14 results
November 2, 2016
All Saints by Fra Angelico (c. 1423)

At this very moment there is probably someone in the world praying the Hail Mary or asking someone like St. Anthony to pray for him or her. In fact, there are probably millions of people asking specific saints to pray for them at any given moment. How can the saints in heaven hear thousands of prayers made in different languages at the same time? Wouldn’t this make the saints all-knowing, which is a quality that God alone possesses?

Not impossible for God

It...

October 10, 2016

In the first part we looked at some Catholic practices that Fundamentalists find offensive, even if they sometimes replicate the practices in their own lives. Let’s look at a few more.

Bells

Our church towers commonly have bells, often consisting of large sets, known as carillons, that can be rung from a keyboard. Small handbells are rung during Mass....

December 10, 2015

In the aftermath of the terror attacks in San Bernardino there has been a great deal of media chatter about how the two killers became “radicalized.” How, that is, they went from presumably normal, peaceful Muslims to the type of Muslims who would assemble an arsenal of guns and explosives and use it to slaughter innocent people in Allah’s name. What malign influence caused that transformation?

It’s interesting how we’re using “radical” in this context—to mean extreme, not-mainstream...

March 25, 2015

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).

-Matthew 1:23

One of Islam’s admirable features is the adhan, or call to prayer. Five times a day, a signal goes out from a high place in a mosque alerting all Muslims within earshot that it’s time to pause from their activities and offer one of the short daily prayers...

March 18, 2015
The Garden of Gethsemane

Once a year, for the last five years, I have been fortunate to be able to go on retreat with the local secular Carmelite community. Every October, we drive a couple of hours north of San Diego to El Carmelo in Redlands, California, a retreat house run by the Discalced Carmelite Friars of the California–Arizona Province. The retreat runs...