SATURDAY READING: Phil’s Shadow, by Michael P. Foley

October 4, 2014

The Lessons of Groundhog Day From Touchstone Last December the New York Time ran an intriguing article about a Museum of Modern Art movie series on film and faith.  What attracted the Times to the series was not its pageant of grave Swedish cinema but its opening feature, the 1993 romantic comedy Groundhog Day.  The curators, polling “critics in the literary, religious, and film worlds,” found that the movie “came up so many times that there was actually a squabble over who would write about it in the retrospective’s catalog.” The movie, the article went on to observe, “has become a curious favorite of religious leaders of many faiths, who all see in Groundhog Day a reflection of their own [...]

SATURDAY READING: The Other Side Of Despair, by Thomas Merton

March 29, 2014

From The Critic 24 (October-November 1965) Ten years ago, conservative writers were already engaged in a definitive summing up of the “existentialist revolt.”  What had begun, they said, in the eccentric religiosity of Kierkegaard had ended in the open rebellion of Sartre against all that was decent and sane; and now it had even penetrated Catholic thought with the contagious of situation ethics. But the church was on the watch, the warning had been sounded.  Indeed, the encyclical Humani Generis may have been the reason why Gabriel Marcel repudiated the title “existentialist.”  After a short and competent mopping-up operation in the theological reviews, another victory would be enshrined in the revised editions of the [...]