Judge Art on Merits, Not On Whether It Speaks to Faith

When I was reading the March 2024 edition of Commonweal magazine, I felt as though I had received a special gift. The magazine is approaching its 100th anniversary and is reprinting some outstanding essays from its past history. 

What Makes Great Religious Art Is a Mystery, Like Faith

Anyone who reads this weekly column regularly knows that I am very interested in films, theater, and what I refer to as “Catholic Novels.” Recently my attention was called again to Shisaku Endo’s wonderful novel “Silence” and the cinematic masterpiece based on the novel. 

All of Us Are Called to Love; All of Us Need to Be Loved

It is of course possible to freely hate, and it is possible to treat people indifferently, to reduce them to “its” rather than “thous.” I believe that there are many temptations in our society to miss the uniqueness and profound dignity of other persons. 

Hatred, Indifference, and Love: Ways of Coexistence

Memory plays tricks on us, so perhaps I am wrong when I recall that the nature of interpersonal relationships was not emphasized in classes when I was a student in college and in the seminary. Now, interpersonal relationships are on my mind as much as any other topic.

Liberal Arts Help Students Find Answers They Need

I have been teaching philosophy for many years. I have taught at Brooklyn College, Queens College, New York University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and what was Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Douglaston, Queens. Besides suggesting that I may not be able to hold a job, the experience at all these educational institutions was joy-filled and personally fulfilling. 

Challenged by the Secular Humanistic Philosophy

At the beginning of this semester at St. John’s University, I began the courses I teach the way I have begun them for several years. I gave two or three lectures on the philosophy of secular humanism (often called atheistic or agnostic humanism). The reason I begin every course by explaining secular humanism is because I believe it to be the philosophy held by many intellectuals in our society. 

In Relation to Us, God’s Mercy and Love Are Infinite

As I have been re-reading Michael Himes’ “Doing the Truth in Love: Conversations about God, Relationships and Service,” (New York: Paulist Press, 1995, 152 pp., $12.95) and reflecting on the wonderful insights that Father Himes presents, I have found that almost everything Michael has written, and every comment I have made about what he has written, can easily be related to the mystery of the Eucharist. 

Father Michael Himes and ‘The Beatific Vision’

I think I first heard the words “the beatific vision” in grammar school, and it was used to name the experience we will have of God in heaven. I do not recall what grade I was in when the teacher used the words, but I do recall having an image of a gigantic screen, something like a movie screen, and all of us in heaven would be looking at that screen which somehow had an image of God on it.

‘Cabrini’ Is an Incredible, and True, Story of a Great Saint

About a week ago a friend called me to tell me that she had just seen the film “Cabrini.” She said that the film was so great that she would be willing to see it again almost immediately. I knew immediately that this was a film that I had to see. 

The Cross Could Be The Total Gift of Ourselves

Re-reading Michael Himes’ excellent book “Doing the Truth in Love: Conversations about God, Relationships and Service” (New York: Paulist Press, 1995, 152 pp., $12.95) has been an exceptionally interesting experience for me. Because my vocation as a priest has led me to be a professor of philosophy at St. John’s University, I do a great deal of reading.