TheLastWord

The Secret Infidel

Forming a Christian conscience means exposing it to the hard sayings of Jesus, which call for a self-emptying commitment to the “whole law”: love of God and love of...

Something New

After being told about her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Mary set out at once to visit her—a wonderful example of how eager she was to serve, to give, to be of use...

Doers of the Word

Lectors for Pentecost Sunday probably do a little more practice than usual so that they won’t trip over the names of the cities and provinces listed by Luke in Acts...

The Unveiling

The shroud was a plain, straw-colored cotton fabric taped to the mausoleum’s wall. It concealed the name, newly carved into the granite façade, that my sister and I...

To Catch a Thief

Shortly after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, I was walking along the Corniche, the Nile promenade, as the sun was setting. The sails of feluccas were tipping in...

The Rope of Faith

“I’m you,” I told my father when I was a toddler, and then spent the rest of my childhood and early adulthood trying to figure out how he did everything. So it’s...

Pagan Babies

I am a Catholic of a certain age, a graduate of parochial school, and a former member of the Association of the Holy Childhood. My first lessons in social justice...

Open Doors

It is an ordinary summer afternoon at the Church of the Annunciation in Chisinau, Moldova. Visitors enter to light pencil-thin votive candles, spend a few moments...

Dry Season

Behind the forty-day preparation for Easter known as Lent (the word actually means “springtime”) is the image of the desert. The Bible describes the forty-year...

A Part, Not Apart

From junior high school through college, I drifted from the church. But after college and before I was about to move out of state for graduate studies, I...

Vaclav Havel, 1936–2011

I fleetingly met Vaclav Havel on June 10, 1990.  It was the morning after Czechoslovakia’s first free elections in decades. At breakfast in our Prague hotel,...

Silver & Gold

And while we are talking about fourth grade, I am reminded of Maureen McArdle’s neck in front of me in the third row, that smug smarmy neck, gloating and preening...
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