The Five Things You’ll Do in Heaven

Tomorrow is All Saints’ Day — a time for honoring those spiritual brothers and sisters who have run the race and won their eternal rest, and for celebrating our connection, through the Mystical Body, to the Church Triumphant. I think it’s also an appropriate time for reflecting on our own eternal destiny. Back when I … Read more

Getting Beyond the Literal Sense of Scripture

  Jesus famously said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you as well.”   Elsewhere, He restated this principle using a different image and adding a negative corollary:   Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more … Read more

The Widow of Nain

The message was terse and professionally uninformative: “This is Chandler Regional Hospital. Your son is here. You will need to come over.” A message from my son’s roommate gave me a few more details. “Gus spent all night vomiting, and this morning he was deaf. I had to take him to the ER.” I couldn’t … Read more

Sounding Out

Here we go again. Another school year has begun. As we are a homeschooling family, I once again find myself diving into a daily routine of phonics worksheets, read-aloud assignments, writing practice, grammar, history, religion, mathematics, and science. I am fortunate in that my husband takes on those last two. But the others? They are … Read more

Spiritual Rehab

“Mademoiselle, please help me!” The old woman’s hand trembles above the arm of the wheelchair. I glance around the bustling hallway, noting all the nurses, technicians, and nurses’ aides. Nobody appears to have heard the plaintive cry. “I beg you, take me to my room!” “Where is your room?” I ask briskly, since I am … Read more

Justice and Eternal Life

Habitually, I call justice the most terrible of the virtues. It is a virtue; we are to render to another what is due. But by itself, even though rendering justice is an honorable act, it is cold and impersonal. This is why Aristotle always held that friendship was more important than justice. Friendship went beyond … Read more

Songs of Absurdity

To worship God at all is to find oneself on a very odd frontier. Here we are, addressing all sorts of fervid sentiments into the ether — or so it might seem to a chance observer. A passerby might ask, “To whom are you talking, pray? God? But you have never once seen him nor … Read more

No Lasting City: On Memory and Regret

  Regrets? I’ve had more than a few.   Stubborn vignettes cling inexplicably to the crags of my memory. There was the time in fifth grade when Heide, the prettiest girl in school, approached me in the lunch line, held up a quarter, and asked if I wouldn’t mind buying her a pretzel. I proved … Read more

Saved by Christ, Not by Rules

  Recently, the Mainstream Media (MSM) got itself all in a tizzy about "the Vatican" supposedly issuing "seven new deadly sins." As one particularly egregious headline put it, "Recycle or go to hell, warns Vatican."   Given this view of the Faith, discussions in the press then break down into inane prattle about mortal and … Read more

Why Not You?

One of the curious side effects of my line of work as a Catholic writer is that people will sometimes confess very odd phenomena they normally wouldn’t discuss with people who aren’t known for believing in miracles. Some years ago, a woman I know cleared her throat awkwardly, looked very sheepish, and asked me: “If … Read more

A Photo in Transylvania

  A sumptuous travel magazine — to which, I need scarcely add, we do not subscribe — arrived in our letter box the other day. Things are so beautifully laid-out these days that one cannot always tell whether a given item is actually just a piece of advertising.   In any case, the cover shows … Read more

Of Abbots and Actresses

It is recorded of the Abbot Pambo, of whom I know nothing at all except the following anecdote, that, upon a visit to St. Athanasius, he came upon an actress — not, I would suppose, inside the good saint’s cell. (I have only very dim notions as to what sort of women these Egyptian actresses … Read more

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