David Mills

David Mills is executive editor of First Things and author of Discovering Mary.

recent articles

Selling Confession

While in Rome recently, I went to confession at St. John Lateran. It’s the cathedral of Rome, and I’d heard the grace was better there. I got an old Irish priest, soft-spoken, deliberate, patient, and with a habit of sighing frequently as you spoke. He sounded — and looked, when I saw him a little … Read more

Sharing the Real Mary

Many of our Protestant friends appreciate Mary in a way their ancestors didn’t. This is a good thing. Some of them even like her a lot, and in a way that their ancestors would denounce. This is an even better thing. But there are limits, which too many Catholics just can’t see. By “Protestant” I’m … Read more

Chesterton and Lewis for Beginners

  Almost 75 years after the death of G. K. Chesterton and 45 years after the death of C. S. Lewis, millions continue to read them as guides and gurus. New readers will pick up a book, or even just an essay or two, and become lifelong fans and devotees. These portly, homely, undramatic men … Read more

The Greater Blessings

The other day I was already thinking about gratitude when I started reading about old students and friends suffering from the continuing — the continuous — degeneration of the Episcopal church. Some of them faced losing their jobs, or had already lost them, but most of them suffered simply from seeing the communion they had … Read more

Fifteen Tips for Better Preaching

  In "The Perils of Preaching," I offered a lament for the general mediocrity of Catholic preaching (and was treated to a number of thoughtful responses, for which I’m grateful). What follows are my layman’s suggestions for Catholic preachers.   Strictly speaking, they aren’t exactly a layman’s suggestions, in the sense of being given by … Read more

The Perils of Preaching

Listening to sermons at Mass, one often thinks, like the professor in the Narnia Chronicles, "What do they teach in school?" Not that the sermons are necessarily all that bad, but they are rarely as good as they would be had the priest been better taught. It’s like listening to a fiddler who hits most … Read more

Contraception and Conversion

Sometimes a “progressive” Catholic asks me why my family and I became Catholics. As often rapidly becomes clear, the Episcopal Church we left is his ideal for the Catholic Church. We had married priests, women priests, homosexual priests, no doctrinal restrictions, evolving moral standards, and an official reason to be rude to the pope. What … Read more

What Does ‘Evangelical’ Mean?

Starting today, the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) is holding its annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island. This is the second meeting since the group’s then-president Francis Beckwith shocked his peers by announcing his return to the Catholic Church and resigning from the presidency, which he has already described on this site here. Last year Beckwith … Read more

Out of Division, a Greater Unity?

Two weekends ago, almost four-fifths of the clergy and over three-fifths of the laity representing churches in the Episcopal diocese of Pittsburgh voted to leave the Episcopal Church and join the South American Anglican province called “the Southern Cone.” It was the second American diocese (out of 100 or so) to do so, with two … Read more

This Old World’s Tawdry Voices

“That means they’re anorexic,”said a young woman I know when asked why the great majority of the girls at her elite college had declared themselves vegetarians or vegans. I thought she was being sarcastic, but she wasn’t.   She was being witty. The ideological self-description has become a code word for an illness the girls … Read more

Transcending Anglicanism

The Anglican Church is cracking up, Rev. Dwight Longenecker argued yesterday. Today, David Mills wonders about the fate of our closest kin: the Anglo-Catholics.   Catholics who keep up with Anglicanism may have observed that the whole thing seems to be visibly coming apart.   On the one hand, at June’s rally of the world’s … Read more

Gay Marriage and the Slippery Slope to Polyamory

  The juxtaposition of same-sex “marriage” being approved in California with the raid on the Texan polygamists seems to have made a few people ponder the logical connection between homosexuality and polygamy — and, in some cases unhappily, reflect that former senator Rick Santorum was right when he said the Supreme Court’s Lawrence decision would … Read more

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