The National Catholic Review

The Good Word

  • A hobgoblin, one of the very worse, once made “a looking-glass which had the power of making everything good or beautiful that was reflected in it almost shrink to nothing, while everything that was worthless and bad looked increased in size and worse than ever” (1-2).

  • The Alba Madonna by Raphael

    Jack Miles is perhaps best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning work God: A Biography (1996). In the most recent issue of The Atlantic (Dec. 2014), he shares a portion of his own story. The former Jesuit seminarian was so impressed by the audacious atheism of the philosopher Bertrand Russell’s “A Free Man’s Worship” that he copied, and carried in his billfold, this quotation from it:

  • In June 1531, the Bishop-designate of Mexico City, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, proudly reported to his Spanish superior in the Franciscan Order that he had destroyed “five hundred temples of their gods and more than twenty thousand images of the demons that they adored…”  “They” were the subjugated Aztec people, only ten years under Spanish rule.

  • No less an authoritative voice than that of Michael Caine intones the professorial judgment. “We must confront the reality that nothing in our solar system can help us.” 

    The irrepressible Matthew McConaughey responds, “Now you need to tell me what your plan is to save the world.” 

  • This is the sixth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. The first entrycovered some of the major critical, technical and background issues that will concern us as we read through and comment on the Acts. The second post, found here, considered the prologue to the Acts of the...

  • Suppose you have no desire to go on.  Suppose the world has oozed into another holiday season, but you can’t even feign enjoyment of family and friends.  To you, the entire season seems hollow and fragile, like cheap ceramic ornaments on trees.  Suicides go up during the holidays, but suicide probably does require a mental illness, a true psychological pathology.  What of the sane but desperately sad, those so low, they pray for death because nothing in life attracts them? 

     

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  • Soldiers often possess a strong spirituality, one marked by a clear and vivid sense of mission. That’s certainly true of Thomas J. Jackson, the Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, and Instructor of Artillery, at the Virginia Military Institute. You can hear it in this letter of 1851, sent to his sister Laura. 

  • This is the fifth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. The first entrycovered some of the major critical, technical and background issues that will concern us as we read through and comment on the Acts. The second post, found here, considered the prologue to the Acts of the...

  • Photographic images helped to end the war in Vietnam: a Vietcong prisoner, shot point-blank in his temple; a screaming young girl, running naked after a napalm attack; a Buddhist monk, transformed into a human torch in protest of the war. Since then, American troops go to war under Pentagon-imposed, tightly controlled access to visual images. We know that an image can compel conscience in ways words cannot.

  • This is the fourth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. The first entrycovered some of the major critical, technical and background issues that will concern us as we read through and comment on the Acts. The second post, found here, considered the prologue to the Acts of the...