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

Living in Grace

Life really is like a Sigrid Undset novel. It’s all about grace—receiving it and rejecting it. Undset masterfully crafts her characters to reveal the quiet—and sometimes not so quiet—movements of grace in their lives. God lovingly touches each soul, bestowing upon … 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

Even Unto Death

I will give you glory, O God my king, / I will bless your name for ever. / I will bless you day after day / and praise your name for ever (Ps 145). On February 10, thirteen Dominican brothers … 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

The Shepherd’s Voice

Am I a sheep or a goat? This is the question that always plagues me after hearing this past Sunday’s Gospel (Mt 25:31-46). Jesus’ description of the last judgment as a separation of the sheep and the goats never fails … Continue reading

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Easter has eggs, Christmas presents, Halloween candy, and the Fourth of July fireworks. These are so tied to their celebration that leaving out the “has” of the preceding clauses might make one think that the names of the holidays were … Continue reading

Mocking Mercy

How does the world react to true mercy? Sometimes it laughs. I recently saw the film Silence, (spoiler alert) about two Jesuit missionaries in Japan during a time of terrible persecution, and it features one particularly striking character named Kichijiro. He … Continue reading

A Sign of Hope

After an exhausting year, which made me grateful that my hope is based solidly upon God alone and not upon any human person or institution, I was nonetheless ready for some sign of hope to start this new year. The … Continue reading

Dwindled Infinity

It is not uncommon for the priory where I live in Washington, D.C. to host guests for dinner. On occasion, our guests will be a family. From time to time, that family will include a baby. Seeing a baby become … Continue reading

A Prayer of Christian Philosophy

Why, O Eternal Wisdom, do the heavens move as they do, the rains fall, and the windows fog? Why does my breath make clouds? Why does the oil hover on the water and the light burn up the darkness? Why, … Continue reading

Straightening Out the Golden Rule

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We’ve all heard the Golden Rule a thousand times. We’ve all told people to remember the Golden Rule another thousand times. It seems, though, that nine times out of … Continue reading

The Poor Face of Mercy

Today we celebrate St. Martin of Tours, a saint marked by and remembered for his mercy. We can hear him asking us this question: “Do you give alms? And tell me, when you give alms, do you look into the … Continue reading

Election Day

I don’t envy Trump or Clinton. They sit underneath the public microscope. Critics from either party want whatever dirt they can find. They clamor for financial statements and medical records. Such scrutiny would make any of us squirm. But just … Continue reading