Christian hope

Emile Signot_S. Luigi IX (1839)

The “Strong Money” of Good King Saint Louis

Speaking with a friend recently, we chanced to talk about money and coins. He is a coin collector and had just visited a coin shop nearby. I mentioned my own studies of medieval economy and its coinage. Much to my surprise and delight, he reached into his inner coat pocket and pulled out a gros [...]

Be Hopeful, Despite Everything

It is always a little sad when the miracle doesn’t happen. So, when the Supreme Court waved its magic gavel last summer and rhetorically ended the citizens’ debate over the newly discovered “right” to same-sex "marriage," the decision was greeted with frustration and a deep sense of betrayal on the part of many faithful Catholics. [...]

On Pope Francis and Church Integrity

"The Church's practice always results from what she receives and contemplates in revelation. Pastoral ministry cannot be detached from doctrine."  ∼Robert Cardinal Sarah, Silent Action of the Heart (July 2015) I. In the Path to Rome, Belloc remarked that as one gets older he becomes more concerned with the human side of the supernatural Church. [...]

Despair in the Face of Cultural Decline

In the last months, particularly after the Supreme Court decision on homosexual marriage in late June, I’ve noticed a pronounced malaise in many of my friends and family. For some, this looks awfully close to despair, for others a scornful anger, with a kind of dazed escapism haunting yet others hoping they are in a [...]

An Advent Meditation on Hope

“Legislation is helpless against the wild prayer of longing.”   ∼ L. H. Auden “I did not know my longing until I encountered You.”    ∼ CL Hymn The desire for God is a drive as deep as it is indestructible. There can be no other longing as profound or pervasive. And on the strength of [...]

What Do We Say to the Bereaved?

When U.S. photojournalist Jim Foley, following nearly two years of close captivity by the terrorist thugs of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was finally and gruesomely decapitated—a video of his execution having been posted online—the bereaved family received the usual outpouring of sympathy and support from a civilized world outraged by this [...]

The Gift of Purgatory

The room is air conditioned, and cold. Admittedly, the heat outside is uncomfortable, but the chill inside manages to be worse. Unnatural. Sterile. Like the air churning out of the vents, the atmosphere feels forced. Two greeters, with expressions and attitudes to match the manufactured climate, greet my parents and me as we enter. One [...]

An Advent Paean to Christian Hope

Among the many symptoms marking the crisis of faith and culture we are going through, here’s one that happens every year after Thanksgiving, falling like dead leaves during the days before Christmas, a feast for which there is simply no way to give adequate thanks.  And that is the season of Advent, which finds itself [...]

Multitudes Before the Throne: Hope for a Pilgrim Church

… I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…. (Rev. 7:9) As a candidate who will enter the Church on Palm Sunday, I participated this last week in the Rite of Election and [...]

Solzhenitsyn: The Courage to be a Christian

In these dark days in which the power of secular fundamentalism appears to be on the rise and in which religious freedom seems to be imperiled, it is easy for Christians to become despondent. The clouds of radical relativism seem to obscure the light of objective truth and it can be difficult to discern any [...]