Faith

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

In Defense of Doubt

Bill Buckner played professional baseball for 22 years, won a major league batting title, and was elected to the All-Star team. Unfortunately, he is probably best remembered, though, for letting one ground ball go between his legs in the 1986 World Series and costing the Boston Red Sox their first championship since 1918. Life is [...]

How Monasticism Testifies to God’s Reality

Over the years, I have become acquainted with various logical arguments for the existence of God—some I find more convincing than others. Of course, the strongest evidence comes from direct experience, for God is a person to be mystically encountered, not an abstraction to be logically deduced. This should not be taken to imply that [...]

Are Atheists Addled?

“If there were no God, there would be no atheists.”  ∼ G. K. Chesterton “When I hear the word culture,” Herman Goering boasted, “I reach for my revolver.” Since he was, after Adolf Hitler, the second-most powerful man in the Third Reich, attention was paid. And while he may have stolen the line from Nazi playwright [...]

Welcome to the Wedding

Then he said to his servants, "The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find." And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was [...]

Why Jesus Loved Martha (and Why We Should, Too)

I love St. Martha. I am in good company; John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus also loved Martha. She (along with her sister Mary and brother Lazarus) was one of Jesus’s dearest friends. The New Testament mentions Martha three times, and each story about the relationship between Martha and Jesus is a treasure. In the [...]

Recalling the Central Gospel Message

I recently read an article in New York Magazine lauding Pope Francis in anticipation of his visit to the United States. Amongst the many typical inanities and ignorant statements one finds in such pieces was the following quote: “The pope’s religious message—that the Gospel should be joyful, merciful, and embrace everyone, especially the poor—is plain [...]

Docility in a Time of Dissolution

We are free but somehow not free. As Paul puts it, “the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do.” The conundrum results from Original Sin: our will is turned against itself, because it is not directed as designed. We are social and depend on others, [...]

Forget the Money, ask St Anthony!

Let’s face it, there is one route the finance guys have yet to try. You have to pray to a saint! Am I right? We had a problem. A BIG problem! Exactly, it was all about money. We were staring two mortgages in the face. Changing houses is easy if your bank goes along with [...]

Rising IQs and the Decline of Faith

For a little more than 100 years we’ve had standardized IQ tests, and over those 100 years there has been a consistent, linear increase in IQ scores, on the order of 3 points per decade. According to IQ tests, we are getting smarter. Also over the last 100 years, rates of belief in God and [...]

On Being and Staying Catholic in the Modern World

Editor’s note: The following is an address delivered June 7, 2014 to the graduating class of St. Michael the Archangel High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I love being here at this school. I love what you are trying to do. I am moved by the faith of your parents, and the generosity of your families, [...]

Oh, White Lady: Faith as a Struggle

Faith has always been a struggle for me. Indeed, throughout my forty-six years of life, very rarely have I ever felt comfortable for any stretch of time with my religion or my religious practices. I readily and rather gleefully abandoned almost any faith and religious observance during my teenage years. I’m not totally sure what [...]

The Blind Faith Beliefs of Secular Culture

Secularists are known for dismissing religion as merely espousing a set of blind faith beliefs without any evidence to support them. The crudest among them will often do it in a snide and sneering way, holding that religious belief is imagination and fantasy—like a childhood fairy tale—in contrast to the “scientific” view that they espouse. [...]

The Burden of Friendship

I have a friend, Adrian, whom I have known for nearly thirty years. He and his family of eleven children and some grandchildren live in our state's capital, Sydney, more than five hundred kilometers away, so we do not see as much of each other as we would like. A few weeks back he called [...]

Keeping the Feast: The Unity of Faith & Life

My friend Jeremiah sent me a link to the music video for the song “Dégénération,” by the French-Canadian band Mes Aïeux. In the video, an elderly Québécois farmer shovels dirt from a pile into a wheelbarrow before trudging deliberately down the furrows of a field to meet a slightly younger woman who scoops some into [...]

Christian Witness and America’s Birthday

In his great biography of Benjamin Franklin, Walter Isaacson noted that Franklin donated money to “the building funds of each and every sect in Philadelphia.” For Franklin and his founding brothers, religion promoted the civic virtue essential to sustaining the republican model of government.  Franklin was a deist throughout his life.  But he understood, nonetheless, [...]

The Apostle of the Upper Midwest: Samuel Mazzuchelli

A traveler in Wisconsin need not stray far from the Interstate before he gets a good sense of the wild and uncut territory that greeted the explorers, traders, and missionary priests who first brought European civilization and its Faith to the American Midwest. To the freshly ordained Samuel Mazzuchelli, O.P., the untamed Wisconsin Frontier of [...]

The Family Fell First then Faith Followed

The clearest example of the thesis on how family nurtures faith is in vocations. In the olden days larger intact families produced priests. That’s one reason the seminaries bulged back in the baby boom, also why there was something of a religious revival after the Second World War. But today’s two-child, one-child, no-child, broken-up, broken-down, [...]

The Ultimate Ballfield

Major League Baseball has retired the number 42, in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color line and opened up that institution to all Americans.  Justly has the league set aside the anniversary of this event as Jackie Robinson Day, when all players on all teams wear his number. Much has been [...]

Catholic Fears of the Dreaded Religious Calling

The other day I walked into our bathroom to encounter a small stack of towels, folded on the floor—the same stack my wife had earlier asked our eighth grade son to put away. She hadn’t told him to put the towels on the shelf rather than the floor. Hence the stack on the floor. This [...]

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Just as Mr. Darcy’s aunt, the overbearing Lady Catherine De Bourgh, held that if she’d ever been taught music she would have been a great proficient, I’ve sometimes had the chumpaciousness to think that if I’d ever learned to draw I’d have been a good cartoonist. These inflated thoughts generally occur when I’ve got a [...]

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