For all the saints

I paged through my pre-Vatican II Latin missal. I was seeking a reference for something I remembered about the old liturgical calendar. While thus engaged, my eyes stumbled over this, from the Proper of the Saints:

St. Peter of Verona was a famous preacher of the Dominican Order, opposing heretics from childhood. He never committed mortal sin. He wished to die for his faith, and his prayer was heard A.D. 1252.

I almost threw up a little in the back of my mouth. Such are the cardboard figures, or at least the monochrome hagiographies, so often given to us for our edification.

I have awkward relationships with the saints. It makes sense. I have heard the saints are our friends. And I usually have awkward relationships with my friends.

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Interdisciplinary book review: The Jesuit and the Skull

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

A man of complicated contrasts, French Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) was a mystical scientist and an obedient rebel. And after reading Amir D. Aczel’s The Jesuit and the Skull, you are left with the decision to either admire him, scratch your head in bemusement, or both.

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Apologies, The Church, and Galileo Galilei

Nicole Sotelo wrote a beautiful column for the National Catholic Reporter last week on the Church and true apologies.  It reminded me of the Indigo Girls’ hit Galileo, in part because it’s been in our car on repeat for awhile, as well as the upcoming concert they are putting on to celebrate the Progressive Magazine’s 100th year anniversary here in Madison.  But more importantly, Galileo Galilei is always on my mind when people tell me that what the Church teaches is final.  It’s just not true.

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