Pseudo-Homilies 14 – Pentecost and Speaking in Tongues

I wanted to talk about a specific book that I read many years ago and that left a mark in my memory: Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo, by Eric Hansen. Please be patient, in due time I’ll explain why and what this holiday has to do with it. Pentecost Sunday. Mass during the Day (Year A) Another Easter season coming to a close; caught up in the routine and focusing on the main theme, we run the risk of losing sight of some usually neglected details of the Pentecost. Luckily I’m here at your service, to cross the T’s and dot the I’s so you don’t have…

Continue reading

Is the Bible clear?

Greek manuscript of the Bible, a page

A random exchange on Twitter, sparked by a retweet by Nassim Taleb that I happened to notice. I’m replying here because I think we should reclaim our spaces: if something is exemplary and can be used to make a point, it’s wasteful to push content to a platform that is at best of ephemeral nature, at worst is proactively controlling, censoring, influencing… Here it goes: Uhm, yes and no!   Uhm, yes and no!   Now, in this reply lies the crux of the problem. Another installation of my renown series: “Everybody’s wrong!” (But in different ways, and this is where the interesting details determine what you should really make…

Continue reading

Pseudo-Homilies 12 – The Catholic Paraclete

Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A) I was a bit undecided about how to comment on this Sunday’s readings, because at first they seemed to lack a common theme, pointing to different directions. Is this Sunday just about tying up a few loose ends? Actually, the main point is brought forth, as usual, by the Gospel: Jesus announces his forthcoming Ascension, but promises to give his followers another Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. But still: how does this story connect with the other two readings? Well, after a brief reflection I believe I got it; today’s theme is: examples of catholicity in action. The common thread, in other words, is: if you make the…

Continue reading

Why all those Saints?

Beata Panacea de'Muzzi

Let me open with one of the few Oscar Wilde quotes that actually make sense:   The Roman Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone – for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do.   Yesterday was All Saints’ Day in the Catholic Church liturgy. Some may consider it an outdated feast; the celebration of a concept almost incomprehensible in today’s dynamic and enlightened world. I’m afraid this just means we desperately need more saints but we don’t know it yet. The modern ordinary man has forsaken heroism, has no use for eccentrics who chose humility and obscurity in service of their brethren. Saints are the true nonconformists. Also, the only…

Continue reading

Martin Luther a sort of Christian Icon? Not In My Name

What would you say if you were a Lutheran? Today in Catholic countries we celebrate All Saints’ Day. Yesterday the Pope went to Sweden to open this ill-fated year of celebrations for the 500th of the so-called Protestant Reformation. As a Catholic representative, of course. Now, to better grasp how absurd all of this is, try to put yourself in the shoes of a Lutheran (if you are not already a Lutheran, that is). Please appreciate the behavior of the Pope and his entourage of sycophants/commentators/self-appointed-spokespersons, as seen from the perspective of someone who’s coming from a distance. Consider the implications of the photo I put here above. This is not…

Continue reading