The National Catholic Review

The Good Word

  • It’s said to be Pope Francis’ favorite Church document.  In his lifetime of ministry, his most cited. Back in 1975, in Evangelii Nuntiandi (Proclaiming the Gospel), Pope Paul VI insisted that

  • This is the twentieth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This entry continues Stephen’s speech before the council.

    For previous entries, please now go to the Complete Acts of the Apostle Commentary, where you can find links to each of the entries updated after each new blog post...

  • We called them “Lightning Bugs,” though I think we might also have said “Fireflies.” Hard to remember. It’s been half a century since I went hunting for them. They’d appear this time of the year, flickering above the grass of the lawn, as the last light of a long, summer eve faded. I thought them nothing less than miraculous, sparkling and darting about. Had someone told me that they were cousins of Tinker Bell, I would have believed it.

  • This is the nineteenth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This entry begins Stephen’s speech before the council.

    For previous entries, please now go to the Complete Acts of the Apostle Commentary, where you can find links to each of the entries updated after each new blog post....

  • Ireland in the 1980s, a young Father Odran Yates can’t contain the respect, which his clerical collar garners. Boarding a train, walking through all of its cars, he resigns himself to standing near the door.

  • Two hundred years ago, this week, the Duke of Wellington’s dispatch was terse, not triumphal.

  • At the order, “Let the execution begin,” a syringe full of midazolam was injected into Clayton Lockett’s groin, but the IV dislodged, and the sedative was pumped into the prisoner’s tissue instead of his vein. Lockett remained alert. He licked his lips and blinked. The executioners waited five minutes, then two minutes more, before the doctor pronounced the patient unconscious.

  • My nephew has a tattoo. Perhaps, more than one, but, as I pause to picture, I can clearly remember only the one. It’s a simple gothic cross, running the length of his right bicep. Although we live a little less distant than a two-hour car drive, we dwell in different worlds. He’s just under thirty, never married. He struggled to finish high school. Until the drop in prices, he was employed in the Kansas oil fields.

  • This is the eighteenth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This post examines Stephen’s preaching and the plot to arrest him and bring him before the council. Stephen is one of the seven who has just been appointed to serve the practical needs of the Hellenist community, but when we first see him here, he is engaged in evangelism.

  • We are what we remember, granted that memory is deep and wide, and that sometimes who we are, even who we’ve been, may yet surprise us. Yet that which is completely forgotten, if such be possible, would be as though it had never occurred.

    To be human is ever to reclaim one’s past. To live oriented toward the future, as we do, is always to ask new questions, and therefore to discover new meanings, of our past. The past forms the future, yet it is the future that redeems the past....