Robert P. Imbelli

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is an associate professor of theology at Boston College.

By this author

Bach's Musical "Lectio"

I have remarked in years past of my Christmastide ritual of listening to Bach's Christmas Oratorio.The Oratorio comprises six cantatas for the various days of the season, culminating in tomorrow's Feast of the Epiphany.

More and more I find listening attentively, with text in hand, a form of lectio. And it makes me appreciate more Bach's own careful lectio of the text.

Plenary Indulgence (Update)

Eugenio Scalfari, in today's edition of La Repubblica, the newspaper he founded, continues his creative interpretation of the significance of the pontificate of Francis. He writes of the profoundly revolutionary nature of the Pope's teaching, culminating in his abolition of sin.

Old Year/New Year

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas celebration, hopefully in the company of loved ones.

In today's Washington Post, the always-worth-reading Anne Applebaum has a piece on global challenges that will continue to press on us in the New Year:

Auguri di Buon Natale

A fraternal visitation from Francis to Benedict: here.

Such Are the Gifts

I have found great wisdom (not morbidity) in the injunction in the Rule of Saint Benedict to keep death daily before our eyes. It offers perspective and, paradoxically, can enliven, making us more sensitivie to and appreciative of what we so often take for granted.

Michael Gerson has a reflection in today's Washington Post that considers the benefits of numbering our days.

Evangelii Gaudium

Pope Francis's "Apostolic Exhortation" on Evangelization has been released. It is a long, rich, and personal document. Here is a thought for the day:

Reconstruction or Construction?

The now infamous "Interview" of Pope Francis with the self-avowed atheist, Eugenio Scalfari, was recently removed from the "Francis" page of the Vatican website where it had been placed under the rather curious designation, "Speeches."

Since its original publication in La Repubblica, the Italian daily which Scalfari founded, it has come to light that the session with the Pope had neither been recorded, nor had notes been taken at the time. The exchange was reconstructed by the eighty-nine year old Scalfari after the fact.

Speaking of Discernment

During this morning's homily at Santa Marta, Pope Francis prayed:

Lord give me the discernment to recognize the subtle conspiracies of worldliness that lead us to negotiate our values and our faith.

He then, apropos the reading from Maccabees, offered an interesting allusion:

Ignatian Discernment

I recently came across reference to a letter that Saint Ignatius sent to the Jesuits who were attending the Council of Trent. Though written over four hundred and fifty years ago, it seems to me to retain its relevance in the digital age.The points Ignatius makes seem a good example of the discernment to which Pope Francis repeatedly calls us.

Ignatius writes:

Our Inner Zacchaeus

At yesterday's Angelus in Saint Peter's Square, Pope Francis gave a particularly lovely reflection on the Gospel reading. (I have corrected the translation in a number of places.)