The Fever Chart

"Our only health is the disease / If we obey the dying nurse …"

Category: Personal

“Responsibility to the Order of Being”

Vaclav Havel died yesterday. Poet, playwright, political dissident and prisoner, non-violent revolutionay, president of his beloved Czechoslovakia and later, the Czech Republic. His motto was ”truth and love must prevail over lies and hate.” His constant concern, both as a playwright and as a politician, was the connection betwen morality and responsibility. As he said in [...]

Pleasantly Surprised

This morning brings news of the death of the public intellectual Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens had been battling with esophogeal cancer for the past year or so, a struggle he chronicled in the pages of Vanity Fair, where he was a longtime columnist. Fr. James Martin, SJ, has a wonderful blog post on Hitchens today. It [...]

Staining the Silence

This is my second “guest post” at the Catholic group blog, Vox Nova. It appeared on July 6, 2011. For my second “guest post” here at Vox Nova, I had originally intended to write on one of several subjects that have claimed my interest lately, such as the application of Catholic Social Teaching to the [...]

Was Christ Just Another Scapegoat?

“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:16 “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’” Matthew 9:13 [...]

Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Forty

Grace Forty: An Everyday Faith Fourteen years ago this evening, I was received into the Catholic Church in a brief but beautiful ceremony during the Easter Vigil Mass. In one fell swoop, I received the Sacrament of Confirmation and made my public profession of fidelity: “I believe and hold to be true all that the [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Thirty-Nine

Grace Thirty-Nine: Mother of Sorrows Morning. 6:00 am You never really slept last night, and now the ache is settling in. At 47, you are already quite old, and your body is beginning to betray you. This rootless existence you’ve led since your husband died isn’t helping any. Without warning an image floats into your [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Thirty-Eight

Grace Thirty-Eight: A Busy Day You awoke today just a few miles from the city, in the village of Bethany, near the home of your friends Mary and Martha, and their father Lazarus. You could have stayed with them, as you had so many times before, but you chose to spend last night in the relative discomfort [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Thirty-Seven

Grace Thirty-Seven: St. Thérèse and the “Little Way”   Yesterday’s meditation was on the subject of humility. Humility, it was noted, is the necessary antecedent to a thorough examination of conscience, which is itself the prerequisite for genuine confession and reconciliation. Today, I write about a woman who made humility a deliberate way of life [...]

40 Days, 40 Graces: Day Thirty-Six

Grace Thirty-Six: Humility Yesterday, I wrote about the examination of conscience as a necessary antecedent to confession and reconciliation. Today, the topic is humility, which is itself the necessary antecedant to a thorough examen. In his classic, Humility of Heart, Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo wrote:  “In Paradise there are many saints who never gave alms [...]