April 17, 2019 Fr. James V. Schall S. J. died, my first read of one of Fr. Schall’s books was, Another Sort of Learning, on my quest to a deeper understanding of my Catholic faith and awareness of my lack of a solid Catholic education; I found direction, I looked for answers. During my journey I found many writings by Fr. Schall. I read and re-read Another Sort of Learning and like many others was hooked on Fr. Schall’s teachings. Below are a few of the articles about Fr. Schall, I trust you may find his life enlightening in our Lord Gods love. Pray for me.
I am starting a post on Christian classical art; in beauty we have hope in Christ. I trust you will enjoy some of my selections and the history of the paintings and artists. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Easter.
The Spanish Golden Age stands as one of
the richest and most bountiful eras in history for art, and amongst all
of the artists who contributed to it, Diego Velazquez will surely rank
as being amongst the most prominent.
Born in 1599, Velázquez
was one of the court artists of King Philip IV and crafted a wide range
of masterpieces throughout his career. Many of his paintings were
portraits of sixteenth-century Spanish nobility, and thanks to him, we
have an array of brilliant snapshots into what courtly life of this era
looked like. To glance at one of Diego Velazquez’s paintings is to be
transported into a bygone age.
Not all of Velazquez’s
paintings depicted contemporary scenes. Like most Western artists of his
era, Velazquez had plenty of experience in portraying religious
subjects. A number of his canvases depicted scenes of beatification,
attempts to portray the divine in all of its sumptuousness.
With “Christ Crucified“, however, Velazquez took the opposite approach. The painting is pared-down and understated. There is no background, merely a dark area with a few token shadows to help emphasise the central figure. The cross itself is plain and unadorned, the delicate details – such as the grain in the wood – serving only to emphasise the everyday nature of its materials.
Christ himself is
similarly unadorned. Velazquez makes no attempt to portray the agonises
of Christ’s passion, and simply shows the Messiah’s head bowed. His hair
runs, like blood, down his face.
The only hint of the
divine about this largely unclothed figure is the halo – and even that
is relatively modest, a subtle cream-coloured glow. We are asked to look
upon this figure – to behold the man – and contemplate his very
physicality – his flesh, his hair, the thorns of his crown, the cloth of
his coverings, the iron of his nails. The image is composed with
geometric evenness and neatness, an understated structure which provides
a startling contrast with the significance of the subject matter.
I had the pleasure to attend the annual Toledo MMOS 2019 this year. It was a wonderful gathering of men-in-faith, coming together in Jesus Christ to share the truth and unit in our Lord. I enjoyed all the speakers they were full of energy and personal stories of sacrifice. Bishop Thomas gave a great talk on “Calm His Courage” (see link below) a wonderful topic for men-of-faith during this coming Holy Week.
MMOS NORTHWEST OHIO – FISHERS OF MEN 2019 GATHERING
On February 21 to 24, at the invitation of Pope Francis, the
presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences gathered at the Vatican
to discuss the current crisis of the faith and of the Church; a crisis
experienced throughout the world after shocking revelations of clerical
abuse perpetrated against minors.
The extent and gravity of the reported incidents has deeply
distressed priests as well as laity, and has caused more than a few to
call into question the very Faith of the Church. It was necessary to
send out a strong message, and seek out a new beginning, so to make the
Church again truly credible as a light among peoples and as a force in
service against the powers of destruction.
Since I myself had served in a position of responsibility as
shepherd of the Church at the time of the public outbreak of the crisis,
and during the run-up to it, I had to ask myself – even though, as
emeritus, I am no longer directly responsible – what I could contribute
to a new beginning.
Thus, after the meeting of the presidents of the bishops’
conferences was announced, I compiled some notes by which I might
contribute one or two remarks to assist in this difficult hour.
is a new hit movie about former Planned Parenthood director Abby
Johnson’s journey to the pro-life cause. Gritty and heart-wrenching this
film has defied expectations to land in the top 4 at the box office,
even though it is showing at a fraction of the theaters of bigger budget
Recently, I sat down with Doug Johnson, husband to Abby Johnson, as
he gave us an inside look at the story behind the film, Johnson family
life, the powerful prayers behind the film’s production, and more. We
were interrupted several times by Doug and Abby’s adorable children—the
Johnsons’ are truly living a culture of life!
My anti-abortion views solidified in 1976 when I bought a copy of Esquire magazine.
There was something in it by or about George Plimpton that I wanted to
read, but thumbing through the pages I came to an article titled “What I
Saw at the Abortion” by Richard Selzer, M.D.
I’d been a Catholic for about three years and knew what I was supposed to believe about abortion. I’d recently read Humane vitae for
the first time and been deeply impressed by its clarity: “all direct
abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, [is] to be absolutely excluded.”
But it was when I read Dr. Selzer’s article that my view was forever
What knocked me for a loop was Selzer’s reference to a “flick,” a resistance, the fetus defending itself against its murder. Read it for yourself (The Human Life Review has reprinted it here), but here’s the good doctor’s conclusion:
I am not trying to argue. I am only saying I’ve seen. The
flick. Whatever else may be said in abortion’s defense, the vision of
that other defense will not vanish from my eyes. What I saw I saw as
that: a defense, a motion from, an effort away. And it has happened that you cannot reason with me now. For what can language do against the truth of what I saw?
So, it seemed to me before I watched the new movie, Unplanned,
that the defining scene would have to be just such a moment, one in
which Abby Johnson (played by Ashley Bratcher) witnessed the abortion
that changed her life. (The film is based on her book of the same title.)
That moment is set up nicely in an earlier scene in which Abby, the
youngest clinic director at Planned Parenthood, banally counsels a young
woman not to worry: “The one thing that all experts agree on is that,
at this stage, the fetus can’t feel anything.”
But then she witnesses a “procedure” during which she sees (via
ultrasound) the child “twisting and fighting for its life” against the
abortionist’s cannula, which causes her to look anew at her
participation in the 22,000 abortions that happened during her tenure.
This begs the question of how one could ever not have known what the
hell was going on, but that’s life, I guess. We must suppress what we
believe we must not accept.
As the Psalmist says (34: 14-15), “Keep your
tongue from evil, your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do
good; seek peace and pursue it.” And that’s what Abby Johnson did, a
change of heart and mind, however, made more difficult for her because
she’d had two abortions herself.
The scenes in which Ashley Bratcher acts through Abby Johnson’s
descent into abject misery and ascent into pro-life glory are very fine