I presided at the wedding of one of my former students yesterday, and the church was full. Do you know how rare it is, first of all, to have a wedding in a Catholic church these days, much less have one with over 200 people in the pews? Young Catholics regularly now choose destination weddings on a beach or in an exotic location overseas, presided over by their best friend or their father.Read More
A week ago when we were at our Alpha Retreat in Connecticut, we passed the city of Bridgeport, and I saw signs for an event called Swim Across the Sound. They do it every year—hundreds of swimmers racing across 16 miles of the Long Island Sound to raise millions of dollars for cancer care. Three years ago I was there, not to race, but to film it all from a boat.Read More
A friend of mine has a new Tesla. It’s the top of the line car, the model X. It has everything, including a feature called Summon, that literally parks or retrieves his car from its parking space automatically while he stands on the sidewalk.Read More
I was in the subway, it was Friday, and there were men, Orthodox Jews, waiting in a cluster at the station, and they had books out and open, Hebrew spilling across the pages, and they were saying the words softly out loud. It was Friday, the sun was beginning to set, and their prayer had begun.Read More
When I was a baby Jesuit I went on a 200 mile pilgrimage in upstate New York, where I had to beg for food and shelter, relying on the Lord working through strangers I met.Read More
Recently I was with one of my former students, eating great quesadillas at Chipotle. We were talking about a movie I had recommended called My Dinner with Andre, which deals essentially with the question of the guy in today’s gospel story, kind of like, 'what's the meaning of life'. I find myself having that conversation with young people often these days.Read More
It's the beginning of July, and on Thursday the fourth we'll celebrate our freedom once again with flags and fireworks and flaming frankfurters. It's a good time, the beginning of summer, the beginning of July, time to take some time off, let go, enjoy your freedom. That’s what the fourth of July is about, right? Freedom? Glory…. GLORY Halleluia!
I looked at the wings of the plane as the pilot announced we were beginning our descent over Cambodia. They move, you know, the wings of a plane: bending up or down, sometimes as much as 15 feet either way, as they surf the winds that swirl in the skies above our heads. I thought about the aerodynamics that lifted the wings and held us aloft like birds in the air.Read More
Not long ago I was minding my sister’s dog Yogi, and every day of course, I had to take him out for walks like good dog owners do. We had some spectacularly beautiful days: clear skies, bright April sun, warm breezes on your face—perfect days for a long dog walk, with lots of time to think about your life.Read More
Oreo was a big, happy three-legged old mutt of a dog, who lived with my sister and her family up in Vermont. In her prime she would fight the good fight with the dastardly squirrels, who taunted her constantly, but they were too clever and she was too dumb and she rarely won the good fight.Read More
Whenever I think about family, I think about food.
Maybe it goes back to my mother, who like many mothers, was the center of our family, and whenever I think of her, I think of the meals she made for us.Read More
I’ve been recently sampling some shows on Netflix and HBO and Amazon, and in many of them—even the comedies—there is such a cynical view of the world. Many of them have characters who are young adults, and they are often self-absorbed and cynical about life, and their issues are familiar to anyone who has friends or children in that stage of their lives.Read More
There are times when ‘surprise’ is not strong enough.Read More
I’m thinking about those cloaks they threw down on the muddy ground. Throwing your cloak onto the ground was a sign of submission and showing respect. They were pretty important pieces of clothing.Read More
I stopped to pick up the bagel rolling away in the wind,
She sat there alone in the hallway of the studio, waiting to be called to audition for my film, her fingers doodling in the sand. The ad for the audition said: mature woman 60-70 years old needed. I could see her through the window of the rehearsal room, and I thought of my Aunt Anna.Read More
Not a study or a den, but El Florida as my mother called it, a pretty name for the room with the prettiest view of the lipstick-red hibiscus puckered up against the windows, the tepid breeze laden with the brown-sugar scent of loquats drifting in from the yard.
I think I was on my third or fourth ravioli and the bread was great and the wine was better and we were having a good conversation about some movie, my friend and I, and of course I secretly harbored the opinion that my celluloid observations were far more brilliant than my companion's because after all I am the filmmaker, am I not, but anyway the dinner was, as I said, going down well in this quiet little restaurant, until this... disturbance began.Read More
Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here we sat with our hands folded on our desks in silence, for the full two hours