Leonard J. DeLorenzo
Leonard J. DeLorenzo is the director of Notre Dame Vision, the Notre Dame Catechist Academy, and the Notre Dame Character Project.
Editorial Note: This excerpt is taken from an essay by the same name originally published at Church Life Journal on December 18, 2018.
We want to say that love is unconditional. It seems right. It is equal parts comforting and challenging. It is comforting because if I am loved, then there is nothing I can do to lose that. It is challenging because in order to love, I have to will to be untroubled by obstacles. We do not want to say love is conditional because we fear submitting love to the twisted logic of relationship terrorism: if you do not meet my demands, I deprive you of what is good for you, or vice versa. We think of conditions as qualifications and we do not want to attach qualifications to love. So we say love is unconditional. But that is wrong. Love is always conditional.
church life journal
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
During Lent a few years ago, I decided to reflect intentionally on the questions of Jesus. By that, I mean the questions that Jesus asks as recorded in the gospels. It turns out he asks a lot of questions, and not a single one of them is innocuous. What I discovered is that if we are willing to hear him, his questions will jolt us, surprise us, trouble us, and potentially even transform us. The only thing that is guaranteed to not happen if you let Jesus ask you questions is that you will remain comfortable. And so my Lenten practice turned out to be quite uncomfortable—beautifully and wonderfully uncomfortable.
Some of the most splendid preaching in the Catholic tradition has occurred during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Here we provided excerpts from the seasonal sermons of three exceptional preachers and Christian witnesses: St. John Newman, Fr. Alfred Delp, and St. Oscar Romero.
These sermons were the subject of the Church Life Today episode entitled “The Three Wisemen.”
We at the McGrath Institute for Church Life want to observe and celebrate Thanksgiving in a special way. On our radio show and podcast, Church Life Today, we shared five passages about the Eucharist and thanksgiving, with reflections to guide us into rediscovering how an exchange of thanksgiving occurs in the Sacrament of Sacraments. We know, of course, that the holiday Thanksgiving is not itself about the Eucharist. But this civic holiday is probably the closest in character to our religious holidays, and all the more because it is a feast dedicated to giving thanks. For those who revere and adore the Eucharist, we know that being transformed by that particular and unique “thanksgiving” should shape and transform our entire lives.
communion of saints,
Church Life Today
In the first part of this series, I offered a “Naughty List” of preaching don’ts for Trinity Sunday. Below is the “Nice List” or “Thou Shalts” (or at least "shouldsts") for Trinity Sunday, along with some additional commentary.