Articles

A God with Skin

Recapturing the Incarnational Nature of the Sacraments

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:14) Since her beginning, the Catholic Church has been an incarnational institution, a B … [Read more...]

Believing and Praying

The Power of Homilies

It’s often been said that by reflecting on what we have received in the tradition of liturgical prayer we can discover what we believe; prayer as a source of doctrine. The reverse is also true. What we believe determines what we pray — or wh … [Read more...]

A Surprising Beatitude

Dashing the Little Ones upon the Rock

In a 2007 class on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Jesuit Fr. James Swetnam passed along to us two words of wisdom from German Biblical scholar Joachim Jeremias. The first word: read a chapter of New Testament Greek every day. Indeed, very wise … [Read more...]

The Noonday Devil

The ninety-first psalm speaks of “the scourge that wreaks havoc at high noon.” It also expresses confidence in God’s protection from that scourge, as well as other evils. Based on that psalm some spiritual writers speak of the “Noonday Devil … [Read more...]

The Enriching Complementarity of Faith and Science

“By faith alone do we hold, and by no demonstration can it be proved, that the world did not always exist,” writes St. Thomas Aquinas, implicitly making a claim about the proper relationship between faith and science.[1. Thomas Aquinas, Sum … [Read more...]

Happiness — A Thomistic Consideration (Part II)

Continued Reflections on Summa Theologiae I-II, Q 1–5

Introduction to Part II The three pillars of Catholic social teaching, which springs from natural law and human nature, are human dignity, common good, and subsidiarity. Within societal structures with hierarchical poleis (e.g., federal, … [Read more...]

Mary Is Made for You

Sometime ago a priest gave what may initially seem a cryptic kind of homily. Personally, I have not heard a homily about Mary such as this, and yet this is precisely the homily that men need (and, by direct extension, what women need men) … [Read more...]

Answers Concerning the Charism of Healing

The recent article by my colleague Phil Blosser, “Questions Concerning the Charism of Healing,” gives me an opportunity to address the misconceptions, concerns, and fears that many Catholics have about prayer for healing and about the cha … [Read more...]

Happiness — A Thomistic Consideration (Part I)

A Reflection on Summa Theologiae I-II, Q 1–5

Introduction At some point in the life of every human person the great questions arise in their ponderings: “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” These questions encompass the ultimate question of our own mortality: … [Read more...]

Finding Christ in the Beggar, Finding Christ in the Chalice

If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice. – St. John Chrysostom.[1. Attributed to St. John Chrysostom, this may be a short paraphrase of Homily 50.4 on the Gospel of Matthew.] The m … [Read more...]

An Advent Examination

Advent is not a season of penance, but of preparation. Advent prepares us for the two comings of Christ, that is, the Incarnation and the Eschaton. However, amid the garlands and the gifts, we all know how easy it is to become wrapped up in … [Read more...]

Exploring Harmful Anger in and at Marriage and the Priesthood

The protection of one’s marriage and children from the harm caused by excessive anger is an important responsibility for parents in their vocation. Particularly challenging is the uncovering and addressing of anger expressed in a covert, m … [Read more...]

The Benedict Option for a “Monastic” Church

Abstract Rod Dreher proposes what he calls the “Benedict Option,” by which he means a return to a monastic paradigm for Christian life, opting for the City of God in contrast to the City of Man. This world isn’t our home. It’s the desert th … [Read more...]

Minister in the Sanctuary

Christ’s High Priesthood in the Letter to the Hebrews

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” – Hebrews 4:14 The author of the Letter to the Hebrews advocates a novel manner of approaching th … [Read more...]

The Necessity of Confession and Its Seal

Any Catholic reading the report of Australia’s Royal Commission of Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse must be appalled by the multiple instances of child abuse in ecclesial institutions perpetrated by priests, religious, and l … [Read more...]