Gracián, mystic(?)

Whoso enjoys fine manners and likes to sharpen his/her claws on bright things, I can recommend two books by the same author: Baltasar Gracián, a seventeenth century Spanish Jesuit and philosopher. I might have added “mystic,” but there is, pshaw, no proof. He is, nevertheless, still respected for his contributions to literature. I know these books […]

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Fiction Is Never Propaganda

How do you really know when a fiction, like a novel, is propaganda or not? Philip Pullman, well-known British author, is writing a new trilogy set in the same fictional multiverse as His Dark Materials. The new trilogy begins with The Book of Dust, which comes out in October. (A TV-series based on Pullman’s His Dark Materials, his […]

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Apostolic Creativity

Since the very beginning of the Order, Dominicans understood our charism of preaching to be wider than simply homiletics, or preaching from the pulpit. St. Dominic himself understood the mission of the Order to be that of going outside the Church proper in order to encounter those who were not in the pews. This effort […]

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Immigration, Justice, and the Common Good

In my last post I discussed the concept of different forms of justice as well as the common good. I recently read an excellent piece from Bishop Conley, the Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, on the issue of immigration that can help to further elucidate these concepts. Bishop Conley writes: Certainly, entering a country illegally is a crime. […]

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“Political Homelessness” and the Virtue of Justice

I recently read a great blog piece from Rev. John Rasmussen, a Lutheran pastor writing for a blog called “The Beggars Blog.” I would highly recommend you navigate over there and read what he has to say. Rev. Rasmussen uses the term “political homelessness” – a state in which a person can find himself or herself […]

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Chewing on “Silence”

This is a reflection, not a review, of Scorsese’s “Silence,” and not Endo’s novel by the same name.[1] It is a reflection on a set of questions. I think Scorsese’s version evokes in us more sympathy for Sebastian Rodriguez than we might experience for that same-named man in the novel. Endo’s “Silence” seems to make the […]

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The Apparent Evils Of Manger Scenes And Plum Pudding

In merry England in 1644, the happy season of Christmas was outlawed by Christians. Puritans rose to Parliament, and the jolly holiday was nearly made into a day of mourning. Plum puddings, as well as fruitcakes, were considered diabolic. All feasting became fasting. The smallest holly wreath or tinsel decoration suggested, or rather manifested, civil […]

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