Home Thoughts from Abroad

Joseph Pearce 

O to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!

-Robert Browning
(Home-thoughts, from Abroad)

O to be in England …

Sometimes, when Time permits moments of quiet recollection amidst the breathlessly frenetic flow of daily life, I find myself sharing Robert Browning’s sentimental yearning for his native land. I, too, am an Englishman, and I, too, am in exile. A happy exile, perhaps, but an exile nonetheless. And although America has been good to me, and my American friends a veritable delight, the heart still, occasionally, leaps across the Atlantic to the familiar things of home.

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Aborting Metaphysics

John Di Camillo

The abortion debate has become mired in confusion over the interpretation of science. Abortion advocates have generated much of this confusion in two ways: first, they assert that science is on their side through their reduction of an unborn child in early developmental stages to “a few cells” or simply “fetal tissue” that is not yet a human being; second, they deny the validity of a religiously inspired stance as anti-science and based on unprovable, dogmatic metaphysics.

The proposition that science supports abortion is inherently flawed because science in and of itself is incapable of making moral judgments. It is objective, empirical, and non-partisan. Experimentation and scientific results present us with fact, not ethical analysis. Science forms the raw material upon which decisions of acceptability must be made: the fact that a biological human being during its developmental process consists of only a bundle of cells—only a single cell at its beginning point!—does not tell us whether we can justifiably destroy him or her during that phase. This requires ontology: a metaphysical analysis of the nature of a human being and what constitutes life.

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Cloistered Conversations

Jessica Hoelzer

“Inner silence, Mother. I struggle with inner silence.” I shudder as I always do when confessing my weaknesses. My Mother Superior responds with a grave nod of her head.

“A common admission, most often from novices and young postulants. But you have been here almost eleven years. Has your heart always struggled like this, or is it one of those regresses we often encounter on this long walk with our Savior?” She speaks, as she always does, with a sincere desire to be of service, but the solemnity in her tone betrays the gravity of her question. My eyes stray to the familiar furnishing of Mother Olivia’s office. Wooden bookcases line the walls, but they are not packed and overflowing like those of a library. Instead, each shelf is filled only halfway with books or file folders. The other half lies in wait, expectant. Her desk is made of the same color wood and is empty except for my file, a Bible, and a small glass dove, a reminder of her patron saint, whose spirit returned to heaven in the form of a dove. An icon of peace.

I know the answer to her question, but I don’t know how to express it. There isn’t a one or two word response to describe my feelings, and I cannot find my voice. After living by the rule of silence for so long, my vocal responses are limited to the Liturgy of the Hours, Mass, and Confession. I finger the wooden beads of my Rosary inside the folds of my cream colored habit, searching for words.

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Lent/Easter 2006

Joseph Pearce,
Home Thoughts from Abroad

Joy Wambeke,
A Call to Prayer
Jessica Hoelzer,
Cloistered Conversations
Noel Bava, SJ,
Emilia’s Playhouse
Clay Reherman,
The Red Door Society

Joseph Prever,
The Agony
J.B. Toner,
An Answer
Matthew Alderman,
Chapel of Relics
J.B. Toner,
Matthew Alderman,
The Dove Looked In
Matthew Crane,
The Egg
Ben LaVergne,
Fragments, for Mary
Terence Siren,
I Am
Mela Kirkpatrick,
Kingdom for a Horse
Robert J. O’Brien III,
Mingled with Silver
J.F. Lovell,
Phrases I’m Going Through
Michael Baruzzini,
A Reading from the Gospel according to Higher Education
Brandon Zimmerman,
A Song for Simeon
Mikaela D’Eigh,
Song of Weihnai
Mela Kirkpatrick,
Wine Making to Marion Williams Singing
King Alfred,
Who Lights and Guards Macbeth

John Di Camillo,
Aborting Metaphysics
Tonita M. Helton,
In the Darkest Hours, Joy
Frank-Paul Sampino,
The Moral and Legal Obligations of Catholic Judges

Art and Photography
Daniel Mitsui,
St. Agnes of Prague
Taryn Kutish,
Anita Wong,
Thoughts of an Artist
Daniel Mitsui,
Chi-Rho monogram
King Alfred,
Christmas Mist
Elizabeth Buckley,
In the Stillness
Daniel Mitsui,
St. Jerome
Robert Brajkovich, Jr.,
St. John Vianney
Jason Kotecki,
Kim & Jason
Sara Perla,
The March for Life
Robert Brajkovich, Jr.,
Powell, WY
Shelley Mauss,
Upstairs at Sacred Heart


Phrases I’m Going Through

J.F. Lovell

As I see it
it recedes into the distance,
as dreams projected on the backs of eyelids
disappear into the dense fog of memory.
Forever elusive, forever mysterious,
forever sought after once it’s lost.
Son, even now I sense in your wide-eyed gaze
an instinctive awareness of its passing.
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