God Is Not Ineffective Against Evil

The problem of evil is a profound enigma. Even for people who believe in God, the presence of evil can be overwhelming. Many ask, “How could God be so silent or inactive?” A look at history reveals countless evils, including wars and gen … [Read more...]

Newman, Aquinas, and the Development of Doctrine

The question of the development of doctrine, and his investigation of its implications, was crucial to John Henry Newman’s conversion to the Catholic Church. The question with which he struggled was this: how can it be that the Christian f … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – April 2021

The Sacraments: Discovering the Treasures of Divine Life. By Rev. Matthew Kauth. Reviewed by Aaron Martin. (skip to review) Telling Stories That Matter: Memoirs and Essays. By Marvin R. O’Connell. Reviewed by Christopher Siuzdak. (skip t … [Read more...]

Addictions: A Pastoral Approach for the Catholic Spiritual Director and Confessor

Saint Paul refers to a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan that is his constant reminder of the need for God’s grace.[1. 2 Corinthians 12:6–7, New American Bible (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002).]  Al … [Read more...]

Evangelization: The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

A significant number of Catholics — according to the latest Pew Research Center survey, almost two-thirds of self-identifying Catholics — do not believe in the Real Presence. [1. OSV Editorial Board, “The Real Presence,” Our Sunday Visitor, … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – November 2020

Ceremonies Explained for Servers: A Manual for Altar Servers, Acolytes, Sacristans, and Masters of Ceremonies. By Peter J. Elliott. Reviewed by Christopher Siuzdak. (skip to review) The Disabled Church: Human Difference and the Art of … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – October 2020

  Can Francis Change the Church? How American Catholics Are Responding to His Leadership. By Thomas P. Sweetser. Reviewed by Christopher Siuzdak. (skip to review) Into His Likeness: Be Transformed as a Disciple of Christ. By … [Read more...]

Springs of Mercy in the Coronavirus Desert

This period of pandemic has been one of significant suffering and substantial sacrifice. Most notably, we mourn the physical suffering and loss of life of those most deeply affected, and the grief of those who love them. Those of us less … [Read more...]

Boredom, Ordinary Time, and God’s Gift of Himself

It is routine to hear people good-heartedly mock the reasonableness of the Church’s liturgical calendar “celebrating” “Ordinary Time.” To celebrate ordinariness is a true curiosity within Western culture, because its members routinely seek e … [Read more...]

Perserverance in the Face of Imperfect Ministers

Too frequently, practicing Catholics encounter family members and friends who are dismayed by the priestly and hierarchal abuse scandals. They have lost faith in the hierarchy and priests, not knowing whom they can trust. Consequently, they … [Read more...]

Evil as Good and Good as Evil

“Woe to those who say evil is good and good is evil . . .” (Isaiah 5:20) The response of a person who has their conscience pricked will range from one of irritation to annoyance, impatience, anger, and, depending on the state of the ind … [Read more...]

A Forthright Faith

In his book Conversion, Donald Haggerty relates the following story: Toward the close of the Spanish Civil War, two soldiers from the Communist Republican faction were returning to their barracks after a night of drinking and cavorting … [Read more...]

The Burning of a Cathedral

The Indestructible and Inconsumable Mysteries that Burn Within

Flames ravage the iconic Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France. A priest, along with firefighters, rushes to rescue the Blessed Sacrament as well as the famous relic of the Crown of Thorns. All of this on what might be called Holy or … [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...]