Michael O. Garvey

Michael O. Garvey works in public relations at the University of Notre Dame.

By this author

Telling Jesus to shove off

Listening to the Gospel reading today, Mark 5: 1-20, about the healing of the Gerasene demoniac, I remembered that great poem by Richard Wilbur, "Matthew 8, 28 ff," concerning the same story as recorded in Matthew.  We (okay, not we…I) always seem to pay too much attention to the healing of the demoniac and not enough to the unwillingness to “resign/Our trust in the high-heaped table and the full trough.”

Is global warming so bad?

Trying to distract myself from the polar vortex and wondering what a bipolar vortex must be like, I found myself listening to what Newt Gingrich has to say about climate change.  He suggests that fretting about global warming is a form of hubris and insists that “life was fine” in those hazy, lazy days of the Jurassic age.  It must be cerebral frostbite, but I find the opinion appealing.

The Genealogy of Jesus

I love the list of names in the Gospel today, Matthew’s Genealogy of Jesus.

Getting Used to Things

The things we grow used to.  This piece in the New York Times this morning, on the difficulty of agreeing about how to remember the days when Montgomery, Alabama, was a center of the slave trade illustrates how “Southern history is a custody battle still in litigation,” and it reminded me of an interview with Shelby Foote, which I bumped into a few days ago while looking for something else.

Even so

A deserter from the culture wars and no big fan of Justice Antonin Scalia, I nevertheless was struck by the derision he was able (and, doubtless, delighted) to provoke a few days ago by asserting, in a much ballyhooed New York Magazine interview, his belief that the Devil is real.  No less provocatively, another famous interviewee, Pope Francis, in his homily for today's Mass, warns his hearers not to be naïve about

I Only Turn Screws

Whether or not the potential attacks on Syria transgress the stringent conditions of a just war, what should be said of the money accruing to investors shrewd enough to have invested in it?  A friend sent me this intriguing story from USA Today, and I found myself wondering, in Baltimore Catechism terms, about war profiteering.  Is it a sin to accept an unsavory dividend from investments in, say, Northrop Grumman or Boeing, when the weaponry they help produce is deployed in a


Like all people who work in public relations, I enjoy and appreciate the language of euphemism, and my hat is off to the wordsmith who coined the phrase “cosmetic strike,” but it was a true artist who came up with the provision in the Senate Foreign Relations Commitee Resolution, voted in by 10-7, that newly adopted policy must “change the momentum on the battlefield” in Syria.  “Battlefield,” is a picturesque and tidy Victorian notion, and “momentum” is what happens at exciting moments in Notre Dam

More Christian realism

It is unlikely that what these Trappist nuns in Syria have to say about Obama’s plan of attack will be heard in the Congressional debate, exemplifying, as it does, the Christian realism so alien to the Obama administration and both major political parties.  It would be nice if even a few of our otherwise outspoken bishops would join their demonstrably

Christian realism

As more enthusiastic approval is being sought for attacking Syria, we’ll soon be hearing more amplified appeals to “just war” teaching in the Christian tradition, which makes this brand new essay by Stanley Hauerwas, on the case for Christian realism, timely, even required, reading.

The availability of prayer

Just a dumbass midnight thought, but I’ve been thinking, lately, of the horrifying availability of prayer.  Does no one else have this dread, from time to time, of the offhand remarks we make to God?  Our assurance that He knows us through and through, that He loves us intimately, emboldens us—or at least, emboldens me, occasionally, to assume that He also agrees with my prejudices and predispositions.  So that when this fatuous archbishop, or that overstimulated commentator, pronounces on some issue of the day, I can recline on the breast of the Boss, smirking at how much He and I know wha