Vantage point
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It’s spring at last, and my thoughts are turning, naturally, if a bit late, to spring cleaning. Not just the grab-the-mop, go-through-the-closets kind of cleaning, but the spiritual kind as well: … more
Life and death—two of the topics we think about more deeply in Lent—came into sharper focus for me at the very beginning of the Lenten season. That was partly because of the ashes that we … more
There is a troubling news image that has stayed with me, stored in memory, for four years. You … more
Recently, I was talking with a friend about books. She knows that I own hundreds of books and that I am reluctant to part with even one. In contrast, she has a relative who does not keep a personal … more
I love Irish music, and one of my favorite groups is Cherish the Ladies, the internationally acclaimed band of women musicians who play Irish and Celtic music. I knew they were doing their annual … more
What would induce a beautiful young woman with an acting career moving into high gear in Hollywood to chuck it away, turn her back on the camera and enter a monastery? And what might a young woman … more
In two weeks, we will mark the day when the guns of World War I fell silent, the fighting stopped and the Armistice was signed. It happened 100 years ago, on Nov. 11, 1918. Observing that … more
I am never sorry when summer ends, but I don’t think I have much company in that. I’ve met so many people who hate to see fall arrive. more
September is upon us, the kids are heading back to school, and I’ve been thinking. It’s been a long time … more
I should have known that something was wrong a few Sundays ago when I arrived at my parish church just before noon and saw yellow tape stretched across the side street. It was unusually quiet in … more
The recent suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef and author Anthony Bourdain shocked many of us and made us ponder why they chose to end their lives. Of course, suicide is always troubling … more
I love to laugh, and it’s no wonder. I grew up in a family that had an unwritten rule: Don’t say anything straight if you can say it funny. My father was the ringleader when it came to humor, and … more
I always welcome the month of April with joy and watch it depart with regret, for several reasons. It’s the month when Easter usually occurs, and I love the Easter season. It’s also when spring … more
A commercial for a credit card company asks: “What’s in your wallet?” It’s a good thing no one asked me that question the other day. In my continuing effort to declutter and discard, I … more
One recent night, there was a light snowfall, and in the morning, the trees wore a graceful covering of white. The tall trunks were dark against the gray-white light of early day, but the … more
A couple of weeks ago, as I was gathering my Christmas decorations to put them away, I came upon a booklet called “Christmas to Candlemas in a Catholic Home.” It was published in 1955 as part of … more
Innocence is one of the qualities most associated with Christmas. We take joy in the innocence of children young enough to watch, wide-eyed and believing, for Santa Claus and his sleigh. Standing … more
If Thanksgiving is here, then Christmas, as everyone knows, is just around the corner. It’s time to prepare for it—not just by getting the house ready and buying or making gifts, but also in the … more
Here comes Halloween, with its legions of ghosts, ghouls, witches, bats, spider webs, flickering candles and haunted houses. With all the spooky hoopla, it’s easy to forget that the day originally … more
October is Respect Life Month, and we’re starting it with good news: the decision of the New York State Court of Appeals rejecting physician-assisted suicide. As many in the medical field and … more
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