The National Catholic Review


  • March 9, 2015
    Fourth Sunday of Lent (B), March 15, 2015

    One of the darkest times in the life of the Jewish people was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonians and the subsequent exile of the people of God. According to the Chronicler, this was not an action God wanted, “but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord against his people became so great that there was no remedy.” Only then did the Babylonians come.

  • March 9, 2015

    No monk should ever defend another in the monastery. Nor should he take sides in an argument…. We decree that no one should be permitted to ostracize or to strike any one of his brothers; and if any monk should break this rule, let him be publicly reprimanded, that the others may learn from his mistake.

    —Rule of St. Benedict

  • Saying we must never use God as a cover for injustice, Pope Francis warned on Friday (February 20th) against those who follow all the outward signs of piety but then exploit or mistreat their employees or dependents. The Pope’s words came during his homily at morning Mass celebrated in the Santa Marta residence.

    Pope Francis used his homily to reflect on how Christians, especially during Lent, should not confine themselves to outside signs of piety like fasting and charity and instead...

  • Choose God, choose good, not to be a total failure, maybe hailed by the masses, but ultimately nothing more than a worshiper of "trivial, pithy things that pass.”

    This was Pope Francis reflection Thursday morning during Mass at Casa Santa Marta. The Pope centered his homily on the Bible passage in which God says to Moses, “Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom. Obey the commandments of the Lord, Your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him and walking in...

  • Pope Francis arrives in a procession to celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome Feb. 18. (CNS photo/Giampiero Sposito, Reuters)

    (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily at Mass in the Basilica of St. Sabina on the Aventine Hilll in Rome on Wednesday afternoon – Ash Wednesday – the beginning of the great penitential season of Lent. Below, please find Vatican Radio’s translation of the text the Holy Father prepared for the occasion.


    As God's people today we begin the journey of Lent, a time in which we try to unite ourselves more closely to the Lord Jesus Christ, to share the...

  • March 2, 2015
    Third Sunday of Lent (B), March 8, 2015

    There is no question about the centrality of the Ten Commandments to Judaism and subsequently to Christianity. The Ten Words, as the Old Testament itself calls them (Ex 34:28; Dt 4:13), or Decalogue, which God spoke to Moses, resonate down through the centuries into our lives. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Nos. 2056-63), however, stresses not just the importance of the commandments but their embeddedness in the lives of the people of Israel....

  • March 2, 2015

    I met the monk, before he was a monk, on Facebook. The message icon flickered to life when an actor we both know made the connection: two writers, two creative people, two weirdoes, two Catholics. Perhaps we’d like to get acquainted? The monk back then had a different name; let’s call him Anthony, the desert father, the first monk. I went into the café where he worked, a busy spot near the school where I teach, and introduced myself.

  • February 23, 2015
    Second Sunday of Lent (B), March 1, 2015

    The first thing Abraham had to do was listen to God, but Abraham also had to be willing to hear God, no matter the word spoken. And the word Abraham first heard from God, the command to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, remains even now at some level inconceivable and incomprehensible. Why would God ask Abraham to kill the child in whom the divine promises of Israel were embedded?

  • February 23, 2015

    When my oldest son Peter was almost 4 years old, we arrived at Sunday Mass, hurriedly walking in a few minutes late, when he noticed the prayer candles in the back corner of the church. He was mesmerized. He asked, “Mommy, what are those?” As the mother of a child who had been labeled as having a significant delay in the way he was acquiring language, I was happy to hear a non-routine, real question stemming from his curiosity.

  • February 10, 2015

    Santa Marta

    If you are looking for God you won’t find him sitting on a comfortable couch flicking through a magazine, or sitting at your computer. The search for God means having the courage to set out on a risky path, it means following our restless hearts, said Pope Francis at Mass Tuesday morning at Casa Santa Marta.