Why Relics?

Why relics? It’s a natural instinct to keep meaningful tokens. Anyone who has lost loved ones knows the impact of an old photo, a handwritten letter, or a crackling recorded message. In a way, the ones we have lost become … Continue reading

This Death will be the Life of me!

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? —1 Cor 15:55 Christ has conquered death and put it to death. So why do we still die? No fear makes the heart quail quite like the fear … Continue reading

Benedicta a Cruce

Faith and Film Friday: The Seventh Chamber Editor’s Note: This is the eighth review in our series, Faith and Film Friday. Read the whole series here. Maia Morgenstern, some five years before starring as the Mother of God in Mel … Continue reading

Time for a Check-Up!

“You’re dying.” It took a moment for those words to sink in. Dying. This thing will kill me. “How could I be dying? How could it be this serious? I mean, how long have I had it?” “Actually,” the doctor … Continue reading

Dulce et Decorum Est

Can we glorify death? The Roman poet, Horace, did. Celebrating stouthearted soldiers in his Odes (III.2), he wrote, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori—Sweet and fitting it is to die for the fatherland.” His poem captured the hearts of … Continue reading

Blood Washing Blood

In a famous scene of a famous play, a semi-conscious Lady Macbeth wanders around the stage and feverishly rubs her hands together in an attempt to clean blood from them, blood which only she can see. Out of pride and … Continue reading

A Good End

“He who endures to the end will be saved” (Mt 10:22) It is good to start something, but it is better to finish it (see Eccl 7:8). To endure to the end, our ultimate end, means to die well, to … Continue reading

Holy Souls?

Today we pray for the holy souls in purgatory. This idea of the holy souls in purgatory seems an odd notion to contemporary ears. One tends to think of heaven as the place where the holy souls go. Purgatory, one … Continue reading

Scourged

“But Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released to them Barabbas, and handed over Jesus scourged so that He might be crucified” (Mark 15:15). How much can a single word hold? St. Mark used only one to record the scourging … Continue reading

Dying Daily

Dying Daily Throughout my novitiate, I heard many priests say that as religious we must be willing to die for Christ every day for our salvation and the salvation of others. That can sound strange at first, but when we … Continue reading

Lecherous Stump

Lecherous stump of flesh, knotted, rotten, Twisted from thy flickering flirtations With lesser lovers, leaving frostbitten That sad little lump of palpitations. Withered lie thy dry leaves, O heart of mine, Deprived of all love’s life-giving waters, For thy lovers’ … Continue reading

Undefiled

Sooner or later, my body will become a corpse. A corpse looks alien. It’s both strangely familiar (so clearly my body), yet utterly unrecognizable (so clearly not me), putting on display the jarring indignity of death, the separation of my … Continue reading

How Are You Going to Die?

“How are you going to die?” A morbid question, and one which few would want to answer. Surely we can’t know how we are going to die. There is, of course, what many would consider the ideal scenario: passing peacefully, … Continue reading

The Dead Man

I carry a dead man around with me. Look, there he is—his body stretched out, hanging by nails, dripping blood. Who carries a dead man around? Do you see him? Look. Look at his face, at his wounds. It’s all … Continue reading

Mother of Exiles

Sun flashing and gleamingon the shining sea     stretching far beyond the bridge.But my eyes strayed not so far out.Wreathed in light,     gentle foam lapping her island pedestal,          stands the American Colossus.From the rooftop thirty stories … Continue reading

Happy Memorial Day?

The upbeat greeting of “Happy Memorial Day,” said with the same enthusiasm of Independence Day, has always seemed off to me. This somber national holiday honors the dead rather than focusing on a particular victory. Also known as Decoration Day, … Continue reading

Letter to My Brother

Hey Brother, So, we’re off. It’s one day after Pentecost and we’re getting a taste of the apostolic life, jumping into cars and hopping onto planes. Sorry I didn’t catch up with you before departure day. Summer assignments arrive so … Continue reading

Faith, Hope, and Love Towards Canaan’s Land

Editor’s note: This is the twelfth post in our newest series, reflecting on the Hillbilly Thomists’ recent, self-titled album. The series will run each Tuesday and Thursday throughout the Easter season. Read the whole series here. This post concerns the … Continue reading

Who is Your Shepherd?

Who is your shepherd? Whose sheep are you? We’re all sheep, following some shepherd with docility or butting against the goad. Either way, we’re all sheep who must decide in whose flock we wish to be counted. Sheep become like … Continue reading

Yearning for Remembrance: Pixar’s Coco

A few of us recently watched Pixar’s Coco. I found it very enjoyable, although tinged with sadness—which I think was the director’s intent. The story makes excellent use of its medium, animation which is beautiful and imaginative. There’s a strong … Continue reading

Poor Wayfaring Stranger

Editor’s note: This is the fifth post in our newest series, reflecting on the Hillbilly Thomists’ recent, self-titled album. The series will run each Tuesday and Thursday throughout the Easter season. Read the whole series here. This post concerns the … Continue reading

A Remedy for the Absurd

In 1947, Albert Camus published La Peste, a novel recounting a plague that settles into Oran in French Algeria. After a few citizens contract it, the weekly death toll climbs, prompting plague regulations that seal off the town and quarantine … Continue reading

My Immortal Home

Editor’s note: This is the third post in our newest series, reflecting on the Hillbilly Thomists’ recent, self-titled album. The series will run each Tuesday and Thursday throughout the Easter season. Read the whole series here. This post concerns the … Continue reading

Into the Pit

In the end, evil destroys itself. This is certainly a comforting thought, but it can be hard to remember as we look upon the world. One of the functions of literature is to make these kinds of truths clearer for … Continue reading

The Cross of the Body

The onslaught of television shows, movies, advertisements, and pop culture can skew the perception of a normal human life. We unconsciously form an idea of what there is to expect in life: peak physical fitness and attractiveness, perfect love, and … Continue reading