Creation

A Primer on Politics and Prudence

The political scene is drawing toward the center of our national consciousness (if it ever left), as Democratic presidential debates have taken place, and as the 2020 election nears. As this happens, faithful Catholics need sound ways to think about candidates, policies, and the landscape in general. Josef Pieper, a great twentieth-century philosopher, provides a [...]

Has Science Run Its Course?

One year after scientists flipped the switch on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), physicist Lawrence Krauss fretted, "I worry whether we've come to the limits of empirical science.” His worry was not unfounded—in the last eleven years and at a cost of over $13B, the sole accomplishment of the LHC has been the confirmation of [...]

Science and the Ascension of Christ

A legion of publishers will attest that Father Stanley Jaki (1924-2009) did not suffer fools gladly, and under that category he filed virtually all editors. He wrote in perfect English but with a discernible Hungarian syntax so that his footnotes could be longer than the main text, and verbs often were fugitive. His patience with [...]

The Greater Mysteries in the Shadow of the Cross

In the space between the Cross and the Parousia, we are prone to wonder: What really happens when we die? What does it mean to be absent from the body and present with the Lord? What is heaven like? Will our deceased pets be there? At the resurrection, will we be raised at the age [...]

The Wonders of Things Unseen

In 1977, George Lucas struck box-office gold with the epic adventure Star Wars. Mystic luminaries, anthropomorphic androids, light sabers, and computerized special effects captured the imaginations of audiences young and old alike. But perhaps the most lasting impression on viewers was Obi-wan Kenobi’s Delphic disclosure: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power… It surrounds [...]

Adam and Eve Are Myth, Really?

The parish priest told the class, with all the authority of a papal decree, that the creation account in Genesis, including the first human couple, was a myth. It was enough to raise not a few eyebrows, mine and my wife’s included. As a murmur began to build among the stunned attendees, a passage from [...]

The Last Defender of Reason and the Human Body

G.K. Chesterton said, at the end of his fine biography The Dumb Ox, that Thomas Aquinas ought to be called “Saint Thomas of the Creation.” That is because Thomas defended the integrity, the beauty, the intelligibility, and the real and not notional existence of things, good old created things, fire and flood, flowers and grass, birds [...]

I’ll See Your World and Raise You a Kosmos

Hubris is a theme that preoccupied the minds of the ancient Greeks. Man’s fate was unpredictable in a world governed by capricious deities, therefore one ought to temper one’s aspirations and avoid displeasing them in any way. Calamities could befall whole cities because of hubris in one man, as Sophocles dramatized in Oedipus Rex. In [...]

Is the Universe a Hologram? Well…

In a criticism of creation and intelligent design, Carl Sagan famously quipped, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” What bypassed the critical filters of the late science popularizer is that the extraordinary theories concocted by materialistic scientists not only lack extraordinary evidence, they lack any evidence, and in some cases, any possibility for evidence. Panspermia, parallel [...]

Natural Disasters and the Character of God

Harvey, Irma, and Jose are the latest in a long list of recent disasters inflicting widespread violence on man and nature. In 2011, a super outbreak of tornadoes claimed the lives of over 340 people in the Southeast. In Alabama whole communities were wiped off the map. Within a few miles of my home in [...]

Free Will, Fulfillment and Excommunication

Recently, Bishop Paprocki released a decree on "same-sex 'marriage' and related pastoral issues." Some Catholics interpreted it as an unjust singling-out (and rejection) of a specific group of persons. In terms of sin itself they do have a point—we are all sinners. However, some went as far as to interpret it as a form of excommunication. What seemed absent in the grievances I [...]

How Material Things Can Lead Us to God

A lady recently wrote me with a question about the role of material things in life. She was confounded by apparent contradictions between living a pious life while enjoying material things that are all around us. She had read the stories of the saints and how they often scorned material things. Since we are all [...]

What is the Universe Made Of?

In an episode of Antiques Roadshow, a furniture expert was presented an unexceptional-looking table, one that struck me as something I could put together in an afternoon. Although the piece had no decorative embellishments or maker's mark, the expert immediately identified it as the work of George Nakashima, an innovative furniture maker of the last century. I was amazed, for somewhere in the table’s stark simplicity [...]

Don’t Ignore Scripture on the Marriage Questions

So often in contemporary Catholic and Christian circles, there is a tendency to abandon any reference to Christ and his Church when debating thorny marriage issues in our culture. For those of us in Australia who have not suffered the judicial over-reaching that was witnessed in the US, the debate is still open. Yet, those [...]

And the Word Became Flesh…

God loves stuff. Things. Matter. We can tell that God loves stuff because he made so much of it. From the dust of the Horsehead Nebula to the sand of a Pacific beach to the granite of the Rocky Mountains, God made it all, and, according to its own proper nature, loves it all. He [...]

On God’s Responsibility for Atheism

In spite of themselves, atheists can help to remind us of an important truth about God, that is, that he radically transcends the universe. It is God’s very transcendence that makes atheism possible, or at least more likely. If God were an item in the universe open to empirical investigation, presumably, there would be far [...]

Noah Movie: Worth Seeing, Despite the Errors

Even before its opening March 28 the film Noah starring Russell Crowe as the man commissioned by God to build an ark, stirred controversy among Christians. A number of Christian reviewers have praised the movie. But Noah has its significant detractors, many of whom have condemn its unbiblical mounting of the Genesis story. This reviewer [...]

On the Fundamental Goodness of Being

Years ago while living in Rome I made my first Jesuit retreat, a memorably intense affair, presided over by a priest so long in the tooth that I naturally assumed he knew St. Ignatius himself.   It was there that I learned the practice of Composition of Place, an exercise central to Ignatian spirituality, in which [...]

Creation: A Glimpse of the Divine

I don’t want to brag, but for a writer I have a pretty amazing office. Sitting back in my comfy, adjustable chair, I am surrounded on all sides by windows. Of course I have personalized temperature controls, sound system, and a convenient spot for my beverage. Best of all, the scenery is regularly changing, as [...]

The Universe We Know In

Socrates was fond of repeating the advice of the Oracle: “Know thyself.” He probably said, “Know thyself,” rather than, “Know the world,” because it is more difficult to know oneself than to know the world. Self-introspection yields not ourselves, but something approaching infinity beyond ourselves. The first thing we know about ourselves is that we [...]

“Making Wholeness Heals the Maker”: Why Human Flourishing Requires the Creative Act

I would like to talk a little about the idea promoted by Christopher Alexander, where “making wholeness heals the maker.” This has to do with the act of creation and, in particular, its application in art and the production of artifacts and architecture. It is a fundamental concept in creating small items, but I want [...]

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