Love

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Apologizing for Love … of Country

The stone and marble arches that dot Yale’s landscape can sometimes transport you back in time. Athens. Rome. Or even Jerusalem. Etched on the arched gates of the many residential colleges read the words, “For God, For Country, and For Yale.” It is surprising that the inscriptions still stand today. Over the past six months [...]

The Babel Story Is About Speaking the Truth

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves...” (Gen 11:4) As a small child the tale of Babel’s tower seemed a large story, one filled with men who were wicked and a god who was powerful. [...]

When Love, Mercy, and Dignity Lose Their Meaning

Love, mercy, and human dignity are all wonderful things, and it's right for the Church to emphasize them. It's also right to take them seriously, and try to understand what they are, what's behind them, and where they point. To do that we need to remember that on the Christian view—indeed, on any sane view—we [...]

Falling in Love with God

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’” (Jn 21:15) If to fall in love with God is the single most stupendous adventure awaiting the human heart, why are there so few inclined to take the plunge? Why this reluctance to seek [...]

Tale As Old As Time: The Transformative Power of Love

From the very beginning of his existence, man is orientated to love and desires love. In fact, St. John Paul II says in Redemptoris Hominis that “man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible in himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not [...]

The Gift of Love is Not a Sacrifice

Love is not sacrifice. Love is gift. Without clearly seeing the difference between gift and sacrifice, the Christian message can only be muddled in a modern world where one man's sacrifice merely signifies his subjection to another man. In such a world the purpose of society is not to encourage the free exchange of gifts [...]

Re-Reading Love and Responsibility

Someone presumptuous enough to recommend some readings for those attending the 2015 Synod on the Family could undoubtedly put together an impressive list of books on marriage and sexual morality. Arguably, at the top of any such list belongs Karol Wojtyla’s classic work called Love and Responsibility. An appreciation of marriage as an indissoluble conjugal [...]

Seeing Love: A Reflection on King Lear

What do we see? And what does it matter? As an older father and educator of my youngest daughter, now sixteen years old, I have the joy of truly learning Shakespeare for the first time. In recent months we have tackled two Shakespeare plays, Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. One is billed as the [...]

Taking Offense: An Enemy of Truth

Taking offense certifies the modern man as one who cares. If we take offense on behalf of another, we can number ourselves among the sensitive and loving. If we take offense personally, we can brandish a stop sign declaring to all that the offense must cease. In either case, the offending words must stop and [...]

Life as Preparation for Death

Shortly before taking leave of this world, Sir Winston Churchill, who had lived a very long and illustrious life, was reportedly asked about the state of his soul: “I am perfectly ready,” he said, “to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Only someone of [...]

A Counterfeit Conscience

Perhaps my favorite recorded conversation in English literature is the short chat between Boswell and Dr. Johnson, when Boswell said he wanted to stand for election to Parliament, and Johnson advised against it: BOSWELL. “Perhaps, Sir, I should be the less happy for being in Parliament. I never would sell my vote, and I should [...]

Lenten Meditations on Politics

Lent is a time of personal transformation, so it is a time of inwardness. It nonetheless has an outward-turning aspect. Man is social, and God is other than ourselves, so in addition to fasting to help us put our attachments in their place, Lent encourages prayer and almsgiving to increase our love of God and [...]

Awaiting the Fire’s Fall: Pentecost in Art & History

Not since the impacted savageries of the late 8th century, when Viking raiding parties ravaged the coast of England, can anything compare to the protracted destruction wrought by the German Air Force during the Battle of Britain.  Between September of 1940 and May of 1941, countless incendiary bombs fell upon that brave island race.  A [...]

Love the Sinner

On the forest floor, half covered in withered leaves, lay the naked body of a child, a young girl. Her short dark hair reached just to her shoulders; her face was obscured with leaves. In her childish breast there was a small, curiously shaped triangular wound, livid against the white, translucent skin. It was a [...]

Why “Value” Families?

In responding to a recent post of mine criticizing our liberal culture for its hostility toward the traditional family, a commenter wrote: “I don’t know a single liberal who … doesn’t value (and participate in) both traditional and non-traditional families.” I think it is important to examine this liberal response to conservative criticism, not because [...]

The Primitive Cruelty of Modern “Love”

Several weeks ago, Saint Valentine’s Day at my school came and went. There was no dance. There was no concert. There was no ice cream social. There was no party for trading little gifts. There was no showing of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon or Marty or Goodbye, Mr. Chips or Casablanca. There were no [...]

Running From Hell: Thoughts on Love and Sin

Running from hell is a lousy way to approach God. This seemed to be the consensus of many post-Vatican II Catholics who saw the pre-Vatican II era as a generation beholden to the fear of sin and subject to rules drawing sharp lines over which a good Catholic did not cross. As a high school [...]

Judge Not

Behind these two words “judge not” (Matthew 7:1) stand the champions of moral relativism. Before the wall the relativists erect with these two words, Christians drop their weapons, seemingly defeated by a rampart they thought was meant for their own defense. The Gospels are the ultimate love story and from their midst not only do [...]

Who Are We?: Catholic Faith in Light of the HHS Mandate

Who do they think they are? Such must have been the thought of many Catholics when the Obama Administration ruled that Catholic institutions must provide contraceptive services to their employees. We responded with outrage, indignation and, perhaps most of all, surprise over an assault on our complacently assumed right to religious freedom. As a Catholic community many of [...]

Hating Love: The Legacy of the ’60s Generation

To an alien traveler just saucered in from a far distant part of the universe, it would be quite clear that our two speakers above were not talking about the same thing. In fact, it would be quite reasonable for our peripatetic alien to believe that Mr. Lightfoot and St. Paul were talking about two [...]

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