Author: Artur Rosman

Church Life Journal’s Best of 2018

Dear Readers, Thank you for blessing Church Life Journal with your support this past year. We reached more readers with our theological explorations than we could have ever imagined. We couldn’t have done it without all your generous shares, retweets, and personal recommendations. Please keep them coming. My special thanks also goes out to Tim O’Malley for his sage meta-advice on running the journal’s many operations, and Jay Martin for introducing me to an endless stream of contributors. Ultimately, my thanks goes out to all our contributors who continually surprise me with the quality, intelligence, and beauty of their writing. I submit to you our most-read essays of 2018 below as a token of my appreciation and as a promise of what you can expect in 2019 (besides a website redesign). Please click on the essay titles to access what look like the most intriguing reads. A Happy New Year to you and Merry conclusion to your Christmas season. May your Christmas trees make it to February 2nd! In Christ, Artur Rosman, CLJ Managing Editor The …

Our Lady of Lourdes and the Pathologizing of Pain

I don’t promise you happiness in this life, but in the next. —Marian apparition at Massabielle to St. Bernadette The meaninglessness of suffering is a self-evident modern axiom. Who wants to suffer from pain? What is there to learn from pain other than learning what medications will treat it? Is it not normal to want to avoid pain and suffering at all costs? It seems perverse and backwards to suggest otherwise. The community of those who insist on pain’s therapeutic worth and intelligibility, who refuse to stop suffering, are pushed into margins of what is acceptable to modern society. Yet, Pope Saint John Paul II made nonetheless the Catholic case for suffering against this tide of incomprehension in the Apostolic Letter, Salvifici Doloris. The pope’s reflections are a commentary on the following passage from Colossians: “I am now happy in the suffering that I endure for you” (1:24). John Paul II grounds his argument (delivered “on the liturgical Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11 February 1984”) in the foundations of Christian anthropology: The joy …

The Shape of Water Swims to a 2018 Best Picture Oscar; Let’s Keep the Memory of the Other Films Afloat

The 2018 Academy Award for Best Picture went to The Shape of Water. See previews of what our mostly Notre Dame experts said about The Shape of Water, and all the other stellar nominees below: THE SHAPE OF WATER:  This is the final gift of the movie, a poetic glimpse at eternity. Certainly, one could interpret the poem as speaking about the love between two mortals, two fairy tale lovers. In that case, the poem is a pleasant bromide, an obvious overstatement of the finite love possible between two finite beings. Or, one can read the poem through a more transcendent lens revealing a love even greater than we creatures are capable, a divine love that truly takes the shape of water . . . [READ MORE] GET OUT: One of the most important achievements of Jordan Peele’s film is that it uses satire and horror to comment on race while so effectively telling a story about a protagonist with whom it impossible not to empathize. Peele is keenly aware of the power of a …