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.
They’re waiting. And that’s all that they do. They wait. And they wait. They talk while they wait. They sing some. They dream. They even dance a bit, as they continue to wait. When Estragon suggests that they depart, Vladimir reminds him. “We can’t.”
“We’re waiting for Godot.”
Samuel Becket’s play is perhaps the most famous parable of the twentieth century. And it is a parable, not an allegory. Assign whatever significances you like. Say that this stands...
Man is a maker of meaning. Unlike other creatures on earth, humankind infuses the physical world with significance. Animals rub against each other, but only humans embrace, kiss or, to evoke an act that we infuse, hopefully, with great meaning “make love.” Animals produce noises, some of them beautiful, but only humans truly sing, which is to imbue sound with worlds of meaning. All animals feed, but we alone give thanks at a meal, or celebrate freedom in a Passover Seder, or call Christ...
You cannot see what you do not picture. Meaning that, you need some idea of what you’re looking for if you’re going to find it. A great challenge of the Christian life is imagining the life to come. Our contemporaries, rightly, judge popular pictures of heaven to be silly. Why would anyone want to sit on clouds, play a harp, and eat Philadelphia Cream Cheese? The challenge of contemporary evangelization is providing a more adequate picture of eternal life, eternal damnation as well.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Association of Catholic Publishers is encouraging families, parishes, and schools throughout the United States to participate in National Bible Week , beginning on Sunday, Nov. 15, and continuing through the following week.
During the middle of this week, the church celebrates the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of "...
The problem with discussing development and change in church teaching using the language of “conservatives” or “liberals” is not that differences among Catholics do not map broadly onto this template, but that it imports the political sense of a zero sum game: there are winners and losers and those with whom I disagree are my opponents. In the spirit of all of us belonging to one church, I want to offer some thoughts on how development has occured in church teaching, using examples from the...
Strange, what some can see and others cannot. In a letter to his son Christopher, written during the Second World War, J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy , observed, “If anguish were visible, almost the whole of this benighted planet would be enveloped in a dense dark vapour shrouded from the amazed vision of the heavens!”
Like Louis Armstrong, I firmly believe that, “it’s a wonderful world,” though Tolkien is nonetheless right about the...
Sweet color of oriental sapphire, Hovering in the calm and peaceful aspect Of intervening air, pure to the horizon, Pleased my eyes once more As soon as I had left the morbid air That had afflicted both my chest and eyes. The fair planet that emboldens love, Smiling, lit up the east, Veiling the Fishes in her train (13-21)
These lines are from the first canto of Dante Alighieri’s...