Søren Kierkegaard, the First Existentialist Philospher

About a month ago I had a strange experience in relation to one of the philosophy courses that I teach at St. John’s University. The students and I were about to begin studying the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855). As I was looking through my notes I discovered 10 pages of notes about Kierkegaard that I had not looked at in years. These 10 pages were misplaced among other notes. 

A Nostalgic Look at The Paschal Mystery of Christ

There are several reasons why I greatly enjoyed an essay in the October 2023 issue of Commonweal, “From Glory to Glory: Louis Bouyer’s Cosmic Vision” by Robert P. Imbelli. One reason is that it brought back some wonderful memories. 

The Holy Spirit Is Present To Every Human on Earth

Two of my friends tell me to watch only 15 minutes of the evening news on television. They tell me that watching more might lead to depression or discouragement. I know what they mean. 

Active Love Can Bring One From Doubt to Faith in God

Perhaps I am still being influenced indirectly by Pope Francis’ talk to Catholic artists that he delivered in Rome last May. I did not need to be convinced about the important role that artists can play in our society, but the words of Pope Francis led me to make some good resolutions. 

‘Dead Man Walking’ at The Metropolitan Opera House

I think I have seen four or five operas in my life. There is no way that I would describe myself as an “opera buff.” However, as soon as I learned that the opera “Dead Man Walking” was going to be performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in October, I knew that I had to see it.

Pope Francis and The Vocation of the Artist

Something strange has happened to me in writing these five columns on the talk that Pope Francis gave to Catholic Artists last May in Rome. A friend of mine, who was invited to attend Pope Francis’ talk, told me about it. I quickly obtained a copy of the talk and read it. 

Can Art Change Your Life? Pope Francis Says It Can

Each time I re-read the Holy Father’s message to Catholic artists which he delivered in Rome last May I experience the excitement that I felt the first time I read it. I am wondering if readers of this column share my views about the importance of art in our lives and also whether they think of art in relation to their faith in the way that Pope Francis relates art to religious faith. 

Pope Francis Tells Artists They Shape Our Imagination

For the past few weeks I have been thinking about the wonderful talk that Pope Francis gave to Catholic artists last May in Rome. I keep returning to it, and each time I re-read it I feel renewed. 

Pope Francis Tells Artists They Have Eyes That Dream

In his wonderful talk to artists at a special conference in Rome last May, Pope Francis said the following: “Artists are those who with their eyes both see and dream. They see in greater depth, they prophesy, they show us a different way of seeing and understanding what is before our eyes. 

Pope Francis on Art And The ‘Thirst for Meaning’

There was an important meeting last May in Rome at which Pope Francis gave a marvelous talk on art. How I wish I had been there. There are several ideas in the Holy Father’s talk that I find both beautiful and exciting.