Joseph A. Komonchak

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

By this author

The divine GPS

The semi-official Vatican journal "La Civiltà Cattolica" has published an interview with Fr. Jean-Miguel Garrigues, professor of patristics and dogmatics at the Institut Supérieur Thomas d’Aquin, at the Dominican House of Studies in Toulouse, and at the Seminaire International St Cure'd Ars. He worked with Cristoph Schönborn in preparing the Catechism of the Catholic Church. With regard to issues likely to be the subject of passionate debate at the Synod of Bishops in October, Garrigues proposed a pastoral approach that takes into account the personal journeys of individuals.

What do we love in Christ?

"And we have seen him, and he had no beauty nor comeliness" (Is 53:2). Was our bridegroom ugly, then? Of course not! ... It was to those persecuting him that he appeared ugly. If they had not thought him ugly, they would not have attacked him, they would not have beaten him with whips, they would not have crowned him with thorns, they would not have dishonored him with spit. They did all these things because he appeared ugly to them. They did not have eyes to see why he is beautiful.

Jean Vanier awarded the Templeton Prize

It has been announced that Jean Vanier, founder and inspiration of L’Arche (The Ark) has been awarded the 2015 Templeton Prize. Here you can find the purpose of the prize,

here is the Foundation’s tribute to Vanier along with several videos in which he explains his thought, actions, and institutions

Ted Hesburgh, S.J. UPDATED...

The headline in a piece in NCR Today:  "University presidents reflect on the life of Jesuit Fr. Ted Hesburgh". 

Irony? Freudian slip?

But now I see that he's been de-Jesuitized in the headline, and an apology issued.

Jesus in the wilderness. A video

In preparation for tomorrow's Gospel, and in hopeful support of our own forty days... Sent to me by a friend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-6a25Yo2wE&feature=em-share_video_user

"Fasting is not enough"

Some things to consider doing for Lent:

Do something positive–not just giving up things (yet another attempt to lose weight!): (Augustine: “Fasting is not enough”). The money you save by what you give up should go to the poor.

getting in touch with people (relatives, friends)

a letter
a phone call
a visit

visiting the sick, the elderly, the lonely

repairing a broken relationship–take the initiative

asking for forgiveness
bestowing forgiveness

Augustine in Lent

 Early in 2008 I wrote to the editors of Commonweal to ask if during Lent I might send to the dotCommonweal blog daily excerpts from St. Augustine’s writings. They agreed, and many people were kind enough to thank me for them and interested enough to comment upon the texts. I don’t seem to have repeated this exercise in 2009 and 2010, but each of the years since 2011 I have returned to it and I intend to offer new excerpts this Lent, too.

Last year the editors asked that the excerpts not be published on dotCommonweal but appear rather on the main website of the magazine, under the title “Lenten Reflections.” I agreed to that and have also agreed to the same arrangement for the coming series, even though last year comments on the excerpts were disappointingly few and far between. It would appear that readers of the homepage are not as inclined to comment as are participants in dotCommonweal. But the editors tell me that the Lenten reflections have attracted a lot of people to the home page, and this is significant for the journal’s bottom line. We agreed, however, that there could be a weekly summary or collection of the excerpts, which I believe will appear on Fridays. In any case, if you are interested, you know where you can find them, and, please, feel free to comment. Otherwise I gain the impression that they’ve fallen, to use Hume’s phrase, “still-born from the press.”

Some people have asked me where I found the excerpts.

Archbishop Romero, martyrdom, and ecumenism

Pope Francis, early on, unblocked the cause for the canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero, and it has recently been reported that theologians in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concluded unanimously that he is rightly regarded as a martyr for the faith.

Attics (or closets)

I’m reading Marylynne Robinson’s “Home” and found this lovely description, which may evoke memories in others, too, or make them think of their own attics now, or closets....

Christmas paradoxes

I sent this in five years ago, and some liked it, so forgive me if I send it again:

The Word of the Father, through whom time was made, became flesh and made his birthday in time, and he willed a single day for his human birth without whose divine permission no day rolls round. With the Father he precedes all the spaces of ages; born this day of a mother he inserted himself into the courses of the years.

The maker of man was made man [homo factus hominis factor] so that

the ruler of the stars might suck at breasts,