The deepest longing of God’s heart

One afternoon almost 47 years ago, Father Thomas called me into his office at the seminary to tell me my father had died earlier that day. I remember with fondness his gentle hesitation, his respect for my silent response. The task that fell to him that day would bind us…

Jesus shows us the way

At some point in my grammar school career, I studied the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Pyramids of Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, the Statue of Jupiter at Athens, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus at Rhodes, and the Lighthouse at…

Sarcasm is poisonous

Among the things forbidden in our house as I was growing up — vulgar, racist, or blasphemous words — was the word stupid. To be honest, at first it struck me as odd that we were not allowed to use that word, because it seemed fairly benign as words go.…

The McCarrick mess

When I was going through school, the devil was presented to us as a myth, a literary device, a symbolic manner of signaling the presence of evil in the world. I will admit to internalizing this view and largely losing my sense of the devil as a real spiritual person.

A scratch-and-sniff stamp for an ailing business

The numbers don’t look good for the U.S. Postal Service. Last year it reported its sixth straight annual operating loss, in the amount of $2.7 billion. During fiscal year 2017, the USPS delivered 149 billion pieces of mail, down from 154 billion the previous year — and a major drop from its peak of 213 billion in 2006.

What’s the difference between humans and animals?

Just 70 years ago this month a slender novel bearing the innocuous title The Loved One made its appearance in the United States. My copy, a first edition, records four reprintings between June and August. Today the book is still in print and apparently still selling briskly.

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