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.
History cannot be changed by purifying the past of its impurities. Trying to do it is a violation of the historical truth, something like crying over spilled milk.
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).
Like most American 12 year-olds, my youngest son Joseph is obsessed with all things Catholic. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) He is fascinated with theology and Church structures. Recently, Joseph discovered something that rekindled my love and interest in the Eastern Church.
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.
Once a priest is ordained, he is a priest “forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 7:17). Hence, under no circumstance can a priest be “un-ordained” or, at least, there is no known way to undo what was validly done.
A wretched year came to a sorrowful end when Father Maciej Zięba, OP, died in his native Wrocław, Poland, on Dec. 31. The birthplace of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Wrocław was also the home of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who grew up there as Edith Stein when the city was known as Breslau.