Advent is about the anticipation for this second coming.Few of us eagerly await our death and judgment (or His second coming!) the way a child waits for Christmas morning. Yet, in many ways, the Church asks us to do just that.
The pressure laid by other days of the week—and by our cultural compulsion to consume and engage in commerce—will fill the void. The only way Sunday as sacred will survive is if the whole week is reoriented toward Sunday.
We speak of a love that is open to the other, precisely because they are made in the imago dei. That love comes with it an extraordinary risk that can never be hedged: those whom we love might never love us back.
In a world of toil, a progressive attitude of trying to make things better looks as futile to me as a conservative one of simply handing on what we have received.
Catherine lived thirty-three years. She was the twenty-fifth child in her family. A single woman, who never married, never learned to read or write, Catherine had a zeal that, in her words, urged her to set the world ablaze for Christ.
Without intermediaries, we are left without anything to make our senses immediately aware of the mystery of God made man. It can be overwhelming.
Crucifixion is asphyxiation. As you hang on a cross, the position requires you to constantly pull yourself upwards. Your chest and diaphragm are required to open up each time you breath. Jesus’s whole body was in agony. But just to catch his breath, He had to push His feet up (where a nail pierced His ankles), extend His torso upwards (where splinters pulled away at His raw skin), and flex up His shoulders (one of which was likely separated), while His hands, pierced too, pulled against His effort. In short, each breath was agony.
Our need for measured rationality is really overrated. That is, we do not always act with a full understanding of things and the explicit evidence that would support our conclusions.
The touchstone of the Petrine Office is unity. By freezing out Cardinal Burke and not expelling the heterodox German Cardinals, Francis is preventing another German Revolt.
Wouldn’t it be fitting and good if in suffering we saw a first invitation to encounter His divinity? And so it is.