Behind the Veil

This weekend we enter Passiontide, the final phase of the Lenten season, during which we traditionally veil statues and holy images in our churches until the Easter Vigil.  I recently came across a poem by John Hart entitled, “Veiled Images at Passiontide,” which contemplates this ancient custom.  A purple kite  against the wall  with theContinue reading “Behind the Veil”

Fish on Fridays

By now, it is a well-known story. In the early 1960s, a man named Lou Groen noticed a dramatic decline in business on Fridays at his McDonald’s restaurant in Cincinnati. He realized that this was due to the city’s large Catholic population – and Catholics did not eat meat on Fridays.  So, Groen approached RayContinue reading “Fish on Fridays”

Easter

Msgr. Luigi Giussani (1922-2005) was an Italian priest and professor of theology, who spent many years teaching in Milan but who is best known as the founder of the Communion and Liberation movement.   When he died in 2005, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) preached his funeral Mass, saying: “[Msgr. Giussani] understood that Christianity is not an intellectualContinue reading “Easter”

Detox

The first reading for today’s Mass is from the Book of Numbers (21:4-9).  Numbers is one of the first five books of the Bible, which together are called the Torah.  Numbers tells the story of the Israelites after their liberation from slavery in Egypt, during their 40-year period of wandering in the desert before entering the Promised Land.  In those days of wandering, theyContinue reading “Detox”

Lessons from this Longer Lent

I’m having a longer Lent than usual this year. Most years it begins on Ash Wednesday.  This year, however, it started on January 4 when I decided to join a small group of local men, including some parishioners, to participate in a program called Exodus 90, which basically extends Lent from its official 40 days to 90 days (the amount of time experts say it takes to form new habits).  So,Continue reading “Lessons from this Longer Lent”

Te Deum

posted 6/6/20 This Sunday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.  The truth that God exists is something that one can reasonably deduce through the exercise of one’s natural intellectual gifts.  The inner life of God as a Communion of Three Divine Persons, however, is something that we know only through divine revelation.  Our imaginations are not muchContinue reading “Te Deum”

Divine Mercy

posted 4/18/20 How do we conceive of the mercy of God? It’s an important question because everything depends on His mercy.  There are two tendencies against which we have to be on guard because they distort the reality of His mercy.  We might think that He is stingy with His mercy, that He gets tired of hearing us confess the same thingsContinue reading “Divine Mercy”