In his masterpiece Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh implicitly lays out a program of evangelization that has particular relevance to our time. “Brideshead” refers, of course, to a great manor house owned by a fabulously wealthy Catholic family in the England of the 1920’s. In the complex semiotic schema of Waugh’s novel, the mansion functions as a symbol of the Catholic Church, which St. Paul had referred to as the “bride of Christ.” To Brideshead comes, at the invitation of his friend Sebastian, Charles Ryder, an Oxford student, devotee of the fine arts and casual agnostic.
Yet even now,” says the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning; and rend your hearts, not your garments. Return to the Lord, your God for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…”
Like Star Wars, The Divine Comedy, and Moby Dick, J.R.R.
Feast Day: Jan. 1
We live in a culture obsessed with the “new,” with a predictable anti-tradition attitude that dismisses the past as outdated and equates anything that appears “old” with staleness and irrelevance. Progress demands a complete rupture with the past and is to be favored at all cost, even when that toward which we hope to progress is unclear, unarticulated and undefined.
Part 2 of a year-long study of the Catechism
In his 1992 Apostolic Constitution, Fidei Depositum, Blessed John Paul II indicated the Catechism of the Catholic Church “is a statement of the Church’s faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by sacred Scripture, the apostolic tradition and the Church’s magisterium.” He went on to declare it to “be a sure norm for teaching the faith.”
Dear Fr. Joe: It seems that once again, we’re approaching another new year and, more than anything, I want to use the new year to really grow spiritually. I always have great goals to do better, but never seem to hit them. Can you help me?
Ahhhh – the New Year and its resolutions! I think your experience is one that many share – including me! Based on my own past struggles and resolutions, I do have some advice that I hope will help you.