Tag Archives: God

God and Sherlock Holmes

The archetypical fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who made his debut in the late Victorian age, is showing new life in the 21st century as the hero of a series of films and TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic. I have more than a passing interest in Holmes, having written a book of essays about him as well as five published detective novels of my own. This long-time fascination with the sleuth isn’t as unrelated to my day job as communications director of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as one might think. Because Holmes is …

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Expressions of Love

I was taking a walk around my neighborhood with my two daughters just last night, as we frequently do when the weather is good, right before bed.  Some days the two girls want to go along at more or less the same pace, and other days, not so much. This was one of those other days. Talia, the 17-month old, was stopping frequently, and we were getting to the point where I was ready to pick her up and carry her to get home before we were terribly late in meeting her bed time. As …

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God’s Grandeur

During my sophomore year in college I had to take a course on poetry, which filled me with a profound sense of dread.  I hated poetry.  I just didn’t get it. I figured if you wanted to say something, you oughtta just say it.  Why dance around with a bunch of metaphors and fancy words that nobody’s ever heard of? Do you really need a 14 line sonnet to say “I love you”?  And these clowns who don’t want to be constricted by things like rhyme or rhythm – how is that poetry?  Let’s be …

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Gold That’s Tested in Fire: When Faith is Tested to the Breaking Point

“My child, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal.  Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.” Sirach 1:1,2 The Boston Marathon blast that killed three and maimed scores whose lives were changed forever.  The young man at LaSalle H.S. who shot himself.  The three young women who were abducted and held prisoner for ten years in Cleveland.  Sandy Hook, and all those bright-eyed, beautiful kids whose lives were brutally taken.  A baby discarded in a dumpster; countless others aborted. Atrocities in Syria, Nigeria, …

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Life is Difficult

“Life is difficult,” the opening sentence of the bestseller The Road Less Travelled by Scot Peck, has been a guiding statement for me ever since reading the book. It is a reminder of the challenges that all of us face as we live the life we’re given. I’ve discovered that my ranting and raving about life being unfair doesn’t seem to change reality much, so somehow I need to deal with what is as it is. A second reflection I’ve come across over the years is the thought that what life presents is a challenge …

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What Does This Say About God?

I ask my students at Xavier this question fairly regularly. When we read various creation stories, some of them quite bloody and violent and compare them to the accounts in Genesis. When we talk about the stories of the birth and crucifixion of Jesus. When we talk about suffering. What kind of God do we believe in? I get the impression that many people take a pretty dark view of God. They seem to think that bad things happen because God wants them to. God is teaching us a lesson or punishing us or testing …

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Not His Own

As the cardinals gather in Rome to prepare for the conclave, two of our writers reflect on the abdication of now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. We pray with the Church: “O God, eternal shepherd, who govern your flock with unfailing care, grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your Church who will please you by his holiness and to us show watchful care. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.” (From the Mass during …

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WDGT?

What makes a family holy? Not the Holy Family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, but our families? When everyone is safe. When every member of the family is safe in the presence of every other member of the family. When no member of the family has any reason to be afraid of any other member of the family. When the family is truly a sanctuary, a holy place, a safe place, where everyone is free to laugh and to learn, that family is holy. When everyone make sacrifices. When I realize that life is not …

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You Don’t Mess with Kids.

There are times when the evil we see portrayed in society is too overwhelming for us to even grapple with it. We are borne down by events like the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut or the slaughter of the Holy Innocents near Bethlehem.  Even as adults, we are never really prepared to cope with such direct and insulting assaults upon the dignity of innocent human life.  We rightly experience such feelings of rage at our inability to protect them.  Other times, we try not to think about it.  Perhaps, we even welcome the quasi-relief that comes …

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Not the Time to Be Looking For Shoes

We can often discuss with others or debate within ourselves about whether or not God notices what is going on in our lives, or whether or not God has somehow forgotten about us and our situations. All the while that those discussions and debates are going on, God is coming to us, is right before our eyes and right in the middle of our situations with us, and we do not notice, because we are distracted from looking for God by talking about God.   When the school bus has pulled up in front of …

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