Speaking the Same Language

Catholic How

Aramaic Jesus

(Tomb-stone. 1 cent. C.E. Private collection)

by Patrick Angiolillo

Language is communication. Without language, whether written or spoken or in whatever medium it may be, one is unable to communicate with others in a meaningful, relational way. When we ask how God communicates with humanity, language necessarily plays a role in this inquiry. This is perhaps why there may be such high stakes surrounding the answer to the question What language did Jesus speak?

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Catholic What? Catholic How.

Catholic How

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By Matt Janeczko, OFM Cap.

More than a year ago, when attempting to fix a name to this project, we played around with numerous words bearing inquisition in their context: how, what, and why come to mind. After settling upon “how,” the question then became where “how” would reside relative to Catholic. First thoughts suggested “How Catholic,” presented as a question could work. Then we realized the polemical connotations explicit in such a moniker: and let’s be honest, isn’t there enough polemic (Catholic included!) on the interwebs these days? From there, we thought “How Catholic” as a statement would be the next best thing. The flow didn’t seem correct and, quite frankly, the transposition of a period and a question mark seemed likely. And so we become and continue to be “CatholicHow,” a website produced by Catholic young adults seeking to consider the many ways “how” to be Catholic in…

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Why Holy Saturday Isn’t a Day of Sorrow

Catholic How

rolling_stone

By Brian Niemiec

One of my earliest memories of Holy Saturday was asking my father why Grandpop only ate bread and water on the Saturday before Easter.  I don’t even remember my dad’s response, but every year my Grandpop would eat only a little bread and water as he waited for Easter morning.  I used to think that his practice was a continuation of the fasting and repentance that the Church practices on Good Friday.  Yet this simple meal for a humble and loving man speaks less to fasting, and more to the true nature of Holy Saturday.

Each Gospel account to a greater or lesser extent portrays the Apostles in a less than flattering light. Throughout the ministry of Jesus we come to understand that at many times these twelve men were not the sharpest knives on the first century Palestine cutting block.  A particularly challenging concept for them was the Resurrection.  Jesus told…

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The Role of the Catholic Biblical Scholar: An Ongoing Consideration

Catholic How

by Patrick Angiolillo

As one semester comes to a close and another opens its doors, students and teachers alike are gearing up for their continued quest for knowledge. With all the buzz of applications, papers, and conferences, it is not difficult for me, a Masters student, to lose opportunities to reflect on what exactly it is I and my fellow students—especially we students of religion or theology or divinity—are doing when we engage new semester with new texts and new questions.

I have come to no deep conclusions, no profound realizations about this process, this career, even. On one level—quite superficially, perhaps—we are engaging in historical investigations. Myself, especially, as a student of biblical studies, or the even more obscure Second Temple Judaism, am easily claimed as one chiefly concerned with the production, reception, and interpretation of ancient texts. As are my closest colleagues, although some perhaps prefer the dirtier…

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A Liturgically-Minded Poet

Catholic How

by Patrick Angiolillo

Among my favorite poets is the little known, but tremendously talented twentieth century Jewish American poet Samuel Menashe. His was something of a late-bloomer in the literary community, at least in terms of his recognition. Indeed, late in his life, he won the Poetry Foundation’s Neglected Masters Award, receiving it in the first year of its presentation. But his poetry, regardless of it’s critical review, is some of the most concise expression of the deep and profound matters of life and faith.

The English Movement poet Donald Davie described Menashe’s verse as “liturgical”; indeed, he classifies Menashe’s poetry as expressly “un-literary.” Rather, Menashe’s is a “very insistently linguistic” poetry. As an educated American Jew, Menashe grew up with Yiddish, but learned English early on, and has acquired French by his teenage years. And, knowing his story, I would guess he was not unfamiliar with Hebrew and Italian…

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There and Back Again: Glimpsing Heaven

Catholic How

by Patrick Angiolillo

Earlier in January, the story broke that the popular book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,  written by Alex Malarkey and his father, is a hoax. The book, which details Alex’s journeys to and from heaven while  suffering a coma after an unfortunate car accident as a child, was all fabricated by the boy in order to garner attention. He publicly admitted to this fact in an open letter.

This story finds itself as one of the latest installments in a somewhat new (although, actually quite old) phenomenon known as “heavenly tourism.” This sub-genre of Christian literature (perhaps equally to be called a sub-culture of Christian culture) is probably not as familiar to Catholics as it is to some Protestants. But either way, it is a movement within the Christian faith in which people claim to have experienced a journey to and back from heaven in…

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The Other Other Pro-Life

Catholic How

By Matt Keppel

Now, I’m not much for a soap-box… not big ones at least.  Nevertheless, some soap-boxes are worth speaking on, especially when the discussions come down to issues of life.  Yes, this is an article about being pro-life! (knowing nods and eye-rolls) Not abortion or death penalty, but the life of the family. When it comes to pro-life issues, family life is often lost or looped in with abortion, but the life of the family is by every right a major issue on its own (albeit intimately connected to the others).

The Church in the United States has, since its coming, always been one of the working class. Our fathers and grandfathers worked in factories and fields toiling for a better life and we got just that.  We were given power in this country. Many of us even made names for ourselves! We knew what we wanted; we…

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