15 Apr 2019

3 Reasons to Study Church History

For many Christians, especially, I think, within Protestantism, Church history is a foggy and mysterious realm somewhere beyond the borders of normal thought, beyond the more familiar lands of biblical interpretation and spiritual discipline. Occasionally, one of its more conspicuous citizens (St. Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, and a few others) makes an appearance in familiar territory, but in general the land and its inhabitants seem far away and shrouded in darkness. Many evidently prefer

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05 Jan 2016

The Creche and the Year of Mercy

Headlines of religious and secular sites have abuzzed with the recent news of Pope Francis’ opening of the Holy Door of the Vatican in proclamation of the Jubilee of Mercy (also known as the Year of Mercy). Pope Francis speaks of this Year of Mercy as a “revolution of tenderness,” a subtle yet strong act against the violence and the suffering of our age. During this Year of Mercy, the Holy Father urges us to

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20 Nov 2015

Citizenship in Heaven

“[Christians] live in their respective countries, but only as resident aliens; they participate in all things as citizens, and they endure all things as foreigners…They live on earth but participate in the life of heaven” ~Epistle to Diognetus 6.5, 9. As a former resident of Paris and its suburbs, I have shared the grief and pain of the attacks on that beautiful city.  I have always loved Ernest Hemingway’s, now almost cliché quote, “If you

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20 Apr 2015

Men, Women, and Spiritual Friendship

In a catechesis address on April 15 at the Vatican, Pope Francis spoke about the difference between men and women. Some who wish to develop a discontinuous narrative of John Paul II and Benedict XVI as traditionalists and Francis as a progressive pope expressed their disappointment at Francis’s statements, as the pontiff warned against the prevalence of gender theory in modern society. “We risk taking a step backward,” Francis stated, and he claimed that “so-called

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