The National Catholic Review

The Good Word

A blog on Scripture and preaching from John W. Martens, America's Word columnist, and the Rev. Terrance W. Klein, the author of Vanity Faith.

May 2015

  • May 21 2015 - 9:16am
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    The Holy Spirit is fire, light, comforter, wind and breath—all images and descriptions found in the Scriptures. How about one more image, clearly not found in the Scriptures? The Spirit is the cricket player who urges on his fellow player to continue to run and so score another run. The image is used by the Jesuit priest poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in a sermon delivered in 1882 in Liverpool.

  • May 14 2015 - 11:28am
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    As he saw it, he didn’t just make it. He was history. “I am the revolution.” That was the explanation Napoleon Bonaparte offered in 1804, when he announced that he would be crowned Emperor of the young French republic. As Bonaparte saw it, stability would never come to France as long as royalist or Jacobin plotters sought a change of regime through his assassination. Founding a dynasty would bring security, he explained. “They seek to destroy the Revolution by attacking my person. I will...

  • May 7 2015 - 2:44pm
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    Try to imagine how distant our loved ones could be before Facetime, Skype, texting, email, even telephoning. Then you can better appreciate the desperation of a colonial device, one attempted far before its time. It’s retrieved in Malcolm Gaskill’s Between Two Worlds: How the...

  • May 4 2015 - 7:26pm
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    This is the seventeenth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This post examines a conflict between Hellenists and Hebraioi, both groups of Jesus’ disciples divided on linguistic grounds, and the choosing of seven to serve the needs of the Hellenists’ community. According to tradition the seven were the first seven “deacons,” but the text does not bear this out unequivocally.