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

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, … More Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts

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 … More Wrenching Ourselves from Distraction to Attend to those Closest to Us

Annie Dillard: Silence and Speaking Stones

Annie Dillard has long been one of my very favorite writers, with Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood among my most beloved books. Dillard leaves me alive and awake, grateful for each feather that falls beneath my back-yard juniper, for the sunrise glow illuminated through spring-snow icicles on the crab apple branches.  For … More Annie Dillard: Silence and Speaking Stones

Pondering Silence and Exuberant Praise: The Example of Mary, Mother of God

“Mary’s silence is admirable,” notes the Navarre Bible on Matthew 1:19, in which Joseph, distressed and perplexed at the pregnancy of his betrothed, is told in a dream not to be afraid to marry her, “for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Apparently Mary’s trust that God would take care … More Pondering Silence and Exuberant Praise: The Example of Mary, Mother of God