The National Catholic Review

The Good Word

  • This is the twenty-fourth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This entry deals with the apostles Peter and John taking up Philip’s mission to Samaria and Simon the magician offering money for the Holy Spirit.

    For previous entries, please now go to the Complete Acts of the Apostle...

  • How close is God? Moses told the Israelites,

    For what great nation is there
    that has gods so close to it as the Lord,
    our God, is to us whenever we call upon him? (Dt 4:7).

     

    So God is closer than any supposed gods might be. How close is that?

  • It’s probably America’s best known poem, if not its most beloved. Perhaps because it’s as simple as it is universal. There’s no doubt about the clarity of scene, which Robert Frost creates, though folks disagree whether the poet is at peace, or disturbed, by the decision made. 

  • This is the twenty-third entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This entry considers the beginning of the mission to Samaria and the introduction of Simon the magician.

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

  • We often say, what you see is what you get, meaning that some little part of the world is there, in front of you, ready for inspection. Just look and you will see. But we also say, what you see depends upon what you’re looking for. The world is the world, out there, independent of us, but, in large measure, your world is different than mine, because we aren’t seeking the very same things. What do we say about garage sales? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  • Have you ever heard of hungry grass? In Irish mythology it’s cursed, inflicting insatiable craving upon those who cross it. It’s in Anne Enright’s new novel The Green Road (2015), a family story that closes with Christmas Eve preparations, in the Madigan home, in County Clare Ireland.

    Rosaleen, mother of four and a widow at 76, goes missing before the meal. Confused, she wanders alone outside, coming...

  • This is the twenty-second entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This entry considers Stephen’s martyrdom.

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

    3....

  • Most questions are quickly and easily posed. It’s their answers that require the while and wisdom. These days, reading Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s sequel to the American classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, many find themselves repeating a question voiced by Lee’s heroine, Jean Louise Finch. After a number of years in the quintessential big city, New York, the young woman, called Scout in her childhood, returns to visit her hometown of Maycomb, Alabama.

  • I presume there was an architect. Even a modest parochial school, in the middle of 1920s Kansas, needed a designer. Someone had to decide on the front door flourish. Instead of a flat front of four rooms, facing the street, two on each floor, the building juts out in front, and in the back, to create foyers for double staircases, which access the upper and lower floors. Somebody wanted large windows over the doors, a tiny touch of grandeur.

  • In April of 2012, Tom De Troyer received a letter from his mother Godelieva, 63. It wasn’t updating him about her life-long struggles with depression or inquiring about Tom’s wife and three children. The letter was written in the past tense, reporting that she had been euthanized and had donated her body to science. It contained the address of friends who would have the keys to her house.