Led Into the Truth

September 10, 2010

Gridiron virtue

By Fr. Joshua Allen

A few weeks ago, I attended a high school football game—something I haven’t done since I was in high school, so I was excited to have the opportunity. The teams playing were part of a special league for private schools: mostly religious including some home school families. I don’t remember parents being a problem when I played sports as a younger man.  I recall that my little league games were pleasant; parents and teammates were supportive.  I don’t recall high school football games being...

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August 27, 2010

Spiritual Reading, Part II

By Fr. Joshua Allen

In my last column, I began a "Top-10" list of spiritual books. This column is a continuation and a conclusion of that list. You might be surprised by the more contemporary selections, and perhaps you will be reassured by the classics! In any event, I hope you enjoy the recommendations: 6) The Way, The Furrow, and the Forge by St. Josemaria Escrivá. This might be cheating. Technically these are three separate books, but the edition I have is only one volume, so I count it as one book. I...

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August 13, 2010

Spiritual Reading, Part I

By Fr. Joshua Allen

It’s the doldrums of August.  The kids are already running around the parking lot for the parish school, both excited and horrified that school has begun again, and I am nearing the end of my summer assignment.  A few days ago, a friend asked me an interesting question and I thought I would turn it into a column: “What are the top ten spiritual books, in your opinion?” Since school is starting and people are feeling a bit more studious in general, I decided to give the list some...

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July 30, 2010

An Extraordinary Witness

By Fr. Joshua Allen

This summer, one of my regular duties is to visit the hospital down the street from the Cathedral. I have had the singular experience of doing so with a veteran priest from our diocese, Fr. Richard Morrow. He really makes me want to be a priest. Here’s the way it usually goes: I walk with Fr. Morrow to the room. He always has the oils. I always have the Eucharist. I look at my sheet, mention the person’s first name, and Fr. Morrow knocks, “Is it okay to come in?”  The patient is, I think,...

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July 16, 2010

Last Man Standing

By Fr. Joshua Allen

Dressed in cassock and surplice, I stood in the work sacristy of Christ the King Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia on June 26. The air conditioning was either broken or was so tepid that the room was approaching eighty-five degrees. The humidity was high, the Cathedral was full, and the sacristy was packed with seminarians and Masters of Ceremonies. Six men, one after another, knelt in front of the bishop, who placed his hands on them. Then they knelt as some 100 priests from around the...

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June 24, 2010

The Light of the World

By Fr. Joshua Allen

Light and darkness are major themes in the Scriptures.  This semester, I have been taking a course on the Johannine Literature at my University. It is my last biblical course before I receive my degree.  Johannine writings include the Gospel of John, the letters of John, and the Book of Revelation.  Particularly in the Gospel, but certainly developed elsewhere, the idea of the light entering into the darkness is prevalent. It begins with the famous Prologue to John’s Gospel: “In him was...

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June 04, 2010

The Unity of Sports

By Fr. Joshua Allen

I admit that I have always had an affinity for Clint Eastwood.  My Dad was a huge fan of his movies, so I grew up with Dirty Harry making my day, all things good, bad, and ugly, including zany orangutans, pink Cadillacs, and no shortage of raspy guttural one-liners.  I remember seeing “Unforgiven” in the movie theatre.  As a kid, I hated the movie—it was the non-Western—some sort of move to show realism, and I didn’t like it one bit.  As I got older, I came to appreciate it, and now I love...

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May 07, 2010

To See the Face of God and Live

By Fr. Joshua Allen

About two weeks ago, I had the extraordinary opportunity of seeing the Shroud of Turin.  During the summer I spent in Jerusalem, I learned a great deal about the Shroud.  At the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem, there is an exposition on the various scientific investigations of the Shroud. Without fail, a tour through that well-designed display deepens the experience pilgrims have of their encounter with God.  In learning to give tours of the exhibition, I developed a keen interest and...

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April 23, 2010

Odysseus Defeated?

By Fr. Joshua Allen

About a year ago, I was in the Amalfi region with some friends.  The Amalfi Coast is famous all over the world for the fantastic views from its sheer cliffs that rise out of the turquoise Mediterranean.  For some reason, we decided we wanted to drive down to the water. So we began descending through largely unmarked labyrinthine streets, twisting and turning as they dropped hundreds of feet.  In a small town at the beach, we found a little pizza joint where we sat and enjoyed the spectacle. ...

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April 09, 2010

Sicut dixit: Just As He Said

By Fr. Joshua Allen

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Passion of St. Matthew is truly a masterpiece of the oratorio repertoire.  I listened to pieces of it all through Holy Week.  The Passion is often performed with two separate choruses and orchestras, which finally come together in a triumphant but haunting final meditation.  The partial orchestras, sometimes without strings, sometimes without bass, often in minor progressions which are difficult to understand and evocative of a desperate situation, resolve into unity...

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