Catholic Living

Advent: Latin ad-venio, to come to. "Send down the dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth the Redeemer." Thus, begins the Advent hymn, “Rorate Caeli,” that mournfully calls upon God to hear our prayers. We are made to sigh with longings, [...]

Advent: Latin ad-venio, to come to. "Send down the dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth the Redeemer." Thus, begins the Advent hymn, “Rorate Caeli,” that mournfully calls upon God to hear our prayers. We are made to sigh with longings, [...]

Katharine, my preteen, sent me a link to a song she’d happened across. “It’s my new jam,” she wrote, and I eagerly clicked on it to listen. What dad of a preteen wouldn’t? Imagine my surprise when Kath’s new jam turned out to be an ad for a cleaning product. The accompanying video was fun [...]

Dear Swillpit, It's interesting how humans can go through life without giving much serious thought to their faith. Oh yes, they may believe in a supreme Being and an afterlife. They may be members of a church, even leaders or clergy. And they may have mouthed their allegiance to our Adversary. But beyond the sanctuary [...]

My wife and I have recently started regularly attending our local Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form. We took our two young boys one Sunday in July, shortly after the news of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sins jumpstarted the current round of clergy sex scandals. We had previously attended about once a year just to mix [...]

It is this silent swerving from accuracy by an inch that is the uncanny element in everything.  ∼ G.K. Chesterton In the digital age of LED lighting, we risk losing all sense of the uncanny. Of course, in the age of science in general, we tend to grow numb to the mystery that calls us [...]

Father Arne Panula died quite publicly and for a very long time. We kept hearing the end was near, but he kept on going and going. Besides in his coffin, the last time I saw him was when he took the podium at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast and offered a prayer. This movie-star-handsome man [...]

When my friend’s little brother died, his family performed rites that are rare nowadays. They brought the body of their boy back home. They dressed him and laid him out for a wake in their dining room. They built his coffin and carved his headstone. They dug his grave and buried him with their own [...]

A conversation I had with a family acquaintance typifies the fuzzy reasoning I often encounter with believers of a liberal bent. It began with a post I had written on a March for Life rally, commenting on the contrasting behaviors of the pro-choice and pro-life camps. Taking issue with my comparisons and conclusions, “Jane” engaged [...]

Waiting for Miracles

When I was a kid, I found a book that featured dozens of Eucharistic miracles. I was enraptured by the dramatic situations that led up to the glorious moment when a host dripped blood or turned into human flesh before an astonished congregation. For years after discovering this book, I didn’t bow my head during [...]

Recently, it has come to light that some Catholics are seeking to change the wording in the Catechism of the Catholic Church by replacing the word “disordered” with the phrase “differently ordered.” I believe that this intention is, in and of itself, disordered. Please allow me to explain. The Root of Relativism In every case where I have encountered [...]

Around six years ago, after the birth of my eldest son, while in prayer during Eucharistic Adoration, I asked the Lord to make him a priest, if that is his will. In the intervening years, he has, of his own accord, loved to play Mass and “baptize” his sister’s playthings, so perhaps my prayer will [...]

All You Need Is Love

Perhaps the hook to the Beatles 1967 hit, “All You Need Is Love,” conveyed more truth than the writers knew. We come into the world as helpless infants totally dependent on the love of our parents. Throughout childhood and adolescence parental love is essential to our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In adulthood we look [...]

Listening to a recent morning radio show, I had the opportunity to hear a woman named Michelle Afont plug her recent book, The Dang Factor. In a nutshell, she describes it as “inspiring and motivating women everywhere to evaluate the state of their love life and make the changes necessary to find, restore, and keep passionate [...]

Our youngest daughter and I recently found ourselves at a Latin High Mass at the beautiful Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis. It had been a few years since I had been there; while my attraction to Mass in the old “extraordinary” form has been strong, and opportunities abound in St. Louis, [...]

Riding his bicycle on a country road in Northern Virginia, a man named Matt met Jesus unexpectedly this week. Strangers found the 53-year-old man lying in a ditch with his toes still clipped into his pedals. Matt’s wife had gone up ahead, but when he did not catch up, she turned around and pedaled back [...]

Recently, parishioners burned a Rainbow Flag in Chicago. They felt justified to take matters into their own hands because they recognized that the ideology represented by that flag challenges the truths upheld by the Church. So they did something about it. And now one priest is paying the price. The Rainbow Flag in the Church? [...]

Architecture speaks, and, like a homily or proclamation of scripture, it can change us profoundly. It preaches and teaches every time we enter a church building. When it speaks truth it reminds us that God is central, and that we are broken and in need of a savior who offers us a place of eternal [...]

“Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”   ∼ Matthew 18:3 Ever since I seriously embraced my Catholic faith, I’ve lived with the sensation of biting into an orange right after brushing my teeth. Toothpaste has a chemical in it that [...]

I have had an uncanny and revealing experience this week. There are three elements to it. Let me describe the first two, as a preface for drawing out a moral imperative for Catholics in these bad times. Every semester at Thomas More College, we set a few Fridays aside for what we call traditio. No [...]

I’ll admit up front to being amazed by the growing need to explain the most elementary things. Like that there are boys and girls. Like that we know when life begins. Or like the fact that Catholics should get married in churches. The secularization, if not outright sacrilege, of fundamental vocational commitments goes on even [...]

Papa was a rolling stone. Wherever he laid his hat was his home.  ~ The Temptations Efforts must be made to restore socially the conviction that the place and task of the father in and for the family is of unique and irreplaceable importance.  ~ Pope St. John Paul II I’m a rotten dad, but [...]

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