118 results
April 1, 2015

On Ash Wednesday 2004, I was one of many Christians who stood in line for the opening of Mel Gibson's cinematic passion play, The Passion of the Christ. If I remember correctly, it was a warm, sunny day, and the line was quite long. My friends and I attracted a few stares because we were still wearing our blessed ashes. At the time, I was deeply moved by the film and...

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...

March 11, 2015
The temptations of Christ

Twenty years ago this month, I decided to become Catholic. At the time, it was a rather emotional decision, likely rooted in a bit of rebellion—my family background is Seventh-Day Adventist, which is historically anti-Catholic—but mostly born of a desire for a fresh start. Years later, I was happy to discover that my decision to become Catholic came right about the same time that John Paul...

March 2, 2015

Some years ago, I watched an interview with the late actor Eli Wallach. In a documentary on the legendary Marilyn Monroe, Wallach recounted how he and Monroe had been fellow students in an acting class. One evening after class, they decided to get a bite to eat at a nearby diner. After a friendly supper together,...

February 23, 2015

The terrifying images have become ubiquitous in recent months. Men in orange jumpsuits kneeling before a camera, with a specter draped in black at their shoulder. The black-costumed specter waving a knife and issuing threats, the threats offered in English with a British accent. Then, unimaginably, using that knife to deliver death.

At first, just one man at a time. Then two. Then the violence shifted. Another orange-suited man, this one soaked with gasoline and waiting in a cage for...