Seek ye first the Kingdom of the Lord— So I was taught, and hastened to obey; I watched the fields and rivers fall away; Above the soaring mountaintops I soared, Through Heaven-vaults alight with sun outpoured On luminescent golden clouds of day; And far below the sparkling oceans lay, And world-waves, washed forever, rolled and roared. [Read more...]
Ephesians 5:21-33 You stand in black and white, as clear a word As if I saw you printed on a page; The book is closed; the world is now your stage, The prologue-blessing given by a third; The script you know by heart: the truth conferred Upon you by Creation, that great sage (A truth daunted by neither youth nor age), Shown forth, imprinted, never to be blurred. [Read more...]
“Oh, Nina, you haven’t signed up yet—can you take one of the,” and Dorrie was turning the clipboard toward me with her usual unhappy smile, “morning slots?”
“Sure. Where is this place?” Cigarette. Cigarette. Cigarette!
“It’s a Planned Parenthood on 17th Street. There’ll be a carpool if you want.” Cigarette, dammit! I signed up for 10 A.M. and headed outside as fast as I could. Open pack, fish out lovely lovely cigarette, between the lips and hunt for the lighter and suck and oh, thank God!
Smoky dark gray chemical taste. Already the stress of the morning was falling back into the past. Oh, brilliant, beautiful. Oh frabjous day.
Then, of course, I realized that I’d really signed up for ten in the morning on a Saturday. [Read more…]
You lie through lines and falsely signal hope.
Mechanical imposter—she who spoke
Makes sweeter sounds than what comes through your holes.
Forgive me my accusatory tone—
See, I shall praise thee an angel dear
Who carries her sweet speech when we’re alone.
Then, eyelids closed, she whispers in my ear. [Read more…]
Robert T. Miller
There are nowadays at least two competing foundational concepts in Catholic moral theology. The first of these is the concept of human dignity, the intrinsic value of the human person, something the human person has simply by virtue of being a person. Because the human person has such intrinsic value, we are morally obligated to respect human nature, both in ourselves and in everyone else, and the content of this obligation is usually explained by saying that we ought to treat the human person always as an end and never merely as a means, especially never as a mere means to our own pleasure. The concept of human dignity appears in the writings of many contemporary Catholic philosophers(1) and theologians,(2) especially the writings of Pope John Paul II,(3) and even in some recent magisterial documents of the Catholic Church.(4) [Read more…]
The doctor entered the room, looking at a medical chart with a somber face. The patient, sitting uncomfortably on the exam table in nothing but his boxer shorts, grew nervous at the doctor’s grave demeanor.
“I have some bad news,” the doctor said, and sat down on the little wheeled stool.
“Am I sick?” the patient asked, “I just came in for a check-up. I don’t feel sick.”
“No, no,” the doctor replied, “I’m afraid … you are healthy.” [Read more…]
As soon as you enter, nothing is the same— A fact, perhaps, you knew before you came Inside. The shape alone, from down the street, Signals some fundamental and complete Transformation from what has come before, In motion by the time you touch the door.
The door—here, too, something seems amiss If known conventions be applied to this. Unlike the tidy portals near and next, Of chrome and glass, exquisitely Windexed, The knotted oak leaves outside witness blind, But those who enter know what they will find.
Now is the winter of my discontent To be reformed, transfigured into spring? I cannot seem to hold to anything That by this sudden blossom is not rent. I leave a love behind, unfathomed still; I have a hope before me, waiting yet; And trapped so, where no boundaries are set, I find a faith, an unexpected will. [Read more...]
Damian J. Ference
After twenty-three years of Catholic school I can count on one hand the number of lessons or lectures I remember about the devil.
My first bit of formal instruction came in kindergarten. Sister Vincent taught us a song about having joy in our hearts, and if the devil didn’t like it he could sit on a tack. I had a hard time seeing the need for an archangel like Michael, having his way with the devil while wielding a shiny silver sword, if a sharp tack would do the job just as well. [Read more…]
On the Occasion of the 2,757th Birthday of the City of Rome
Apollo shines bright on her dappled stucco walls, Like a vast and blank and gold-spotted canvas Ripe with a possibility as multiform as the City (For there is only ever one City) In which it hangs like a vast inhabited museum exhibit.