Author: Fr. Jim Sabak, OFM

  • Does Easter Ask Too Much…?

    Does Easter Ask Too Much…?

    “Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory, as they acclaim…” So concludes every Easter Preface in the third edition of the Roman Missal, an ebullient departure from the more succinct conclusion of…

  • Ash Wednesday 2021 – A Pandemic Blessing in Disguise?

    Ash Wednesday 2021 – A Pandemic Blessing in Disguise?

    In 1988, British English language and spirituality educator Elizabeth-Anne Vanek offered this thoughtful insight on Ash Wednesday: You thumbed gritinto my furrowed brow,marking mewith the sign of mortality,the dust of last year’s palms.The cross you tracedseared, smudged skin,and I recalledother ashesetchedinto my heartby those who loved too littleor not at all (Extraordinary Time, 1988). What…

  • A Troubling End to Christmas?

    A Troubling End to Christmas?

      The Christmas Season concludes with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Surprisingly or not, there are people who may not know this. For many Christmas ends in a number ways: on Christmas Day, on civil New Year’s Day, or on Epiphany (whenever it is celebrated). But the truth is that it concludes…

  • Onward from “the Virtual”

    Onward from “the Virtual”

    In a time in history in which everything is “virtual,” we ought never forget that God becomes one like us in truth and in reality.

  • Why Commemorating the Dead in November Matters

    Why Commemorating the Dead in November Matters

    I like to believe that titles are important. Not necessarily heraldic titles, though these can be equally amusing and impressive. Titles for books, however, need to capture both the attention of the potential reader and the essence of the narrative or the theme of the text in a way that draws one into them. The…

  • Mercy is the Problem

    Mercy is the Problem

    During my undergraduate days at The Catholic University of America, I was very fortunate to take an upper level christology course, “Jesus as the Christ,” from William Loewe, ordinary  professor of historical and systematic theology. The course has stayed with me all these years since, even into my own doctoral studies. In one of the…

  • The Alarming Consequences of Communion

    The Alarming Consequences of Communion

    Without over-stating the obvious: we live in a period of our collective human history all at once odd, strange, anxious, confusing, stressful, and strikingly electric. First, a virulent microbe continues to resist being contained. Second, compounding the presence and impact of said microbe, is the acutely tragic realization of our ignorance of the all too…

  • Sacraments After the Pandemic…Business as Usual?

    Sacraments After the Pandemic…Business as Usual?

    Endgame, the 22nd installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, focuses on the mission of the superhero team, The Avengers, to reset time after the catastrophic elimination of half of the world’s population. (You can look up the reasons why this happened on Wikipedia). They succeed in doing so albeit with the loss of Iron Man.…

  • Clericalism and the Pandemic

    Clericalism and the Pandemic

    As any diocesan director of worship knows, there has been much to navigate during this distorting period in human history. At the center of concerns lay the issue of how to deal with the celebration and administration of the sacraments. Yet, in my experience, the greatest difficulties lay not in the necessity of adapting to…