Scorsese’s Silence: A Four-Question Examination of Conscience

Anyone who missed Martin Scorsese's big-screen interpretation of Shusaku Endo's novel Silence hasn't had much of a wait for its video release. Having read the haunting novel several years ago, I jumped at the chance to experience the screen version when SILENCE appeared on the marquee of my small-town theater during Lent. I knew its dark … Continue reading Scorsese’s Silence: A Four-Question Examination of Conscience

The Fishermen and the Risen Christ: 153 Reasons Why I Love and Believe the Story

The first paragraph of Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It delighted me with its authenticity when I opened the book on a camping trip many summers ago. "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing," the narrator begins, noting that his father was a minister who tied his own … Continue reading The Fishermen and the Risen Christ: 153 Reasons Why I Love and Believe the Story

How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

Swiss painter Eugène Burnand renders the confusion and hope of Peter and John's first Easter morning with such poignancy. They'd learned of the resurrection from some women friends who'd been told by an angel, and particularly from Mary Magdalene, told by the risen Christ himself, to tell them.  And then they ran to see that … Continue reading How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts

It was on a Holy Saturday about ten years back that I first saw an image of the "Harrowing of Hell," a depiction of Christ entering the realm of the dead and releasing the souls imprisoned there (1 Peter 3:19) We proclaim it in the Apostle's Creed:  Jesus Christ "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, … Continue reading Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts

Good Friday’s Speech and Silence

It is Good Friday.  Meditating on speech and silence in various Good Friday texts can enlighten us about our own uses of speech and silence. The choices of those present that sorrowful day may bring us to a fruitful examination of conscience, as we see: Accusation:  "The chief priests accused him of many things." Truth:  … Continue reading Good Friday’s Speech and Silence

“Brother”: A Song for Holy Thursday

This evening marks a beautiful night:  the night Christ gave us a new commandment: that we love one another. The night he stripped off his outer garment, knelt and washed his friends' feet, telling them they must do likewise, serving one another.  The night he took bread and wine and said, "This is my body, … Continue reading “Brother”: A Song for Holy Thursday

Do Everything without Complaining or Arguing

When I was newly married and helping put my husband through his final year of college, I worked at a drug store behind the camera counter which doubled as the return desk.  It was a deep immersion into the world of complaints. One of the most memorable was a post-Christmas encounter with a man dissatisfied … Continue reading Do Everything without Complaining or Arguing

Wrenching Ourselves from Distraction to Attend to those Closest to Us

Father Cajetan Cuddy, O.P., writing in the Magnificat Lenten Reader, recalls an etiquette class he was enrolled in as a child.  "One of the most memorable things I learned in the class," he writes, "was always to pay attention to the other person in a conversation.  True communication is impossible if one or both conversation … Continue reading Wrenching Ourselves from Distraction to Attend to those Closest to Us

Human Praise: The Tempered View of Christ

Very early in John's gospel (2:23-25), just after the wedding at Cana and the first cleansing of the temple, the text notes that "many believed in [Christ] when they saw the signs that he was doing." Those must have been exhilarating days for the disciples who first left everything they had to follow him. Numbers … Continue reading Human Praise: The Tempered View of Christ