Questions Answered

Question: At the Easter vigil, we read from Genesis that God, on the fourth day, created and separated light from darkness: on the fourth day, he created the sources of light. So, from whence comes the light of the first day? Answer: No … [Read more...]

The Curse of Crying and the Gift of Tears in The Confessions

Tears manifest the reality of the finitude of man. Tears are most often an expression of being overwhelmed by passion. They can be consented to, embraced, wallowed in, squelched, or avoided. Tears are a silent confession of man’s own … [Read more...]

Christian Friendship and the Communion of Saints

Not too long ago, the rector of the local Cathedral died after a battle with cancer. Though not entirely unexpected, his departure from this life affected me deeply. At his funeral, his usual chair next to the choir stalls remained empty, … [Read more...]

What a Catholic Education Owes Its Students

As our students—big and small—begin to return to school, it is good to be reminded of what a truly Catholic education owes its students. For most of human history, education was a private affair between (usually) a young boy and his tutor. … [Read more...]

How Augustine Made Us More than Matter—and Immortal

St. Augustine was fascinated by the human soul. Before and after his conversion to Catholicism, he strove to understand its nature, its relation to the body, and its duration.  Augustine’s thinking on the soul, like the rest of his life, … [Read more...]

Summer Reading for August 2015

The One-Minute Aquinas: The Doctor’s Quick Answers to Fundamental Questions. Kevin Vost, Psy.D. (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2014) 265 pages. $24.15. (Reviewed by Jeffrey S. Burwell, SJ) The Saint Jerome Study Bible: Genesis … [Read more...]

Witnessing to Truth

The Vatican II declaration Nostra Aetate revolutionized the Catholic Church’s relations with non-Christian religions, especially Judaism. The fourth part of this short declaration marked a decisive shift in Catholic-Jewish relations, … [Read more...]

Prayer As Bedrock for Service

Although prayer and service have many splendors within Christianity, one cannot exist without the other. Prayer is spiritual respiration to the soul, which oxygenates Christian service. Pope John XXIII said, “Perfume all your actions with … [Read more...]

“The Indelible Mark”

The history of the development of doctrine is, in many ways, a history of language. It is a story of the perpetual struggle to adequately communicate the divine realities in human words, or at the very least, to attempt to do so without … [Read more...]

Jansenism and Ireland

Too often, writers claim that classic Irish religious culture was “Jansenistic,” or pessimistic, and that Ireland was nothing more than an island with a dark and dreary religious history. Harsh critics point to the recent “scandal” in … [Read more...]

Breaking Free of Our Metaphysical Winter

In diagnosing the philosophical mentality of modernity, the Catholic novelist-physician-philosopher, Walker Percy, once wrote the following: The distinction which must be kept in mind is that between science and what can only be called … [Read more...]

A Holy Priesthood for a Holy People

A groaning in the heart, of one seeking and waiting for God, is appropriate for Advent. A thirsting in the heart for his living water, in this world of dryness, is proper. In this waiting for the holy season of The Incarnation, however, a … [Read more...]

Private Revelation and the Revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

The Nature of Private Revelation When thinking about the idea of private revelation, it occurs to one that there is, and has been, a lot of it going around for centuries; and the reason that it is so successful, both the true and the … [Read more...]

The Beauty of Chastity Today

Chastity is a costly pearl that must be guarded well. Well-lived chastity is a habitual disposition of the heart and mind that makes a person gracious and approachable. The transparent beauty of chastity sees life through a lens of … [Read more...]

Memory: Wired for God in the Eucharist

So, as we reflect on the principle of memory, we are drawn into what lies at the center of it all, Christ and his words in the institution of the Eucharist: “Do this in remembrance of me” (Lk 22:19; 1 Cor.15:25). No Ordinary … [Read more...]