PERHAPS IT WAS being “overcome with Paschal joy” (as the Prefaces for Easter put it). Maybe it was my guardian angel whispering in my ear. Perhaps I’m just getting older and thus less crotchety. But for a brief moment, at around 7:30 EDT on the morning of May 3, I felt a blush of sympathy for Hillary Clinton for the first time in 25 years.
IF YOU CAN find it in your attic, open your old, pre-Vatican II missal, and look at the Sundays between Easter and Pentecost, which are titled “Sundays after Easter.” Now look at a contemporary Missal, or your current issue of Magnificat, and note the difference: those Sundays are now styled “Sundays of Easter.” Three letters were lost in the transition from after to of, but that subtraction represents a great recovery of liturgical insight.
DID YOU FIND the Gorsuch hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee a depressing exercise in political theater? Are you tired of the members of the “world’s greatest deliberative body” playing “Gotcha!” games that would embarrass a well-trained high school debate team? Have you had it with a mainstream media that doesn’t hold senators accountable for gross ignorance and bias and a social media universe that’s constantly in hysterics?
On the sapphire jubilee of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the majors, America owes 42 an enormous round of applause and a prayer for the repose of a noble soul.
WHEN I FIRST MET Bishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., more than 20 years ago, I was struck by his boyish demeanor, his exquisite courtesy and his rock-solid faith. Then the bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, a diocese that serves several reservations, Bishop Chaput was obviously proud of his Potawatomi heritage without wearing his roots, so to speak, on his sleeve. Moreover, his striking modesty and personal gentleness exemplified the Franciscan vocation he had embraced. Here, I thought, is a real pastor, living out the meaning of his episcopal motto, “As Christ loved the Church.”
EVELYN WAUGH’S SLIM and critically unappreciated novel, “Helena,” was something of a literary experiment for a modern master of English literature. At bottom though, the novel – the only one of his books Waugh ever read aloud to his children – is an act of faith in the reality of revelation.
The question of “who owns the Church” has had a stormy history in Catholic America, although the terms of reference have changed considerably over time.
WE ARE LIVING through a dangerous moment in our national life, of an intensity and potential for destruction unseen since 1968. Then, a teenager, I watched U.S. Army tanks patrol the streets of Baltimore, Md., around the African-American parish where I worked. Now, a Medicare card carrier, I’m just as concerned about the fragility of the Republic and the rule of law.
FOR LENT 2016, I adopted a new Forty Days discipline in addition to intensified prayer, daily almsgiving and letting my liver have its annual vacation: I quit sports talk radio, cold turkey.
THE BEST LENT OF my life involved getting up every day at 5:30 a.m., hiking for miles through ankle-twisting, cobblestoned city streets, dodging drivers for whom traffic laws were traffic suggestions, avoiding the chaos of transit strikes and other civic disturbances, and battling bureaucracies civil and ecclesiastical – all while 3,500 miles from home sweet home.