The Passing of My Friend Joseph F. Girzone

Several years ago I shared the story of how I met Fr. Joseph F. Girzone (1930-2015). I had read Joe’s wonderful book, Jesus: A New Understanding of God’s Son (New York: Doubleday, 2009). I simply loved it. Frankly, it changed my life in many profound ways. I wrote my first ever review on Amazon and as a result someone showed it … Read More

Cardinal Francis George (1937-2015): My Personal Tribute to My Friend

Christian charity is a virtue that is widely recognizable. Where the church goes compassion and care for the poorest and weakest follows. Missionaries and Christian teachers have opened hospitals, cared for orphans, the widows and the poor. Where the Christian faith has advanced universities and day care have followed. Churches, from the beginning, have given to those in dire need … Read More

Ted Talk: “Am I Dying?”

Some of you who read this blog will die in the next twelve months. All of you, including of course me as well, will surely die. (Unless of course the Lord returns at the end of this age first!) But so few of us talk about our own demise. We talk about sex as if there were no other important … Read More

God, the Ebola Crisis and the American Response

You cannot escape it even if you try. The Ebola outbreak dominates the news cycle day-after-day right now. So long as this virus impacts even one American millions of Americans will keep on watching this endless reporting. Once it dies down, at least in terms of being a threat to the US, then we will soon forget about it. Meanwhile … Read More

Rev. Ian Paisley: RIP

I was reading the “Notable Deaths” page in my Sunday newspaper (September 14) and came across the news of the passing of the famous Irish Presbyterian minister, Ian Paisley. The AP report said: “Paisley [was] the Protestant firebrand who devoted his life to thwarting compromise with Catholics in Northern Ireland only to become a pivotal peacemaker in his twilight years.” … Read More

Jesus Prays for His Own – A Sermon (John 17)

The life of our Lord Jesus Christ had an intentionally designed dramatic climax. He was “born to die.” This was not just any death for any person but a death which revealed the depth of God’s love for the world (John 3:16). In John’s Gospel the glory of the Savior ultimately is his cross. In the death of Jesus we see … Read More

The Seven Last Words of Christ by Franz Joseph Haydn

Readers who did not grow up in a liturgical tradition are not as likely to have experienced the seven last words of Christ in a Holy Week context. I had preached at Good Friday services but my experience Tuesday evening at Dominican University, where I heard a string quartet play Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Seven Last Words of Christ” was … Read More

The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Franz Joseph Haydn Symphony

Millions of Christians around the world will hear the “Seven Last Words of Christ” over the next twenty-four to thirty-six hours. I heard them this week and understood them in a wholly different way. While I have participated in a number of contexts in which these words of Christ have been read, sung and even preached, this week I experienced … Read More

True Friendships (4)

In my Tuesday blog (1/14) I gave a quotation from the monastic writer John Cassian that is taken from his book titled The Conferences. In this extremely practical and moving treatment of deep spirituality Cassian wrote the following about “true friendships” which I share again today: True friendships . . . have as their foundation [five principles] . . . … Read More

The New Ecumenism of Pope Francis: “An Ecumenism of Blood”

Vatican Insider is a project run by the daily newspaper La Stampa. The website provides comprehensive information on the Vatican, the activities of the Pope and the Holy See, the Catholic Church’s presence on the international scene and on religious issues. It is an independent multimedia tool, produced in three languages: Italian, English and Spanish and is distributed through the … Read More