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I must confess to not being well versed in George Tillman, Jr.’s filmography.  Up until just a couple weeks ago I had seen only one of his films, and I remember being, at best, mildly impressed.

The Hate U Give, Tillman’s adaptation of Angie Thomas’ 2017 Young Adult novel, has managed to generate some decent buzz — even if, like many worthy films, it enjoyed little or no presence at the awards ceremonies.

The film appears, at first glance, to follow two parallel story lines linked only (more…)

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Lent came a little later this year, but here it is.  Today, with ashes distributed to remind us of our mortality, we begin our 40-day journey to Easter.

All negative connotations notwithstanding, Lent has an essentially life-giving function.  During these forty days, we take the time to examine our spiritual health and to step away from things that may be keeping us from opening ourselves up to God, to the life He wants to give us.

That’s one of the great mysteries of our faith: God, who is all-powerful and needs nothing outside of Himself, nevertheless loves us and yearns for our friendship.

This being the case, it may be helpful to listen to the following Queen classic, and imagine the words being addressed by God to each one of us.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

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Not an easy time to be Catholic right now.

Then again, when was it ever? (And if you answer with “the Middle Ages,” I will be happy to point out, among other things: 1) the Albigensian spiritual of the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries; 2) the encroachment of secular nobility on Church prerogatives; and 3) the ecclesial corruption satirized in the General Prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.)

I still remember when the first wave of priestly sex abuse/coverup hit the news back in 2002.  At the time I was 17 years old (more…)

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Well, it’s September.

For many of us, it’s back-to-school season.  I am sure of there being more than one teacher — and perhaps an especially astute student or so as well — who can perceive a sort of sick humor in the situation of Labor Day at the beginning of the month.

It’s as if the Genius of the Calendar, not content with (more…)

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St_Maria_Sehnde_Gottesdienst

Someone recently asked me about whether or not one had to pray in a church setting in order to be a good person, as opposed, for example, to private prayer in one’s own home.

My response was that the answer to this question (more…)

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Stjohn-nativity

Today the Church celebrates the birth of St. John the Baptist, the last prophet of the Old Law and forerunner of Christ.

I don’t have much very much to say about this — if you want more information, go to today’s Mass readings; they’ll tell you everything you need to know.

But I did want to point out that it’s no accident that this observance falls so close to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.  Here we have, as it were, a fulfillment of the Baptist’s own words:

He must increase; I must decrease.

-John 3:30

Accordingly, over the next several months we will see the days grow gradually shorter.  This period will terminate with the winter solstice, which falls right around the Church’s observance of another Nativity.

Do I really need to tell you what that is?

We’ve all heard that time-honored saying about the night being darkest just before the dawn.  After the coming of the Light from on high is celebrated in the Church, the days grow gradually longer and brighter.

That’s all for now.  Have a nice evening!

Acknowledgements

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