The Way of Beauty

May 04, 2016

A Tribute to Mothers

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Every major tradition, culture, and nation celebrates Mother’s Day.  Each of us knows instinctively that this day belongs to those special women we call our mothers, living or deceased.  The noun mother refers to a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth. Mother is a relational word, as is father. An expectant mother conceives, carries within her, and nourishes a developing human person.   Motherhood is God’s miraculous gift from which emerges human life...

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April 27, 2016

'Little Boy Lost'

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In September 1953, the movie “Little Boy Lost” starring Bing Crosby had its New York premiere to benefit the Overseas Press Club.  Bosley Crowther wrote about it in the New York Times: “. . . [H]ere Mr. Crosby is playing a straight dramatic role in a picture of deep emotional content and genuinely tragic overtones.  Except for two or three songs that are worked in consistently, there are few other points of contact with the bright and chipper Bingle of old.  And yet it must be said for...

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April 20, 2016

The Beauty of Catholic Poetry

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

April has been set aside as National Poetry Month, and this Saturday marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth.   In an essay entitled “Poetry:  Who Needs It?” the author William Logan observes:  “… The way we live now is not poetic.  We live in prose.  . . . But to live continually in a natter of ill-written and ill-spoken prose is to become deaf to what language can do.  . . . Poetry has long been a major art with a minor audience.”   The dirty secret of poetry is...

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April 13, 2016

'Don’t Go. Stay with Us.'

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Most of us have seen war movies in which families are exchanging good-byes with loved ones.  The parting evokes few words; the unspoken feelings repeat: ‘Don’t go. Stay with us.’  The Risen Lord Humors Two Disciples A few days after the Resurrection event, two disciples, Cleopas and his friend, were walking along the road to Emmaus.  Jesus, now the Risen Lord, caught up with them and joined in the lively conversation. They of course didn’t recognize him. On the one hand, they vented...

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April 06, 2016

Doubt and Faith

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Last week, the New York Times published an article entitled, “God Is a Question, Not an Answer.”  Its author William Irwin asks if we should avoid claiming with certainty whether or not God exists.  And what of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? The Gospel narratives record at least seven instances of disbelief in the Lord’s Resurrection.  The words were spoken not by outright disbelievers but by most of the Eleven.  On returning from the empty tomb, the women couldn’t wait to announce the...

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March 30, 2016

Peter and the Lord’s Resurrection

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Reading the Gospel narratives of the Resurrection can be confusing. They break off suddenly and contain contrasts and contradictions that crisscross each other.  Yet one thing is clear. The Evangelists depict the women disciples as unwavering in their belief that the Lord had truly risen.  Their devotion to him could not be questioned.  The angel at the empty tomb told Mary Magdalene and the other women to announce the good news to the disciples.  Because of their great love, they...

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March 23, 2016

Bitter Tears

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The sudden death of a spouse or a family member, or problems with children—these experiences can evoke bitter tears.  Betrayal of one’s trust by a dear friend can prompt a similar pent-up reaction.  Such a shameful act can wreak havoc on the offended person, but the betrayer must live with his or her offense. Which brings us to Peter. Overview of Peter’s Betrayal What drove Peter’s treachery on that fateful night, shortly after boasting to Jesus: “I will never deny you?”  It is true...

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March 16, 2016

The Making of a Disciple II

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

On May 13th, 1940, Winston Churchill, the newly-elected Prime Minister of Britain, delivered a memorable speech to the Ministers of the Admiralty and the House of Commons. At war with Nazi Germany, Britain had one aim: victory. Chilling words followed, however, as he orated: “I have nothing to offer you but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” They bellowed across the cities and throughout the countryside uniting the Brits in shared sacrifice for a common purpose. Centuries before, Peter...

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March 09, 2016

Walking with Peter: The Neophyte

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

He stood tall, burly, and hot-headed, an uneducated common man, a seasoned fisherman from Bethsaida, a town on the Sea of Galilee, and using human logic, hardly the one suited for ministry.  The fifteenth-century Florentine painter Masaccio depicts him with a full head of curly hair, furrowed brow, daring eyes, straight nose a la Fiorentina, and a well-trimmed beard.  You wouldn’t want to mess with him.  So, what was Jesus thinking when he signaled, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will...

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March 02, 2016

Love among the Saints

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In mid-February, the BBC broke a story concerning the friendship between Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II and Dr. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, a prominent Polish philosopher.  “The friendship defies definition,” the reporter Ed Stourton wrote, “they were more than friends and less than lovers.”   Dr. Tymieniecka was married to the Harvard professor of economics, Hendrick S. Hauthakker when she began corresponding with the Cardinal-Archbishop in 1973 about phenomenology,...

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