Faith and Reason

ISIS-Burns-Down-Church

Middle Eastern Christians Face Calamity

The Middle East is embroiled in chaos and what little remains of the ancient Christian communities there are being destroyed with the latest tragic turn of events in Iraq. The barbarism of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that began a sweeping military and terror campaign from Syria swept into Iraq to capture [...]

On Hobby Lobby: Where Ginsburg and Alito Go Astray

As a faithful Catholic with moral objections to forced Christian complicity in both abortion and contraception, I had many reasons to rejoice in the Supreme Court’s majority decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby written by Justice Alito. Unfortunately, the Court’s reasoning was not one of them. Two premises in the majority’s argument were especially troubling: [...]

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, [...]

The Reasonableness of Religious Belief

I have always been a believer. Among other reasons, that’s because I think rationality demands it. When I talk about “belief” here, I mean it in a very broad sense, which is not synonymous with “Catholic” or even “Christian”; Sikhs, Hindus and Zoroastrians might all qualify, and I myself was raised in the LDS church [...]

Christianity: Foundation of Western Success

In his famous critique of John Stuart Mill, Mill and Liberalism (1963) the Cambridge historian Maurice Cowling underscored just how much the views advanced by self-identified liberals were underpinned by the conviction that their conception of the historical background to any number of events is more-or-less universally accepted. Sometimes they are right in making that [...]

Invest in Catholic Youth: Build Beautiful School Chapels

  Intellege ut credas; crede ut intellegas  (In order to believe you must understand. In order to understand you must believe.)  —St. Augustine A priest once told me that the best place to teach students the faith is in a church. For it is in a church that they can see a physical expression of [...]

Acceptance of Drugs: A Challenge to Culture and Evangelization

I recently gave a talk entitled “Beer and the Renewal of Catholic Culture.” Based on the Roman Ritual’s traditional blessing for beer, my argument was that beer is both a work of God given to gladden our hearts (along with wine) and an important work of human culture, a shaping of the goods of the [...]

Pope Francis and the Missionary Spirit

“The Church—I repeat once again—is not a relief organization, an enterprise nor an NGO (Non-Government Organization), but a community of people, animated by the Holy Spirit, who have lived and are living the wonder of the encounter with Jesus Christ and want to share their experience of deep joy, the message of salvation that the [...]

How Catholics Can Save Our Dying Civilization

In a recent address, Archbishop Chaput articulated how much we depend on the residual religious capital of earlier times, but once the capital is spent, “we may not like the results, because the more we delete God from our public life and our private behavior, the more we remove the moral vocabulary that gives our [...]

Advice to College Students from Lumen Fidei

I know, I know, it’s only the beginning of August, and the very last thing on a college student’s mind is the upcoming semester. Unless they’re rising freshmen, in which case the upcoming semester is very much on their mind, but mainly about leaving home and meeting their new roommate, not necessarily the purpose and [...]

Catholics Must Not Cede Ground in Public Debate

In the last several months I’ve been discussing the problems Catholics face dealing with public life today. The recent election underlined some of them. The bishops and others made their pitch about threats to the family and the freedom of the Church, the Democrats stood firm, and most Americans—including most self-identified Catholics—voted for the Democrats. [...]

Leo XIII: “Without Faith, Liberty Degenerates into License”

The good and wise Pope Leo XIII never condemned an error without commending a truth.  In this series on Catholic Social Teaching, then, I believe I should follow the Holy Father’s example.  It’s easy to inveigh against what Leo condemns; more rewarding, though, to reveal the beauty of what he commends.  In this essay, then, [...]

What the Reformation has Wrought

The day may come when Catholics can support neither of the main American political parties or their candidates. Some think it’s already arrived. Alasdair MacIntyre, the Notre Dame philosopher, argued along those lines a few years ago, explaining why he couldn’t vote for either a Democrat or a Republican. I don’t know what Professor MacIntyre [...]

The Role of Philosophy in the New Evangelization

I recently had a brief conversation with a former colleague of mine who is Catholic, and who wanted to inquire about certain aspects of the faith that she was struggling with. She mentioned to me that, while she goes to Mass on Sundays and “has faith,” she nevertheless expressed a desire that there was more [...]

On Cultivating the Catholic Mind

Blogging is not typically a sphere of life that I prefer to tread into. More often than not, it seems that blogs have become merely an outlet for those who neither want nor seek genuine and fruitful intellectual discussion. This is, of course, not a denial that no good blogs exist, nor that good ones [...]

Faith & Reason in the Barbarian Winter

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480-524), best known for his Consolation of Philosophy, is one of the most fascinating and puzzling figures from Late Antiquity. He was born in that time of transition in Western Europe that brought an end to the Roman Empire and saw the rise of the barbarian successor states, which have ruled [...]

Is Man by Nature in Relation to the Infinite?

The headline above has been posed as a question. However, at the Rimini Meeting in Italy, from which I have just returned, it was put forth in a statement as the main theme of a week-long event (August 19-25) that seemed to examine every aspect of life within the broader context of its divine purpose. [...]

The Purpose of Education: A Catholic Primer

Our society, indeed what remains of Western civilization, seems to many people to be falling apart. The economic crisis, the moral crisis, the ecological crisis, and the political crisis combine to create a “perfect storm.” But they all stem from one fundamental error. As a society, we have abandoned a sense of cosmic and moral [...]

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