Lose Yourself to Love, Find Yourself in Christ

Sixth in a series

THERE ARE SO many insights that I have received from philosopher Father W. Norris Clarke, S.J. that it is difficult to prioritize them in importance. Father Clarke’s book “Person and Being” (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1993) is a gem. There are a handful of books that have changed my life. “Person and Being” is one of them. Re-reading it again in order to write this series of columns on philosophy has really been a labor of love.

Friendship: A Grace That Can Sanctify

Fifth in a series

SEVERAL YEARS AGO I was having dinner with some close friends, among whom were a resigned priest and his wife. He and his wife knew several resigned priests and their spouses and socialized often with them. At one point during the dinner, the wife said to me: “How come, Bob, you have not resigned from the priesthood?” She was not prying, but was genuinely curious. Almost with no reflection, I immediately responded: “I have been blessed with wonderful friends.”

Living As a Gift in Imitation of God

Fourth in a series

AT THE TIME that I am writing this series of columns about the mysteries that philosophy can help us to understand more deeply, I am lecturing about a book at St. John’s University that I teach every spring semester. No matter how many times I talk about this book to students, I still become excited. The author’s insights are just marvelous. The book is Father W. Norris Clarke’s “Person and Being” (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1993).

Reality Resembles God

Reflecting in this series of columns on the mysteries that philosophy can help us understand more deeply, a line from Jesuit Father Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, “God’s Grandeur,” has been going through my mind. The line is: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” There are many truths that can help us appreciate God’s love for us and one of them is that all creation is a message of love from God to us, a kind of love letter from God.

The Human Person: A Drive Toward God

Second in a series

Many years ago, my bishop asked me to go to graduate school so that I could teach in a college seminary which he was then planning. If he had given me a choice which subject I should obtain a doctorate in, I would have chosen theology rather than philosophy. In fact, I recall a classmate expressing his sadness to me that the bishop had chosen philosophy.

A God Who Liberates

EVERY SPRING SEMESTER two of the philosophy courses that I teach at St. John’s University are titled “Personalism” and “The Problem of God

Living in the Midst Of Mystery

Fifth and final in a series

I HAVE JUST finished taping 24 lectures on the Catholic novel that are now available on NET-TV and YouTube. I found the process of taping the shows over the last six months demanding, but ultimately very rewarding, educational and even inspiring. Doing the shows was another experience of the truth of the saying, “If you become a teacher, by your students you will be taught.

Great Art Reveals What Is Real

Fourth in a series

IN WRITING THIS series of columns about art and literature, I have been tapping into a lifetime of experiences in literature, theater, film and other works of art. For me, it has been a wonderful trip down memory lane.

Is the Experience of Art Subjective?

Recently a friend of mine, who is an art critic, mentioned to me that he thought the experience of art is a subjective experience. I immediately disagreed. His use of the word “subjective” set off a train of thoughts in my mind.