Spirituality

Letter from Rome

Pope Francis commissions specially selected "Missionaries of Mercy" for Holy Year while record numbers of Italian Catholics are seeking "annulments" of their baptism

'Eternally Begotten'

"Metaphysics." The word unexpectedly provided me with new reflections on the deepest meaning of the birth of Jesus and the Incarnation—the seen and the unseen.

'Lovely in Eyes Not His'

For the men I met with for a biweekly seminar at a mid-level security prison, the biblical struggle with Satan is an everyday affair, expressed in just those terms.

Letter from Rome

Vatican confirms details of Francis's trip to Mexico; Francesca Chaouqui claims some cardinals want the pope dead; and globalization brings Christmas trees to Rome.

A Joy, Not a Nuisance

People with disabilities present us with a mystery, Jean Vanier once explained; they are the very presence of Jesus. There is something particular in their kindness.

Letter from Rome

Pope Francis opened the Jubilee Year of Mercy heralding "mercy before judgment" in the spirit of Vatican II. But did the liturgy symbolically contradict the message?

Burdens & Blesings

The importance of loving care for persons near the end of life is fundamental in Catholic teaching. But we've embraced a version of love without that obligation.

'A History of Loneliness'

John Boyne’s new novel pays attention to the circumstances of priestly life in real-world Catholic Ireland, asking: How does one be a good priest under suspicion?

'Utopia, Limited'

Anahid Nersessian argues that Romanticism dramatizes the “desirability of constraint.” Her book on how British Romantics imagined "utopia" powerfully does the same.

Last Word: The 4 p.m. Blues

If today the world and the self are devalued, as Walker Percy has suggested, art—particularly the novel— can awaken the reader to their recovery from '4 p.m. blues.'

Hell, Population Zero

The church historically has not been kind to the idea of universal salvation. But there have always been theologians who dared to hope that hell would remain empty.

Three Poems

“the quality of mercy” / is a fierce and terrible beauty.../ it hungers in its waiting / then consumes our darkest brokenness / even as it invites us to its table...
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