Catholic Living

One of the timeless traditions that occurs at the United States Naval Academy during plebe summer, before one is welcomed into the Brigade of Midshipmen, is for midshipman candidates to spend an afternoon at the Naval Academy cemetery where distinguished alumni and fallen warriors are laid to rest. The tombstones of Vice Admiral James Stockdale, [...]

One of the timeless traditions that occurs at the United States Naval Academy during plebe summer, before one is welcomed into the Brigade of Midshipmen, is for midshipman candidates to spend an afternoon at the Naval Academy cemetery where distinguished alumni and fallen warriors are laid to rest. The tombstones of Vice Admiral James Stockdale, [...]

There is another plague which has deeply affected our country and world for decades, even centuries. It also involves isolation, separation, masks which cover up shame, deep wounds that cry out for healing, and the self-imposed closure of church doors, which represent ways to close off the mercy of God. This also requires the intervention [...]

God’s judgment is a mercy. This is not a popular idea. Firstly, this is because we do not like the idea of being judged. And secondly, we do not experience judgment in our lives as merciful. It is usually harsh and always unpleasant. God’s judgment, however, is not an experience of this world. His judgement [...]

“I make myself a leper with the lepers to gain all to Jesus Christ. That is why, in preaching, I say ‘we lepers,’ not, ‘my brethren.’ ” — Saint Damien of Molokai The history of the Church during pandemic is full of saints who were miraculously defended from disease. For instance, the Church invokes Saint [...]

“In an age of decadence, the Stoic philosophy held together the civil social order of imperial Rome, and taught thinking men the nature of true freedom, which is not dependent upon swords and laws.” – Russell Kirk Piety Hill is the name given by the late Russell Kirk, the “Father of American Conservatism,”to his ancestral [...]

When Lent began, I had an inkling of what it would look like—the typical penances, spiritual reading, and whatnot to prepare for Passiontide and Easter. After all, it is a time to enter the desert with Jesus. This year, however, the desert around me transformed itself into something entirely unfamiliar. On St. Patrick's Day, my [...]

As American parents have learned in the last two months, it doesn’t matter what we think of home-schooling, we’re all doing it, especially for those in my home, Fairfax County, Virginia, where our nationally renowned public school system delayed and then egregiously fumbled its move to virtual classes. Thankfully, there are libraries-worth of free information [...]

“All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.” This passage from Ecclesiastes—about there being a time to be born and a time to die, a time to cast away stones and a time to gather them together, and vanity, and dust—well, it’s pretty grim stuff if you take it [...]

There is a great deal of division among Catholics across the globe today regarding the way in which the hierarchy have dealt with the pandemic. Some feel that by closing churches and forbidding the Sacraments to the faithful, those bishops who have done so have betrayed the flock. Others believe that they are showing prudence [...]

We’re all hoping that life will return to “normal” in a few weeks, at least to some extent. We’re also hearing (often from the same source) that life will never be the same because of COVID-19. Obviously, we all want certain things to return to normal as soon as possible. We want to receive the [...]

As I was walking past the many gates in the Denver International Airport, thinking of all of the festivities that would soon be taking place for my sister’s wedding, my eye was caught by one of those “Pass It On” billboards which line the walls, shining and waiting for someone to receive its motivational message. [...]

A few years ago, in Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity, I wrote that the recognition of same-sex pseudogamous relations—the acceptance of a lie, that a man can in fact mate with another man, or a woman with a woman—would make it even harder than it already is for us to see that man is made for woman [...]

Ritual Notes

Saint Paul implores us to remain “unspotted from the world.” I suppose I have my share of spots but, in order to keep from accumulating any more, I do my best to avoid the news. Even so, I cannot but notice that something is amiss. Odd staples go missing from the refrigerator for days at [...]

“The Lentiest Lent we’ve ever Lented.” Those words make up my favorite meme, which gained great traction on social media during the first few months of 2020. Even those who aren’t Catholic or Christian found themselves relating to this catchy phrase, as recently, thanks to the coronavirus, we’ve all been put through some version of [...]

On the evening of Good Friday, as on the evening of every Good Friday as far back as I can remember, I was reading from Saint John Henry Newman’s Parochial and Plain Sermons, published by Ignatius Press. (I was surprised and disappointed to learn recently that Baron Friedrich von Hugel, the Catholic spiritual writer of [...]

Mercy and justice are difficult to balance in human affairs, and even more difficult can be the belief in their balance in the God from Whom we beg for the one while trembling in fear of the other. These are days when it is not difficult to believe we are feeling the heavy hand of [...]

Anyone with faith in God could easily conclude that the current crisis has all the hallmarks of divine punishment, especially here in Australia given the recent drought, fires, smoke, floods, and now plague. It is beginning to sound all a bit biblical, like the book of Exodus, especially having just been through Lent. If we [...]

For those who know what they are looking for, the journey to the twelfth-century Norman church of St. Mary the Virgin is still something of an adventure. Others—hikers, tourists, or just people who take a wrong turning—come upon the deserted church by accident. The winding country lanes of that part of Kent—the county where St. [...]

Trading in a sober view of our final ends for raw power has almost certainly been the Faustian transaction of our time. Then again, it truly is baked into the human experience, terminating with that infamous serpent who hoodwinked our first parents with his somatic wager to recast us as gods.  The payout was anything [...]

“Behold! I tell you a mystery.” — Corinthians 15:51 How many of us have been energized by that line from Handel’s “Messiah”, which leads into the magnificent trumpet flourish and aria, announcing the resurrection of the dead? But what is a mystery? Let us say what it is not: it is not a story akin [...]

St. Thomas More’s A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation is a classic of prison literature. Arrested in 1534, More wrote his Dialogue while in the Tower of London during that same year, as he awaited his trial and execution the following summer. More’s book deserves attention this Holy Week as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to [...]

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