Confession & Love of Neighbor: A Ramble

My confession finished, I waited for my penance and the sweet sound of  the ancient formula, “Ego te absolvo.” There was a brief silence on the other side of the screen. Then came: “Is that all?” It was a practical question, a commonplace prod to swing open some door I might I have left shut. But in that instant, on that day, the brevity of it struck me differently. Why so brusque? Almost curt. Had my confession bored the man? That must be it, I thought. Continue Reading
Confessional Arts

RUMMAGING THROUGH THE HARDCOVER BIN at the local dump recycling center last week, I came across a discarded library copy of Fulton Sheen’s Peace of Soul (1949). It was famous in its day. I stopped to leaf through it, curious to see if it still held up. Or was it a phenomenon of the times, a relic of made-for-television piety? Answer: It is still a terrific book by a gracious, witty scholar with a gift for speaking to non-scholars without condescension or simplifications. Continue Reading