The Penitent Thief

I lowered my eyes this morning as I began my prayers and saw this on the ground between my feet.

I immediately recalled these words from The Brothers Karamazov

“I was there when the Word who died on the cross rose up into heaven bearing on his bosom the soul of the penitent thief.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov as it appears in
The Vitruvian Man’s Book of Hours

God speaks to us in many ways.  All we must do is be attentive and listen.

Lonesome Dove

After watching and thoroughly enjoying the 1883 and 1923 film series on Paramount+, I decided to read Lonesome Dove.  I recall watching the miniseries 35 years ago.  It was excellent.

The further I got into the book, the more I remembered how much I enjoyed the miniseries those many years ago.  I proceeded to purchase it on Amazon Prime.  After watching the first episode, Marie and I continued to watch the remaining three episodes on consecutive nights.  Phenomenal.  As much as we enjoyed 1883 and 1923, Lonesome Dove was superior to both.

The strength of the 1988 Lonesome Dove miniseries is the characters.  Most notably, Tommy Lee Jones as Captain Woodrow Call and Robert Duvall as Augustus McCrae, two retired Texas Rangers.  I search my mind and try to find any actor perfectly cast in a role like these two.  The closest I can come up with are Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump.  The entire Lonesome Dove ensemble falls in the same category as Jones and Duvall, each perfectly cast in his or her role.

Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones as Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call

We often say the book is better than the film.  While this may be the case with Lonesome Dove, I decided not to finish reading the book.  That is how much I enjoyed the film.

If you enjoy a good story, good writing, and superior acting, I invite you to revisit Lonesome Dove.  You will be glad you did.

The Garden of Gethsemane

I have long embraced Ignatian Spirituality where I insert myself into a scene in which I am writing. Writing has always been a personal experience for me, but never less than when I wrote Gaspar, Another Tale of the Christ.

As approach the ‘difficult’ part of Holy Week, I invite you to read – and hopefully experience – this excerpt from Gaspar. It is how I emersed myself in the final night Jesus lived.



International Holocaust Remembrance Day

This piece was originally posted several years ago…


Today, January 27, 2015 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust, estimated at 6 million Jews, 2 million gypsies, 15,000 homosexuals, and countless other millions like Edith Stein, Maximilian Kolbe, and Bronisław Czech who gave their lives to resist one man’s unfortunate choice to eliminate a people from the face of the earth.

The United Nations established this memorial day in 2005.  The date coincides with the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau – the largest Nazi death camp – on January 27, 1945. Continue reading International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Merry Christmas

Writing a book is an act of creation.  I hold a special place in my heart for each of the seven works of fiction I have created.  I would be hard-pressed to say I like this one more than that one.  Each work has its strengths… and weaknesses.

E.S. KraayOne sequence that I am particularly fond of is the Nativity sequence I wrote for Gaspar, Another Tale of the Christ.  One of the highlights of my literary career occurred in January 2015 when my friend Alistair McKenzie came to Tucson and read the sequence at weekend masses at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Picture Rocks, Arizona.

As Christmas rapidly approaches, I want to share Alistair’s reading of that sequence again with the thought that it might help strengthen our convictions and purpose as we conclude one year and move forward into another.

Merry Christmas