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.

April 2015

  • Apr 17 2015 - 12:48pm

    The morning of April 22, 1915, French and Canadian soldiers were immovably entrenched to the north of Ypres, a Belgian city in the Flemish province of West Flanders.  They saw a strange, green-yellow cloud form above the opposing German trenches. It then billowed across no man’s land into their ranks. As the cloud engulfed them, they experienced a burning sensation in their throats and intolerable choking. Within seconds, men were writhing in their death agonies, vomiting blood and mucus; a...

  • Apr 15 2015 - 10:43pm

    This is the fifteenth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This post examines the second arrest of the disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount.

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

  • Apr 10 2015 - 12:20pm

    How history is recited matters almost as much as what happened. When someone as talented as Shakespeare tells your tale, the image stays fixed.

  • Apr 3 2015 - 6:40pm
    1 comment

    Hamlet expires saying, “The rest is silence.”  When someone dies, a stillness descends.  However feebly he might have communicated to us, even a moment before—with a gesture or a sigh—the soul of the other enters a silence in death.  It’s so final, so absolute.  Small wonder that many believe that the other is lost to us at death, dissolving away into nothing.  Yet, before she died of tuberculosis, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux wrote, “When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the...

  • Apr 2 2015 - 8:00am

    He was a few weeks shy of his seventeenth birthday. It was a morning in spring, and he was on his way to a youth rally. As he walked past his parish church, the Basilica of Saint Joseph, on the Avenida Rivadavia, Jorge Borgoglio felt compelled to enter. “I went in. I felt I had to go in—those things you feel inside and you don’t know what they are.”

  • Apr 1 2015 - 3:39pm
    Enrique Garcia Medina / European Pressphoto Agency

    It’s in the nature of the sacred to be separate.  Sacer, the archaic Latin root of the English word, suggests that which is “cut off,” deliberately distinguished from what we call the secular.  Religions create sacred time, sacred places, sacred objects, and sacred persons.  Sometimes we see more when something is set at a distance.  The sacred reveals by setting aside.