Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:
During COVID, I’ve been trying to spend more time in prayer. In particular, I’ve tried to devote fifteen minutes, each day for a week, to meditating on a particular Gospel passage.
The first week the Parable of the Rich Young Man [Matthew 19:16-22] bubbled up from my subconscious. The next week: “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah” [Matthew 16:4]. The third week, unmistakably, the verse that rose to mind was “Blessed are the poor in spirit” from the Sermon on the Mount.
You can’t be a by-the-book, neither right nor left, practicing Catholic without running up against some form of exile, in or out of the Church. Secular friends I sense are baffled by my failure to canvass door-to-door trying to drum up Democratic votes. I’ve been accused by the “woke” of being responsible for hundreds of deaths for my failure to accuse myself of white privilege. Catholic Workers feel anyone worth his or her salt should have done prison time. Right-leaning Catholics are baffled by my failure, in spite of my fidelity to the teachings of the Church on marriage and the family, to take up the “pro-life” banner.
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