Easter

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 [...]

Sabbath after Sabbath

In the Acts of the Apostles (13:26-30), Paul speaks of his Jewish background. To us Jews did God send forth a “message of salvation.”  This announcement was not sent to everyone in the beginning. Why not? We know that, in Deuteronomy, the Jews are called “chosen” not because of anything they did on their part [...]

Easter Changes Everything

Christmas occupies such a large part of the Christian imagination that the absolute supremacy of Easter as the greatest of Christian feasts may get obscured at times. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, an Italian biblical scholar, suggests that we might begin to appreciate how Easter changed everything—and gave the birth of Jesus at Christmas its significance—by reflecting [...]

Sense and Nonsense: In Grace, Perpetual Novelty

Dennis Bartlett, in San Francisco, lent me his copy of A Spiritual Aeneid, which is Ronald Knox’s autobiography, first published in 1918. Dennis has a 1958 Sheed & Ward edition with a Preface by Evelyn Waugh. I actually intend to return this book someday. As I also have an edition of The Pastoral Sermons of [...]

Sense and Nonsense: “In the shining light, destroy us”

For a course I gave recently on political philosophy and natural law, one of the books I had wanted to read, or reread, with my good class was C. S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man, a book I realized I had not taken a look at for some time, though its powerful theme has almost [...]

Common Wisdom: Short Stay

You learn, to your surprise, that surgery is indicated. Minor, but requiring general anesthesia, and there's the rub. To you, the prospect of extinguishing the light carries with it the real possibility it will not go on again. But there seems no option; the alternative is to risk detection of cancer. So you agree, and [...]

Sense and Nonsense: The Real Miracle

Tom and Barbara Donohue—now in Los Angeles—I had known during my early Roman days, when Tom was in the legal division of the Navy at the Embassy on the Via Veneto. When I came to Georgetown in the late 70s, they—such was my good fortune—had me look up Don and Connie Kerwin, old friends of [...]

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