Category: Family

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Loneliness Today, Part I: More on the Youth Encounter

This is the first in a projected series of essays dealing with the phenomenon of “loneliness,” beginning with a discussion of the loneliness described to Pope Francis in the “youth encounter” in Tokyo, and moving from there into a broader view.  In Japanese-American author Ruth Ozeki’s 2013 novel A Tale for the Time Being,[1] teenage protagonist Nao Yasutani leads an unenviable life. Her techie father Haruki was fired from his job in Silicon Valley and...

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On Today’s Blessed Marian Feast

Earlier today, my mother, Patricia Lewis, passed away at home after a long illness. She was surrounded by family and friends when she drew her last breath. Just before her final moments, my brother and I sang the first two verses of one of her favorite hymns, “Immaculate Mary.” Due to December 8 falling on the Second Sunday of Advent, today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the US. For my mom, I...

Dreams and Grace

Reading through Christus vivit recently, I found a section labeled “Dreams and visions” (§§192-197), a six-paragraph-long exegesis of Joel 3:1: “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” I would like to share a brief thought—or tell a brief story; and Pope Francis says in this section that the young tend to...

Pope Francis and Flying Plates

In his Sunday Angelus this week, Pope Francis returned to a topic that he’s discussed many times, one that hasn’t received as much attention as more “controversial” subjects related to doctrine and moral theology, but is central to his papacy nonetheless: handling problems in the family. Indeed, while Francis has convened two synods on the family, traveled to two World Meetings on the subject in Philadelphia and Dublin, and written an apostolic exhortation on the...