June 3, 2013
Despite his humble origins as a baker’s son from Trastevere, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, longtime curial head of the Holy Office (“successor to the Inquisition,” in journalese) and scourge of the Nouvelle Theologie of the 1950s, was a formidable figure in pre-conciliar Catholicism. Ottaviani’s approach to theology was neatly summarized in the Latin motto of his cardinalatial coat of arms, Semper Idem [Always the Same], and his fierce defense of what he understood to be orthodoxy made him a not-implausible model for the character of Cardinal Leone in Morris West’s novel, The Shoes of the Fisherman.
May 20, 2013
Suffering and humiliation find us all, and in full measure, but how we respond to them will determine both the level of our maturity and what kind of person we are. Suffering and humiliation will either soften our hearts or harden our souls.
May 15, 2013
Congratulations on being “officially intelligent.” You have a diploma to prove that you are, signed by people in the know. If someone doubts your intelligence, you need only to point to the diploma.
March 11, 2013
In his autobiography, Morris West suggests that at a certain age our lives simplify and we need have only three phrases left in our spiritual vocabulary: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! He is right, if we understand fully what is implied in living out gratitude. Gratitude is the ultimate virtue, undergirding everything else, even love. It is synonymous with holiness.
February 26, 2013
There are times when I wish setting things right in my life was as easy as restarting my computer. When my personal computer is running a bit slow, or won’t connect to the Internet, or just isn’t working the way it is supposed to work — and especially when it completely locks up — all we have to do is do a “re-boot” and most of the time everything gets reset and things are back to normal. If only resetting the spiritual life was as easy.