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...]

Natural and Supernatural Faith

Introduction Well-formed Catholics know that we are infused at baptism with sanctifying grace and with the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Some know that these virtues reside in potency, and not automatically in actuality. … [Read more...]

The New Pagans and the Church

A 1958 Lecture by Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). Translated by Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.

According to religious statistics, old Europe is still a part of the earth that is almost completely Christian. But there is hardly another case in which everyone knows as well as they do here that the statistic is false: This so-called … [Read more...]

To Whom Shall We Go?

(“To whom shall we go?” John 6: 66-69)[1. “As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, ‘Do you also want to leave?’ Simeon Peter answered him, … [Read more...]

Sometimes It’s Best to Cover Your Eyes

After best-selling author, conservative blogger, and frequent First Things contributor, Rod Dreher, converted from Catholicism to Orthodoxy, he published many pieces about why he left the Catholic Church. In his book, How Dante Can Save … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: Could Jesus perform miracles of his own accord? Did he not empty himself and rely on the Father as we do by faith? We are to have faith to move mountains. What better way to make the point than Jesus praying in thanksgiving before … [Read more...]

Lord, I Would Believe

In this little expostulation, let us take a closer look at the state of mind of the demoniac’s desperate father, who says, “Lord I believe; help thou my unbelief.” It is not uncommon to recollect this expression of hope in the words, “Lord, … [Read more...]

Memories Make the Future

The community of faith throughout the entire biblical tradition has been called to tell its story to others. Jesus affirmed that those who love him will keep his word and share it with others (Jn 14:24)...  Old Testament prophet's … [Read more...]