SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Larry Chapp

April 26, 2021
This essay for Chapter House first appeared on 1 June 2020. Pope Benedict XVI has claimed that the most salient feature of the crisis in contemporary Western civilization is our collective forgetfulness of God. Predictably, this claim has met with widespread ridicule and dismissal — often from within the Catholic household — as the typically
October 27, 2020
“[T]he Lord has given us so many days of sun and of light winds, days when the catch was abundant; there were also moments when the waters were rough and the winds against us, as throughout the Church’s history, and the Lord seemed to be sleeping. But I have always known that the Lord is
October 07, 2020
Chapter House regular Larry Chapp takes a swing at Bishop Robert Barron’s implacable critics. As a general rule I am not a fan of celebrity priests. They often operate outside the established structures of ecclesiastical discipline, packing unaccountable war chests and creating online followings that make it difficult for any bishop to rein them in.
September 30, 2020
Larry Chapp is fed up. “It is your civic duty to be involved!” I suppose that is true, but how one defines getting “involved” is a matter of debate—one that is frequently intense and contentious in an election year. Dorothy Day didn’t even vote. She considered it a pointless gesture at best. At worst, it
September 18, 2020
Death teaches us that we are no mere mortals. About a month ago I received in the mail something quite extraordinary and unexpected. A man I had known in seminary passed away and left me $1000 in his will. I left before being ordained a priest, and I had not seen or spoken to Bob
September 09, 2020
Pope Francis has come in for a good bit of grief over his insistence on “accompaniment” as an essential element of Christian life and the mission of the Church. While he may deserve some of that criticism, it is certain that he has not received the credit he deserves for kick-starting a needful conversation. “Accompaniment”
September 02, 2020
Christ’s mercy is not a grace that comes cheap, nor does it imply the trivialization of evil. Christ carries the full weight of evil and all its destructive force in His body and in His soul. He burns and transforms evil in suffering, in the fire of His suffering love. The day of vindication and
July 02, 2020
Groups are calling on Facebook to police content: why does Facebook care? This past week we learned that many of the big corporate advertisers on Facebook have pulled their ads citing the social media platform’s failure to filter out racist “hate speech”. The suspensions come after calls from advocacy groups to bring pressure on the
June 23, 2020
This isn’t doomsday—not even the zombie apocalypse—but the stakes are still high. The late, great, Italian philosopher Augusto del Noce asserts that modern culture, like all cultures, is rooted in a defining narrative—a myth of origins if you will—but with the peculiar idiosyncrasy of being a grand periodization of all previous narratives with an eye
June 18, 2020
There is work to do in America The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago. The conclusion of that great contest created the conditions for a prohibition on slavery to be written into our Constitution. Neither the War nor the subsequent round of Constitutional amendment and legislation, however, destroyed the casts of mind or
June 11, 2020
As I have watched the events of the past weeks unfold, I have asked myself, “How could we not have seen this coming?”  Should we not have known that there is still systemic injustice and inequality in our society, engendering deep resentment and anger waiting for an event to set off the fault lines running
May 31, 2020
Dorothy Day’s spirituality of presence in the world was rooted in tradition & uniquely suited to the laity  Dorothy Day was a Benedictine oblate. What most attracted Dorothy Day to the Benedictine way was the coming together of deep Christian faith with the tradition of hospitality. That tradition is written into the very rule of
May 06, 2021
"[A]mong misfits," writes Larry Chapp in this essay from the Chapter House vault, "the deepest pain is caused by the most casual verbal cruelties. One soon learns that the community of misfits includes us all."
April 20, 2021
In his Good Friday homily this year, the preacher to the papal household warned the Church against division. He should have turned around and spoken to the greatest source of it, Pope Francis himself.