The A-Word

Here we are, deep into the season of Easter: 50 days of Sunday, a whole week of weeks to live and rejoice in the Resurrection. There are a great number of ways you might observe Easter (especially as you move … 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

The Liturgy as Formation

Oftentimes friends and family ask me, “Well, how long until you become a priest?” I usually respond with a condensed version of our lengthy and seemingly complicated formation program. More questions ensue, and I continue to explain to them the … Continue reading

Empty-Handed

No one shall appear before me empty-handed.  –Ex 34:20 That photo on your desk at work. Or on your nightstand. Or on your lockscreen. It obviously means a lot to you, but how often does it actually make an impression on … Continue reading

What Love Looks Like

To read about the life of a saint is to glimpse a world illuminated by a hidden light. The saint’s actions seem wild yet effective, spontaneous yet motivated by deep insight. As a dog responds to a whistle pitched far … Continue reading

Laetare, Jersualem

An old tradition still permits priests to wear rose-colored (not pink) vestments on two Sundays each year: Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and Laetare Sunday (yesterday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent). Both are named for the first word of … Continue reading

Preferring the Light

Are you happy? Or, at least, happier? We’ve hit the halfway point of Lent—three weeks down, three weeks to go. That’s three weeks without whatever little pleasures we sacrificed for this penitential season. Three weeks deprived of coffee, or soda, … Continue reading

Priorities

Before I entered the Order, I had a chocolate labrador retriever, whose full name was “Abbot the Dog.” Though a generally well-behaved dog, Abbot once gnawed to pieces my iPhone 3G. (Don’t laugh at its obsolescence—at the time it was … Continue reading

A God Who Cannot Feel

In this season of penance, we ask God to have mercy. Human mercy involves compassion, looking upon someone’s misery and feeling it as your own. But God, in his eternity, can’t feel misery—he can’t feel anything. I don’t mean that … Continue reading

The Heart of Penance

“Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15). These words rang out in Galilee when our Lord started his public preaching, and they were heard worldwide last week on Ash Wednesday. Repentance is a definitive turning away from sin, but … Continue reading

Birdbrain

“Birdbrain” is actually more of a compliment than an insult. Ounce-for-ounce, birds have significantly more neurons in their brains than almost all mammals. The way birds migrate proves this. Have you ever wondered why birds don’t get lost when they … Continue reading

Lent is for Lovers

If you don’t give it up for love, you won’t give it up for long. Growing up in New England—the birthplace of Dunkin Donuts—Dunkin coffee was like mother’s milk to me. Instead of milk, though, I took mine with cream … Continue reading

Chocolate and Ashes

Can you read my mind and know what I am thinking? You probably cannot without my help. Nevertheless, what others think, especially those with whom we live, work, or love, matters to us. Often we pick up a person’s general … Continue reading

Why Have You Brought Us Up?

“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!” (Numbers 21:5). It is safe to say that the Israelites passing through the … Continue reading

Lenten Conference Audio: Beholding Light

Dominicana is happy to offer this audio recording of “Beholding Light: Living and Recognizing the Realities of Grace.” It was given by Br. Hyacinth Grubb, O.P. as the final installment of the 2017 Lenten Conferences at the Dominican House of … Continue reading

Unbeautiful Savior

At first glance, I was viscerally repulsed by the above painting. It was the eyes in particular, and the mouth, both of the same shade of red. Eyes shouldn’t be that red. It was hideous. The feeling of revulsion reminded … Continue reading

Lenten Conference Audio: Blinding Darkness

Dominicana is happy to offer this audio recording of “Blinding Darkness.” It was given by Br. John Paul Kern, O.P. as the second installment of the 2017 Lenten Conferences at the Dominican House of Studies. Listen to the whole series on … Continue reading

Remember Death

We are all going to die. We were reminded of this on Ash Wednesday when the priest put ashes on our heads saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We need to be reminded about … Continue reading

Dispelling Darkness

On a recent Sunday evening, another brother and I walked up to a snow-covered golf course at the edge of the grounds at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Up for the week visiting our campus ministry there, we had … Continue reading

5 Ways St. Joseph Can Help Your Lent

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on March 19, 2015. How can St. Joseph help you this Lent?  I propose five ways.  Simplicity In John 6, when Jesus boldly declares, “I am the bread of life,” his hearers murmur … Continue reading

I Am Able

If only we could have the confidence of James and John. “‘Are you able to drink the chalice that I am to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We are able’” (Mt 20:22). And lest we think that they don’t know … Continue reading

Pixie Dust and Ash Wednesday

The Disney film adaption of Peter Pan ends (unsurprisingly) happily-ever-after. Gathered before the nursery window in a loving embrace, the Darling family fondly watches Peter and Tinkerbell fly their golden, pixie-enchanted ship through the moonlit clouds to Neverland. In the … Continue reading