Sheavings

A Sanctuary in Time

How lovely is thy dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. – Psalm 84:1-2 The deepest desire of the heart is expressed in Psalm 84. The lover of God

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Appalling Mercy

  I sometimes fancy the hardest thing about the gospel is not the wrath of God, but his mercy. I think, for instance, of some years ago, when serial child killer Wesley Allen Dodd stood on the gallows in Washington State and professed his faith in Jesus and his hope

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Apocalypse Now

Many modern Americans have the notion that St. John’s Apocalypse is primarily about terror over the loss of the American Way of Life. Admittedly, the Apocalypse encourages us to, shall we say, consider rather more circumspectly our worldly fortunes than we might otherwise what with plagues, famines and all dotting

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The Age of Unreason

Everybody is familiar with the pop culture drama and comedy caricature of the fundamentalist preacher or rigid authoritarian priest who, possessing special knowledge his tribe trembles at, pops off about things he doesn’t understand. He turns up in popular entertainment all the time, denouncing people as witches for building some

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The Gospel According to Ann Coulter

St. Paul tells us that it was Jesus who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, pastors and teachers.  So far as I can tell, however, there is no office in the Church of “Professional Bomb Thrower”.  That’s just one of the reasons I

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Angels, Part 3

The Church’s tradition is chockablock with all sorts of devotions to angels, prayers to angels, and pleas for angelic intercession.  One of the most common is the St. Michael prayer, which reminds us that, as Ephesians 6 tells us, we are living in a cosmic war zone.  This means that

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Angels, Part 2

Last week, we discussed the predicament of those who try to avoid the rather strong inference of a universe made by You Know Who via recourse to the so-called “Multiverse” theory. This theory accounts for the extraordinary fine tuning of the universe by positing an infinite number of other universes

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Angels, Part 1

As the existence of everything from SETI to Star Trek attests, our civilization is fascinated with the question of the existence of non-human intelligences. The Faith says that we already know of at least one such class of creature. It is called an “angel”. However, our culture’s response to the

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Amusing Ourselves

Some time ago I was on a camping trip with a bunch of kids and we were stargazing. My nine year old friend was sitting next to me as I pointed to Cygnus and remarked, “That constellation is called the Northern Cross.” She replied, “What’s a constellation?” I explained the

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We’re Hardly Alone in the Universe

One thing I have discovered (to my surprise) is how shocked some folk get when I express my opinion that we humans are never getting off the earth in any serious way. Oh sure, we might get a couple of people to Mars to walk around. Maybe a long-term space

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A Few Gratitudes

The center of our Faith is Eucharist. Eucharist means “thanksgiving”. That means that the center of our Faith is thanksgiving. It is in the form of a thanksgiving meal that our Lord chose to make Himself present to us. And He did so, shockingly, “on the night He was betrayed”.

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The Woman Taken in Adultery

The other day, I sternly warned my two year old, Peter, that he must never, ever touch or kick the car door handle. For all he could tell, I was laying out an eternal edict, exalting car door handles above all things, and committing him to the reverence of car

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Abortion Distortion

  I have sometimes ridiculed the Left’s commitment to abortion as its sole core principle by referring to the “sacrament of abortion”. It stands at the center of a belief system which holds that the Imperial Autonomous Self is the highest good and that, therefore, all (including the very life

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Atheism, Christianity, and the ET Problem

Here’s an article by an atheist who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jack Chick. He theorizes on What Rome Is Up To when a couple of Catholic sources remark that the discovery of life on other planets poses no particular threat to the Catholic faith. This piece is a classic

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Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1984

Last week, we started looking at the broad movement we have seen among conservatives (including Catholics) over the past several years to excuse, minimize, defend and champion the use of torture by the US government in the “War on Terror”. Among Catholics, in particular, the conversation has taken place at

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What Would Jack Bauer Do?

Suppose I asked, “Are there any circumstances when it would be okay for the President to order an interrogator to crush a nine-year-old boy’s testicles?”  What would you answer? If you are a normal person and not John Yoo, the man who, from 2001 to 2003 was employed as the Justice

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153 Fish and Related Matters

When Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 there were any number of fascinating coincidences that surrounded his death.  They were the sort of thing that make you go “hmmmm” and (if one is a wobbly agnostic) begin to suspect that maybe You Know Who has His hand

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Evangelicalese 101

A while back, when Harriet Miers was briefly nominated for the Supreme Court, the media (falsely) reported that Miers was a convert to Evangelicalism from the Catholic faith.  During the period everybody was under this impression, Evangelical heavy-hitter Dr. James Dobson puzzled some Catholics when he remarked, “I know the

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That 70s Show

A recent AP poll showed that while American Catholics and non-Catholics loved and revered Pope John Paul II, they disagree with his conservative stances and want the Church to change. Yet the poll group was sharply divided as to how change should be effected. 11% wanted the Church to be

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The Lens in My Eye (excerpted from By What Authority?)

I wondered: Is it really true that we Evangelicals never treat extrabiblical tradition as authoritative revelation? Is it really the case that all Evangelical belief is derived from the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Bible alone? Do we really speak forth only what Scripture speaks, keep silent where Scripture is silent, and never

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Truth Cancer and the Redemption of Rebellion

I love a good rebellion. I suspect most of us do. We root for the underdog. We love and applaud the jester who tweaks His Royal Stupidity’s nose. We side with Groucho when he shows the pompous senator up for a fool. A capacity to see the rightness in these

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