Spain

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

One Day Islamists Will Get Gaudi’s Cathedral

It is one of the most remarkable churches in all the world, in all of human history. Begun in 1892 and not expected to be finished until 2030, La Sagrada Familia is Antonio Gaudi’s masterpiece. It is odd and wonderful to behold, its barrel-shaped spires springing up all around, its soaring interior arches offering glory [...]

The Abolition of God and the Annihilation of Man

“It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man can organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can ultimately only organize it against man. Exclusive humanism is inhuman humanism.”   ∼ Henri de Lubac, The Drama of Atheist Humanism “If God does not exist … everything is permitted.”   ∼ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, [...]

The Man Who Saved the Original Papers of San Juan de la Cruz

It was March 1936. A series of anti-clerical riots swept through Toledo. Churches were burnt and priests and monks were attacked in the streets. During these disturbances, several Carmelite monks, disguised in lay clothes, sought shelter in the home of the British poet, Roy Campbell, who had moved to the city with his wife, Mary, [...]

Praying the Rosary through Art: The Glorious Mysteries

Gloria, laus et honor... So goes the old Latin hymn. Sung traditionally on Palm Sunday, it foretells of the Passion of our Lord and His glorious Resurrection. The words bear quoting here: All glory, laud and honor To thee, Redeemer King To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring... To thee before thy [...]

Praying the Rosary through Art: The Sorrowful Mysteries

Sorrow, pain, grief, anguish—all of these words somehow just barely describe the unfathomable and profound suffering we feel in moments of tribulation. Looking at the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, we reflect on our own sorrows in union with those of Jesus Christ and His mother during the steps of His Passion. In The Problem [...]

Dawson’s Usura Canto

It gives me no pleasure addressing Christopher Dawson's views  on economics. I learned much from Dawson in my formative years, reading The Sundering of Christendom and The Crisis of Western Education back in high school, and many of his other books in later years. His synthesis of Catholic and Western history is so persuasive, and [...]

The Family’s Not-So-Secret Strength

Coming in the wake of last month’s looting and burning riots in British cities, a UN report pinpointing materialism as a particularly British blight was bound to make the country sit up and take notice. The youths who rampaged through the streets of London and Birmingham seemed to both covet material goods and despise them [...]

Misleading Research on Teen Sex

  “Young people are having sex for the first time at younger and younger ages.” “The average age at which American (British, Swedish, Australian…) adolescents begin sexual activity is 15 (16, 17…).” “HIV/AIDS education needs to take place at correspondingly young ages.” How many times do we read statements like this in news stories and studies? And how [...]

Spanish Showdown

In the fall of 2007, I spent a week in Spain, giving lectures, meeting with Spanish Catholic leaders, and making a hair-raising climb up several hundred scaffolding stairs to the top of Antoni Gaudi's Basilica of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona -- preceded by Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, Pope John Paul II's longtime secretary, who was [...]

The Truth about the Spanish Inquisition

Because it was both professional and efficient, the Spanish Inquisition kept very good records. These documents are a goldmine for modern historians who have plunged greedily into them. Thus far, the fruits of that research have made one thing abundantly clear -- the myth of the Spanish Inquisition has nothing at all to do with [...]

Remembering the Alamo

One hundred and seventy five years ago, on March 6, 1836, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Colonel W. B. Travis, and about 180 other brave men were killed trying to defend the Alamo. Their deaths have come to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of liberty, and the call to "remember the Alamo" survives even today. [...]

The old folks are coming

Yesterday, I read a blog post about how rapidly the world is aging and what it means for the future. Stephany Anne Golberg in Smart Set writes: The number of people who are 60 and older is set to triple in the next 40 years. By 2050, there will be more people aged 65 and [...]

Our Lady, Help of Christians — and presidents?

Well this is interesting: First Lady Michelle Obama said last month that her husband “always carries a picture of Mary Help of Christians in his wallet.” She made her remarks while visiting a house of the Salesian community in Ronda, Spain. Under the title of Help of Christians, Our Lady is the patroness of the [...]

1943: No Peace at Any Price

Germany had tried to suborn neutral countries with a dramatization of the war on the Russian front as a crusade against godless Communism. A new ambassador to Madrid was appointed with the intent of persuading Spain that the Nazis were the last defense of Catholic Europe. The former minister to Spain, Eberhard von Stohrer, had [...]

Fighting back against Eucharistic desecration — literally.

A handy travel tip: When in Spain, don't desecrate the Eucharist. A Catholic priest in Spain’s province of Valencia slapped a young man in a church in the town of Rótova during a local festival on the evening of September 5. Believing that the young man had discarded a communion wafer, which the Catholic faith [...]

War Without End: The Muslim Conquests

Crusading ideals in the West were an answer to the greater threat of jihad. They were spurred by fear and necessity in a desperate competition with Islam that, for many centuries, Christians lost -- and were aware that they were losing. The extent of Islam's victories can be seen in the all-but-complete disappearance of the [...]

Death’s Hand on the Tiller

    Flannery O'Connor couldn't have written it better, although she would have found a way to make it funny: A wealthy abortionist, who specializes in the destruction of children exactly as old and fully developed as those you see doctors saving in the preemie ward, stays out of prison for his activities thanks to [...]

The Magdalene

Lent is moving toward its object. At a certain age, one realizes that each Lenten season is its own unique season. No two seasons should be the same, as -- please God! -- we are not the same. This year I spent part of Lent in the Burgundian village of Vézelay. Where the basilica stands [...]

MENU