The opposing sides are so intractable, I’m unlikely to have any impact. And, because my views don’t fall neatly into either camp, I’m also certain to anger both sides. But, I feel compelled to outline my stance on abortion, if only to assure my … Continue reading Want to end abortion as a choice? Create a society that is truly pro-life
Almighty God, whose Son, the risen Christ, sent forth your apostles Andronicus and Junia to proclaim the Gospel and extend your reign: send us forth in your Holy Spirit, that women and men may minister as one in faithful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the … Continue reading Made, and called, together, in the image of God
After my last piece on thin places, I decided to spend some time today in another of my favorite thin places -- the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, in the small town of Bison, Oklahoma. Quite by accident I noticed (yes, I had overlooked) that today was the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, recalling the … Continue reading Praying for Peace with Our Lady of Fatima
Much is made these days of the secularization of society -- the loss of influence of Christianity, and religion in general, in society at large. I've generally considered this a topic for the coasts and Europe. Here in the buckle of America's Bible Belt, where a town of 50,000 gladly supports more than 100 churches, … Continue reading Secularization. The death of a thin place.
Surveying the wanton waste of life and ineptitude of leadership on the Western Front in World War I, German Gen. Max von Gallwitz penned to a colleague a truism that I think applies to the contemporary state of our society. “Never,” Gallwitz wrote, “have I seen such lions led by such lambs.” America is … Continue reading Lions and lambs — profiles in courage and cowardice