According to the movie “Love Story,” “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Typical Hollywood fluff, you might say. Yet the best answer to that asininity was given by a Hollywood all-star, the late, great Charlton Heston. Asked the secret of what would become his 64-year marriage to Lydia, he replied, “Learning to say five words: ‘I’m sorry, I was wrong.’”
All lives are consequential, for every human being is an idea of God’s, and everyone is a someone for whom the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, entered history, suffered, died — and was raised from the dead to display within history a new, glorified humanity.
Ten years ago, I began a most extraordinary Lent by walking up the Aventine Hill to the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the first day of the Roman station church pilgrimage — an eight-week journey that led to the book “Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches,” co-authored with my friend Elizabeth Lev and my son, Stephen.
Thirty years ago, on January 22, 1991, Pope John Paul II’s eighth encyclical, Redemptoris Missio (The Mission of the Redeemer), was published. In a pontificate so rich in ideas that its teaching has only begun to be digested, Redemptoris Missio stands out as a blueprint for the Catholic future.
In his encyclical, “Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” Pope St. John Paul II invited Catholics to “rekindle” our sense of “Eucharistic amazement,” for “the Church draws her life from the Eucharist,” which “recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church” — Christ’s glorified, abiding presence with, in, and through his people, fulfilling his promise to remain with us “to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
The list of grave issues that must be addressed during a future papal interregnum, and by the cardinal-electors in a conclave, continues to grow.
Catholics who take this apostolic teaching seriously will understand that our first obligation toward President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., is to be in Christian solidarity with him through prayer.
One of Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s “Clinics for Abortion & Reproductive Excellence” — named to yield the Orwellian acronym CARE — is located about a mile away from my parish in Bethesda, Maryland. Earlier this year, 40 Days for Life prayed daily outside Carhart’s abortuary, which specializes in late-term “terminations.” Parishioners from a number of local churches participated in the 40 Days program, hoping to save some innocent lives and to help women in crisis pregnancies find genuine care.
Among the tenured professorial skeptics, few Gospel episodes have been sliced, diced, and tossed to the dissecting room floor as “mythology” more often than the story of the Magi: the “wise men from the East [who] came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him’” (Matthew 2:2).
Joshua Wong is a young Chinese human rights activist, recently sentenced to 13 and a half months in prison on the Orwellian charge of “incitement to knowingly take part in an unauthorized assembly” — meaning, in Chinese Newspeak, urging others to protest peacefully the tyranny now throttling Hong Kong.