• The Past Her Prelude: Marian Imagery in the Old Testament

    St. Augustine said that “the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old is fulfilled in the New.” Like other Church Fathers he distinguished between the outer “literal” and the inner “spiritual” meaning of Holy Scripture. And like the others, he often preferred spirit to... Read more
  • An Ominous Warning from the Lord in the Very Liturgy We Celebrate

    Recent passages in the Office of Readings of the Liturgy of Hours have seemed ominously applicable to the Church in our current crisis. Although these readings are part of a repeating schedule from year to year, they speak powerfully at this current time. Their perennial call to repent or else... Read more
  • Who Was Jeremiah the Prophet?

    God called Jeremiah a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall (Jer 1:18); a tester and refiner of metals, a tower and fortress (Jer 6:27); a man through whom He would speak against false prophets and shepherds who mislead their sheep. Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and... Read more
  • The Transfiguration: Gospel to the Dead

    At Caesarea Philippi Jesus told the apostles that he would suffer and die and on the third day rise again. A week later, transfigured upon a mountain, he told Moses and Elijah.  Present when he told them were Peter and James and John, whom he had chosen to have with him when he raised... Read more
  • Hunt for the Fourth Cup

    Editor's note: This article was originally published in September, 1991. I have a vivid recollection of a conversation with a friend at an Evangelical seminary we attended ten years ago. Walking over, he said, "Scott, I’ve been reading fascinating stuff on the... Read more
  • The Fatal Seduction of Sola Scriptura

    [caption id="attachment_90111" align="alignnone" width="800"] Image: Pexels[/caption] The fatal seduction of Sola Scriptura is that all one needs to know about what to believe and how to practice it is explicitly contained in Scripture. The emphasis on explicit is key. That’s because it... Read more
  • Two Teachings on Discipleship from Jesus

    In the Gospel for today (Monday of the 13thWeek of the Year) Jesus gives two teachings on discipleship. They are not easy, and they challenge us—especially those of us who live in the affluent West. Poverty– The text says, As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,... Read more
  • Acts and Us

    The Church’s custom of reading virtually all of the Acts of the Apostles at daily Mass during the Easter season struck me as particularly apt this year, and for three reasons. First, Acts reminds us that, with the exception of several great public set-pieces (such as the first Pentecost),... Read more
  • The Mass as Cross and Re-Presentation

    “Now, the sacrifice is unsurpassable. Now, it’s a re-presentation of that sacrifice.” As he says these words about the “climactic moment” of the Mass, he gestures to the crucified Christ behind him: the definitive sacrifice; the Lamb of God; the high priest who entered once for... Read more
  • What Does Jesus Mean When He Says We Must Be Salted with Fire?

    The Gospel from last Thursday’s daily Mass featured one of Jesus’ lesser-known teachings: Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor? Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another (Mark... Read more