Easter

Mob Justice at Providence College

I wrote the following several weeks ago, and decided to wait on it. Meanwhile, something has happened to the young man in question, something worse by far than what I have described here. So here goes: I have just learned that the Women's Studies Program at my old school, Providence College, does not take rape seriously. Or [...]

Mainstream Journalism’s Religion Problem

Now that Holy Week is behind us, it is worth reflecting on the "religious" views expressed by “mainstream journalism” over those few days. While not expressing it quite so crudely as the last Democratic president and his wanna-be successor—the press seem stumped by those “baskets of deplorables” who still “cling to guns or religion.” Take [...]

Confounded by the Resurrection

When asked about the resurrection, clinical psychologist and sudden internet celebrity, Jordan Peterson responded, “I need to think about that for about three more years before I would even venture an answer.” Lisa Miller, religion editor for Newsweek, is another matter. Miller doesn’t “buy” the resurrection of Jesus, or of anyone else for that matter. [...]

Easter and the Cultural Pagans

It is a well-known element of Christian tradition: early missionaries repurposed or replaced established pagan rituals, artifacts, and places in their effort to convert the local people. There are some very famous instances of this: Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is a beautiful Roman church built upon the ruins of a pagan temple to the goddess [...]

What is Easter?

Easter Sunday this year falls on April Fools’ Day. A tradition exists about “Christ the Fool.” It probably originates from when Pilate sent Christ to see Herod. Herod was anxious to see him. See him do what? See him perform. He had heard much about this man and his miracles. So naturally the king wanted [...]

Revisiting Jim Bishop’s The Day Christ Died

The Day Christ Died is an unjustly neglected book about the Passion of Our Lord, written in 1957 by the American Catholic journalist Jim Bishop. Coming across a copy of this gem in a thrift store, where I've found many a forgotten treasure, I noted that it was first published sixty years ago this May. [...]

How Little We Know Ourselves

The Lenten and Easter seasons call each of us to renewed reflection on our journey through life. Prayerful reading of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection is a sure way to strive for something Father George Rutler expressed so well—we are to let Jesus “make of our graves what he made of his own borrowed tomb: [...]

Advice for a Catholic Neophyte

It’s an especially happy Easter for the Lu family this year, since a near and dear relative of mine came into the Church at the Easter Vigil. Eleven years into my Catholic life, I am no longer the only Catholic in my natal family. God is good. In light of that, I’ve been reflecting on [...]

The Unforeseen Triumph of Easter

In the Poetics of Aristotle, that wonder of brevity and wit on the art of making (poiesis), there is a clever little thing called peripety, which is a device deployed by the artist to alert his audience to any sudden or unexpected turn of events in the unfolding of a story. For instance, the awful [...]

Prelude to the Passion

It is only in these last days of Lent—before, that is, the high moments of Holy Week that will mark the earthly end of his life—that the public appearances of Jesus become especially fraught, ever more heightened and dramatic. And it is always a toss-up, given the essential inconstancy of the crowds confronting him (all [...]

Peter Wasn’t Afraid to Die

On Palm Sunday, and again on Good Friday, we will hear and take part in one of the most infamous scenes in Christian history. We will read the Gospel account (from the synoptics on Palm Sunday, this year from the Gospel according to Luke, and from the Gospel according to John, as always, on Good [...]

Easter and Zombies

Zombies have been making the rounds lately. Not real ones, of course, because there are no real ones. It is to their great disadvantage that they do not exist, considering how popular they are. But then, they would have no great advantages in existing, either. While they may experience a certain brute satisfaction, their intellectual [...]

He Is Risen! Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Easter

Eastertide, 1894 marked the resurrection of a famous figure besides Jesus Christ. Sherlock Holmes, supposed dead for three years following his agony with the Napoleon of Crime, reappeared suddenly to his friends in London—heralded not by an empty tomb, but by an empty house. There are very few literary giants with so perfect a resurrectional [...]

“I Thirst”

“But suppose God didn’t quite finish by closing time of the afternoon of the sixth day? ...Suppose that Creation, the process of replacing chaos with order, were still going on. What would that mean? In the biblical metaphor of the six days of Creation, we would find ourselves somewhere in the middle of Friday afternoon. Man was just created a [...]

An Easter Reflection on the Plague of Cremation

As Christians prepare to celebrate the Paschal Feast of the Lord’s Resurrection, we will hear a lot about the “empty tomb.” Indeed, this year—in which the Lectionary focuses on St. Mark—will be particularly stark: the women encounter the empty tomb and the “young man” and are “utterly amazed” (Mk 16: 1-7). As we celebrate the [...]

Is God Dead? Have We Killed Him?

Nietzsche isn’t exactly the kind of guy you expect to show up in a papal encyclical. All the more so does it seem odd to refer to him as a prophet. Nonetheless, recent popes have referred to him somewhat often, using him as a referent for our current social and philosophical situation. In one of [...]

Time for a Little Easter Cheer

When a magazine names itself Crisis, you should know not to expect sugar plums and primroses. Our culture is in a bad way, and here at Crisis we’re pretty up-front about that fact. We endeavor to diagnose the problems and determine the appropriate response. Around here, we skip the sugar coating. As faithful Catholics, we [...]

The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made

Tucked away in a central Parisian museum that was once a railway station, there hangs an Easter painting quite unlike any Gospel masterpiece created before or after it. It is not painted by a Rembrandt or a Rubens or the patron saint of artists, Fra Angelico. The painting is the work of a little-known Swiss [...]

The Eucharist

Let us read the words of the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper in Saint Matthew’s Gospel (26:26-28), adding the words of the other sacred authors on the same subject: Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and when he had given thanks (1 Cor. 11:24), broke it, and gave [...]

Easter Hope Amid the Horror of Death

As anyone with half-a-brain knows, success in the publishing world is measured by the number of books sold.  What many do not know, of course, is that there are only two categories that perennially produce best sellers.  Cookbooks and diet books.  How wonderfully self-cancelling they are, too.  While the one will tell you what to [...]

Five Saints to Enrich your Easter Season

Easter Sunday has come and gone, but the liturgical season of Easter is just beginning. The 50 days of Easter, which last until Pentecost, are an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the resurrection for your faith—much the same way that the 40 days of Lent is a call to enter into the deeper [...]

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