Review: In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tota pulchra es, Maria. Et macula originalis non est in Te.Thou art all beautiful, Mary. And the original stain is not in Thee. Mary is beautiful because God loves her. In love, God her Father created her. In love, God … Continue reading

Why Saint Nicholas Matters

In our shared human experience, we frequently find ourselves carrying other people’s burdens, seeking, if we can, to alleviate them, with others doing the same for us. This is mercy. By showing mercy, we take another’s misery and seek to … Continue reading

Loving Enemies

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ commands us, “Love your enemies” (Mt 5:44). I’m sure I’m not alone among Christians who struggle with this commandment, not only to do it but to understand it.  It seems strange, even … Continue reading

How to Talk About Homosexuality

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on August 6, 2014. Fr. Gabriel Torretta was ordained a priest in 2015 and now serves as a parochial vicar. How do we talk about homosexuality? Christians are caught on the horns of … Continue reading

The True Axis of the Earth

In C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, dead souls ascend by bus from a hellish suburbia to the edge of heaven. For the dead souls, everything in this new land overwhelms. The leaves are heavy, the light blinding, even the … Continue reading

At the Hedge

The Word of God, solitary, magnificent amid the vicissitudes of human history, turns to me, his face shining from his vision of the Father, and speaks to me. As in all human love, only more so, I am exposed; I … Continue reading

Hearts Like His

You’re always hurt most by those closest to you. The sharpest knives are wielded by family, religious brothers, or intimate friends, for they have a particular access to our hearts that is born of the strength of the bond between … Continue reading

The Look of Divine Love

“It is godlike to love the being of someone” (Gilead, Marilynne Robinson). In this short sentence from her novel Gilead, the author, Marilynne Robinson, expresses the deep, unflinching love of a father for his son. The Gospel of Luke provides … Continue reading

In the Fisherman’s Net

Not ours the wounds, the bloodied flesh, of those fire-tested ancient souls;Theirs the bones for grinding lion’s teeth to gnaw to living breadOr the blood to spell their credo, a sanguine testament witnessed boldlyAs fisherman’s inverted across the sea from … Continue reading

By His Wounds

Jesus Christ did not die to save humanity. That is, not some abstract notion of it. Our Lord’s head was pierced with a crown of thorns. His back was scourged. His face was spit on. His clothes were torn off … 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

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

Flash of Fire in the Fog

Editor’s note: This is the seventh post in a series commenting on the first words of Christ as presented in the Gospels. What do you seek? … Come and see. (Jn 1:38-39) At the very core of our being, there … Continue reading

Locking Out Jesus

Jesus is the One who holds the keys to Heaven, but there is one door He won’t unlock without permission: the door of our hearts. Christmas is close, and today the Church’s liturgy calls upon Christ as the Key of … Continue reading

As You Wish

You are my friends if you keep my commands. (Jn 15:14) Although we can be obedient out of fear, perfect obedience is the result of love. We obey those whom we love. The Princess Bride begins by introducing Westley and … Continue reading

Loving Disappointment

“I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” If you’ve ever stolen a cookie from the cookie jar and subsequently gotten caught, you’ve likely heard these words from your parents. And boy does it hurt to hear that. More than if your … Continue reading

Love’s Hatred

Some Christians have misgivings about the slogan “Love the sinner; hate the sin.” For them, the slogan seems “judgmental” and, therefore, fundamentally unchristian. I can understand a certain amount of suspicion. We don’t want to turn into fault-finders or to … Continue reading

The Shackles of Love

In the 2007 movie Juno, a married man waiting to adopt a child gets cold feet. He not only backs out of the adoption, but he also leaves his wife. While he’s working toward this decision, he laments that his … Continue reading