Those responsible

Since the day Cain raised a rock to Abel’s head, men have been about the business of slaughtering one another. Oceans of blood spilled and still something pierces our innermost hearts when it is a child who does the killing, when his victims are other children, when his motive seems nothing other than to fill …

Amor fati

The thing about babies is they don’t care about your big plans. This past year I’ve had occasion to laugh at myself many times, a man like me, middle-aged and rooted in habit, suddenly a father again of newborns. Yes, that’s plural. Twins. Boys, of course, because for the rest of my life it seems …

Hell and Vegas

As I write this they haven’t determined a final count of the dead and dying in Las Vegas. How many homes are filled this night with weeping? Too many, is one answer. Not enough, is another. I have nothing to say about the law, except that if opinions about it were limited to those who …

Excursus

If you’re starting here, you might care to first read my new Wall Street Journal op-ed about the ruckus over Confederate monuments. If you started there, then welcome to here. I assume you’re either pleased or outraged or puzzled. Me too. About a lot of things. So I don’t have a structured narrative for this …

Since it’s commencement season, I’ve put together a draft address in case I get a last-minute call

I’d like to thank Debtwell University for this opportunity to address your student body. Furthermore, I want to express my deepest hope that your original speaker overcomes [FOOD POISONING/ IRS DIFFICULTIES/ SUBPOENA/ ETC] without undue complications. [PAUSE. MAKE EYE CONTACT. SQUINT AS IF DRAWING ON A WELL OF DEEP WISDOM, BUT NOT SO HARD THAT YOU …

The Paradox of a Good Friday

Christ in Hades

“Keep your mind in hell, and despair not.” This admonition from St. Silouan is appropriate for Good Friday, when most of Christendom commemorates Christ’s descent into hell, where he shatters its captives’ chains. Many modern Western theologians have abandoned this teaching, but even if you reject it you are still, if you are a Christian, …

In my dying time

So I’ll just begin with an admission that I know it’s crazy and macabre and most certainly narcissistic. What I’ve been doing in my essays lately, however, is forgetting, for just a little while, that someone might read them. Just to see what happens. To push the boundaries and whatnot. And when I set aside …

Single-minded

Maybe you’ll like my latest Image essay, about the struggle for single-mindedness among we sophisticated, double-minded types. Here’s an excerpt: “The soul will follow the body,” is how Fr. Stephen Freeman summarizes a point made by the Christian monk Evagrius in the fourth century A.D. Do what is right, and your resistant soul will learn. …