The National Catholic Review

Faith

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  • December 19-26, 2016

    I was driving home from church after my fourth Mass of the day, and the dark night hung like a nightmare, closing in and pressing down. My thoughts, churning like rapids, ventured deeper and deeper into the pit of despair.

    My marriage had just ended. For several weeks I put up a strong front, not betraying the growing depression that was overcoming me. Eventually, it hit with the ferocity of a tsunami, making me...

  • Por lo que se ve, ni Juan el Bautista ni Jesús contaban entre su equipo de asesores con un experto en marketing (mercadotecnia). Sólo a ellos dos se les ocurre comenzar su predicación con idéntica frase y tan poco “políticamente correcta”: “¡Arrepiéntanse, porque el Reino de los cielos está cerca!” (Mt 3:2 para Juan y Mt 4:17 para Jesús). ¿Usted cree que así se hacen amigos? Con mensajes así se pone difícil la cosa. Pero, sus razones tendrían, ¿no? En lo que también coinciden los dos es en...

  • Comenzar un año no es un asunto cualquiera. Toda la vida he celebrado a lo grande el primero de enero, lleno de felicitaciones de año nuevo, con risas y gran cena. De pronto me di cuenta de que en mi año había muchos más comienzos y que, de hecho, el 1 de enero era el menos importante de todos. En septiembre empieza el año escolar y es posiblemente el comienzo de año que más influye la marcha de nuestra sociedad. El año fiscal en octubre, pero solemos preocuparnos más de la fecha límite para...

  • December 5-12, 2016
    Fourth Sunday of Advent (A), Dec. 18, 2016

    ‘Joseph was a righteous man.” Modern readers likely do not hear the ominous undertones of this description. The Greek word for righteous, dikaios, could also indicate that Joseph was a “law-abiding” man. This meant that he considered submitting Mary to the penalties given in Deuteronomy for women found to be pregnant before marriage. “If evidence of a young woman’s virginity is not found, they shall bring the young woman to the entrance of her...

  • December 5-12, 2016
    Third Sunday of Advent (A), Dec. 11, 2016

    Not long ago I called an Uber. The driver’s photo was striking. She had a peacock-blue mohawk, a pair of sunglasses with mirrored lenses and a barbed-wire neck tattoo. When the car arrived, I was surprised to find the driver conservatively dressed, tattoo-free and a brunette. “You’re not the person I was expecting,” I told her. “I keep forgetting to change my photo; that was me 10 years ago,” she said. I was skeptical, so I held up my phone and...

  • December 5-12, 2016

    In 1986, as a 24-year-old recent graduate of New York University, excited by life’s possibilities and just engaged to be married, I was searching for ways to be more aware of and responsive to God’s call. I was seeking deeper meaning in my life, a way to tap into God’s life force (“The Empire Strikes Back” was an influence here) and a way to make my faith life come alive in my daily life.

    My then-fiancé, now-husband...

  • Siempre me ha resultado paradójico que concluyamos el año litúrgico con la celebración de Cristo Rey, mientras leemos parte de la Pasión. Sí, sí, ya sé. Sé que servir es reinar y que Él no vino a ser servido; que por su muerte nos redimió, etc. Sólo me resulta curioso que tengamos esta visión de ser rey tan alejada de los reyes de este mundo que salen en televisión.

    La paradoja no es que Jesús haya elegido ser rey con estilo propio, sino que aún nos dejamos seducir por los otros...

  • November 28, 2016
    Second Sunday of Advent (A), Dec. 4, 2016

    Anyone who has studied music knows the need for repetition. The days before a performance include countless attempts to give voice to the notes on the page. First attempts are fraught with errors in technique and interpretation. Only after many tries can a musician bring to life something that had, until then, existed only in the mind of a composer.

    In different ways, our readings this week describe a similar...

  • November 28, 2016

    I am standing in the middle pew, far left side, at Mass. We choose this pew when possible for the light pouring and puddling through the stained-glass windows. The late-morning Mass is best because the sun finally makes it over the castlements of the vast hospital up the hill, and the sun has a direct, irresistible shot at the windows, and as my twin sons used to say, the sun loooves jumping through the windows and does so with the headlong...

  • November 21, 2016

    For the past four months I have lived next door to a holy shrine, a chapel built into a medieval gatehouse. The structure is the last surviving gate in the defensive wall that once ringed the city of Vilnius, Lithuania. An icon of the Virgin Mary hangs within, facing the Old Town through a large arched window over the gateway. The painting has been adorned in a protective casement of golden-hued silver that makes her resplendent at all hours, but...