Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?

Aquinas on the Divinity of the Johannine Christ

In his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus, the noted Jewish historian of the first century, described Jesus of Nazareth as a “wise man [sophos anēr] . . . a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.”[1. “sophos anēr . . . didask … [Read more...]

On the Problem of Mental Reservation

Should we lie when the Nazi stands at the door and asks us his infamous evil question? Traditional proposals about how to solve this problem by means of what is called “mental reservation” tend to be unsatisfying, because they are based on t … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – February 2020

Purgatory and Filthy Lucre Question: I teach RCIA and a catechumen in my class said he was taught that Catholics dreamed up Purgatory as a way to get money from people. I know Purgatory is referred to in Maccabees and responded that … [Read more...]

The Eucharist as Source and Summit of Evangelization in the Recent Magisterium

“Yes, if only I am lifted up from the earth, I will attract all men to myself.”[1. Jn 12:32. All Scriptural quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the Knox Translation of the Bible.] In recent decades, the Church’s Magisterium has rep … [Read more...]

The Theological Anthropology of Karol Wojtyla (Pope St. John Paul II)

Every so often, there appears in history a person who has an effect on the world, that the whole world is changed for the better as a result of their being there. A person of recent memory is Father Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope St. John … [Read more...]

Is the Trinity a Mysterious Contradiction or a Rational Mystery?

Introduction Consider how central the Trinity is to our faith. We invoke the Trinity at the start and end of every Mass when we make the Sign of the Cross; those of us who pray the Rosary or the Divine Office will invoke the Trinity … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – June 2019

The Catholic Writer Today and Other Essays By Dana Gioia. Reviewed by Ken Colombini. (skip to review) Raymond E. Brown and the Catholic Biblical Renewal By Fr. Donald E. Senior. Reviewed by Rev. John P. Cush, STD. (skip to … [Read more...]

Catechesi Tradendae’s Fortieth Anniversary

The Usefulness of Metaphysics and Epistemology in Catechesis

The year 2019 marks the fortieth anniversary of a classic papal document on catechesis and evangelization in the contemporary Church and world, namely, Pope St. John Paul II’s 1979 apostolic exhortation Catechesi Tradendae, “On Catechesis in … [Read more...]

Is It Virtuous to Criticize the Pope?

Lately there has been much public criticism of our Holy Father the Pope even amongst faithful Catholics. Some have been dismayed by this criticism, considering it irreverent and judgmental. Yet others justify criticism of the Pope, saying … [Read more...]

Aquinas as Biblical Exegete

His Interpretation of Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh”

No doubt Thomas Aquinas is most famous as a systematic theologian who made great use of philosophical sources such as Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Nevertheless, when Aquinas first taught at the University of Paris, he held the title of Magister … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – February 2019

Why Do We Need Grace? Question: St. Thomas believed that man has an inborn understanding and disposition toward doing the good. What, then, is the purpose of the infusion of grace? Answer: I really do not know where you get the idea … [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...]

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...]

Christ, Melchizedek, and the Eucharistic Sacrifice

“…when [Christ] instituted the Eucharist. That fulfilled Jeremiah 31. That's when he offered what appeared to be bread and wine. That's when he became a new Melchizedek, feeding the new children of Abraham so that through Abraham's seed, Jes … [Read more...]