Articles

Revisiting Grace

There is an old Irish saying according to which there is an ebb and flow to every-thing except God’s grace. George Bernanos, in his Diary of a Country Priest, gives a touching illustration of that truth. It is the portrayal of a priest who … [Read more...]

Self-esteem: Biblical or Distracting?

Self-esteem is a relatively modern concept that has been elevated to the point of an all-important virtue by pop psychology, perhaps the virtue in which all others can be found. Christians need to make sense of the word from their own … [Read more...]

The Year of Mercy and the Eucharist

With great joy the world received Pope Francis’s announcement of an extraordinary Jubilee Year focused on the mercy of God. This event was inaugurated by the Bull, Misericordiae Vultus, or The Face of Mercy. The Almighty showed mercy to … [Read more...]

Simony in Spiritual Direction?

When I mentioned this thesis to my classmate, he deemed it “peculiar.” I had to apologize after shouting, “My thesis isn’t peculiar, what’s going on is peculiar!” My thesis is that direct, monetary payment to a spiritual director from … [Read more...]

The Dialectic of Mutual Glorification

In the past century or so, dialectic has become a tool for analyzing many areas of life and thought: we might consider the dialectic between “being-for-itself” (l’être-pour-soi), and “being-for-others” (l’être-pour-autrui) in the philosophy … [Read more...]

Discerning a Call to Priesthood? Some questions you should be asking yourself.

As Catholic seminaries across the country commence a new academic year and re-engage in the crucial work of priestly formation, so too a throng of young Catholic men—some finishing high school, some in college, some into the first years of … [Read more...]

Mercy is a Serious Matter

Pope Francis announced a "Holy Year of Mercy" which began on Dec. 8, 2015, and will end on Nov. 20, 2016. Many imagine that a year of mercy means that people can lift their arms up to the heavens, crying out for God's mercy, and a … [Read more...]

Re-assessing the Role of the Pharisees in the New Testament

1. Premise: a common perception of the Pharisees It has become traditional in the general readings of the New Testament to think of Jesus as being at war with the Pharisees, and their theological perspectives. This ordinary impression … [Read more...]

Mary, Mother of Mercy, Mother of the Priest

Marian titles are so numerous, and devotions so diverse, the litany could confuse and confound those less familiar with Catholic popular piety. The various titles show the relationship of a mother with her children. She can be all things to … [Read more...]

Ministerial Rosary Reflections for Priests

The Church regards the month of October as the rosary month, a practice encouraged by many pontiffs, most especially Pope Leo XIII. Many of our parishioners will dedicate themselves to praying the rosary this month. Some will do so at their … [Read more...]

The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order: A Short Meditation on the Call to Penance

Today there is a new international discussion about Secular Franciscan identity, and the future direction of the Order. The General Chapter of 2014 asked for a “period of serious reflection, involving all members of the Order,” on the … [Read more...]

On Reconstructing Mankind

Managed evolution…is a two pronged attack on human suffering. The first prong is positive, namely the fabrication of ever more perfect humans. The second is negative, requiring the elimination of all defectives, beginning with the smallest … [Read more...]

The 2016 Vote: What is an Informed Catholic to Do?

While national elections always generate much interest and have their share of controversies, this election cycle can be classified as one “for the record books.” Originally seventeen Republican candidates have now withered away to one, … [Read more...]

Writing that Connects with Parishioners

In an essay about his father, William Buckley, Christopher Buckley wrote that he noticed that the parts that sounded most characteristic of his father were actually added to the drafts late in his process of writing. His father, a famously … [Read more...]

Sacramental Ecclesiology in the Loaves and Fishes

In Catholicism, there are those big-time verses that the Church has dogmatically defined as dealing with central questions of doctrine. The papacy is found at Mt 16:18 when Christ himself names Peter as the rock of the one Church he has now … [Read more...]