Showing posts from September, 2014


I'm teaching a course tonight on the Trinity--that great mystery that is at the heart of Christianity and Christian life.  I'm a little nervous because it's hard to talk about something so big and so bound up in the unknown.  But Pseudo-Dionysius helps, with his hymn at the beginning of "The Mystical Theology." Trinity!!  Higher than any being, any divinity, any goodness! Guide of Christians  in the wisdom of heaven! Lead us up beyond unknowing and light, up to the farthest, highest peak of mystic scripture, where the mysteries of God's Word lie simple, absolute and unchangeable in the brilliant darkness of a hidden silence. Amid the deepest shadow they pour overwhelming light on what is most manifest. Amid the wholly unsensed and unseen they completely fill our sightless minds with treasures beyond all beauty. (This translation is from Colm Luibheid, published by Paulist Press in 1987.) The indentations of the translation I am looking at h

Preaching on the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine

I'm leading and preaching for mid-day prayer today, and I've chosen to use the first reading for the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, rather than tackle either of the mass readings today.  But really, I'm just talking about the saint himself.  Enjoy. Reading: Wisdom 7:7-10, 15-16             The passage from Wisdom an appropriate introduction to the life of St. Robert Bellarmine, whom the church celebrates today.   Bellarmine was a Jesuit and Cardinal who lived in the late 16 th and early 17 th century.   He was born shortly after Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, and the Council of Trent began when he was a child, ending during his philosophy studies in Rome.   His entire theological career was marked by the decisions made by the Council and by the theology of reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli.   In fact, his writings reveal that he read and knew their theology.             Before doing a little research, I knew only that B