On the Doors of the World

July 31, 2009

luther5Since today is our feast day, the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, we, his followers, offer this contribution of a new blog.  We hope you enjoy reading our posts, but please take a look at our FAQ page and authors’ bio page for more information about us and our mission.

In the Constitutions, St. Ignatius writes in paragraph 378:

Because of the utility there is in the practice of disputation (especially for those who are studying arts and scholastic theology), the scholastics should participate in the disputations or ordinary circles of the schools which they attend, even if not of the Society; and they should endeavor to distinguish themselves by learning joined with modesty. Read the rest of this entry »

Benedict the Green

July 31, 2009


bv091_Benedict-02Blogging tends to be a grumpy medium.  The project of “unmasking” the incoherent or self-serving commitments of others allows the unmasker to indulge in one of the few socially acceptable displays of superiority.  Since the human race in its fallen condition is such a target-rich environment for peevish observations, blogging continues to amuse.  A Christian blogger, however, should at least occasionally evoke the beauty of the tradition that he has received, thus rendering an “account of the hope that is within [him]” (1 Pt 3:25).  In that spirit, I thought I would follow up my first thoughts on Caritas in Veritate and Human Ecology with some thoughts on the beauty of the cosmos conceived according to Christian doctrine. Read the rest of this entry »


July 30, 2009

Welcome to all who are visiting us for the first time.  Tomorrow is our official kick off day, the feast of St. Ignatius, but we’re looking forward to engaging you from a Jesuit (not jesuitical) perspective.  So come back and comment often.  But for now, add us to your bookmarks!  

Nathan O’Halloran, SJ

Benedict and Darwin in 2009

July 14, 2009


It is an important year for Benedict to come out with a new social encyclical. Not only to look back at Populorum Progressio, but also to consider many of the effects of Darwin’s theory 200 years after his birth and 150 years after his publication of On the Origin of the Species. We can make this connection because of Benedict’s concern, as he says, to promote an “integral humanism.” A brief survey of the Introduction to Caritas in Veritate makes clear note of this. Read the rest of this entry »

Caritas in Veritate and Human Ecology

July 8, 2009



I won’t attempt a general appraisal of Caritas in Veritate.  However, I would like to comment on a single idea in the encyclical, a phrase introduced by John Paul in Centesimus Annus and developed by Benedict throughout his pontificate: the “human ecology” (or the “ecology of man”—but why make needless enemies?).  The phrase strikes me as a rather clever reintroduction of the patristic idea of the human person as microcosm, the one who sums up the diverse elements of creation—visible and invisible—in his own person.  Read the rest of this entry »

Prophylactic Soda

July 6, 2009


coca-cola-aluminium1This comment may be a bit passé, but I’ve only just started to blog.  I have a backlog bottled-up ideas.  So here’s an observation about the law of unintended consequences—a law that prevails wherever deeply human problems are given a purely technical solution. For some years now studies have correlated diet soda with weight gain.  Though counter-intuitive, the claim has provoked little opposition.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Priesthood and “Formality”

July 1, 2009


20090318-skating-priestsI’ve been meditiating on Benedict’s “Letter Proclaiming a Year for Priests” while re-reading Mary Douglas’ Natural Symbols. The combination has led me to reflect on both the form and the “formality” of the priesthood. The contrarian in me enjoys the fact that Benedict promotes without embarrassment precisely those priestly ideals that discomfit many priests of an older generation. Read the rest of this entry »