General

“Laudato Si” Athwart Modernity

Pope Francis | giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com

Pope Francis takes positions that annoy both standard-issue liberals and standard-issue conservatives. This is because his overarching opponent is the philosophy of modernity, which in fact has produced both the “conservatism” and the “liberalism” that we know today. In preparation for my participation in a USCCB sponsored symposium for the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si, I reread […]

Sometimes I think I am a Christian

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Phil Flott. Sometimes I think I am a Christian particularly in winter, earth is frozen, bulldozers cannot scrape the surface. The first snow cover is so bright I forget what’s underneath. Nights, though, I hear the ground groaning as frozen moisture heaves it up. Then I know where sap lurks, […]

Restoring Essential Services

Stained glass window at the Melkite Catholic Annunciation Cathedral in Roslindale depicting Christ the King with the regalia of a Byzantine emperor. (January 2009 photo by John Stephen Dwyer [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

In different parts of the United States and other parts of the world, we are reaching what many are calling “Phase 2” in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Various restrictions are being gradually rescinded, some businesses reopened, supplementary emergency hospitals closed, panic and fear lessened and normal parts of life restored. But we are far from out of danger. […]

John Paul the Great: The Superhero Saint

Pope John Paul II celebrates the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception near the Spanish steps in Rome, on December 08, 2004. -- Photography by Giulio Napolitano (Editorial Use Only) | Shutterstock

Today, May 18, 2020, marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Saint John Paul the Great. Susannah Pearce offers a personal refection on this powerful witness for Christ and the impact his life and mission had on so many lives and families. (Editors) If it is possible to truly love a person one has not met with all the […]

Worlds Apart

Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel Photography by Mark Armstrong

I am a father and a philosopher.  This is not necessarily an unusual combination, but it does give me a range of interests that spans two rather distinctive worlds.  I am interested in the family, its challenges and rewards, its hard work and its joyful celebrations.  As a philosopher, I am interested in an array of ideas that range from […]

Why We Can’t Do Evil Even If Good May Come

"St. Paul Preaching in Athens" (detail) by Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There is a curious and intriguing passage in the third chapter of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, which in the context of the missive seems almost tossed-off, but which has proven to be a cornerstone of Catholic moral theology for the past two thousand years. Responding to some of his critics, Paul says, “And why not say (as some […]

Pray Always?

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Seriously? Pray always?” That is not an uncommon reaction to St. Paul’s admonition to pray always without ceasing. Does he know what we’re up against, the demands on our time and energy, the pace of our modern world, not to mention the fragility and inconsistency of our human nature? He can’t possibly mean always, as […]