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Promises, promises


In a cold and fallow season of waiting, watching and wondering, it is not surprising to find ourselves reflecting on the past and looking toward the future, taking stock and hoping for something better to come. Advent is the season of promise par excellence. We willingly wait. We anticipate the birth of Jesus and all that symbolizes for us, and we do so in the light of promises extending back to the Hebrew Scriptures and beyond.

The verdict


Who are you? Where do you come from? What do you know? What have you accomplished with your life? Those are more or less the questions one is supposed to answer on a résumé. Although some are tempted to creatively enhance the narrative, in the end it's vital that the person described by the responses be recognizable as the one whose name is at the top of the page.

Confession is about the mind-boggling mercy of God


Sept. 25 was one of those spectacular autumn days in New York. The heat of the summer had faded away, and a brilliant, blue, cloudless sky greeted the world.

At about 1 p.m., I walked out the door of the house I share with nine other Jesuits, and walked up Eighth Avenue to Madison Square Garden. I was asked to hear confessions before the papal Mass, and doing so was one of the most profound graces of my life.

To cope or to hope


"The end is near!"

One of my favorite cartoons about the end of the world shows the bearded ascetic with his warning sign, which says something like: "The end is not coming. You have to learn to cope with it along with the rest of us!"



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November 20-December 3, 2015


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