Humility

Photo credit: YouTube/Eric Metaxas

Dawn Eden: from “rock historian” to Grand Inquisitor

The writer Dawn Eden Goldstein has been going hell bent for leather against Cardinal Raymond Burke. Her efforts reveal more about Dawn than they do about His Eminence. Ms. Goldstein charges Cardinal Raymond Burke with questioning the validity of the conclave that elected Francis as Pope—and, therefore, whether Francis is really the pope. In the [...]

The Humility of Mary’s Heel

For several years now, it has become obvious that we have entered into the era of the Incredible Shrinking Catholic Church. All the metrics in places like the U.S., Europe, and Latin America are heading in the wrong direction. Even the weekly Mass attenders have an alarming number of people who embrace heterodox beliefs and [...]

Self-Doubt as a Spiritual Virtue

Two years ago I wrote a piece about St. Thomas entitled In Defense of Doubt. In it, I praised St. Thomas for facing his doubts and said that honest doubt can be a good thing. In light of current proposals to change the wording of the last clause of the “Our Father,” I should like [...]

The Oldest Religion

In a recent essay in this magazine, I failed to adequately define terms early in the piece and subsequently created confusion for some readers. This article will seek to rectify that problem and explore new dimensions in the original thesis. When a major airline suffers a plane crash, one of the first things investigators look [...]

The Spiritual Answer to Corruption in High Places

In a recent essay in this magazine, I explored the parallels between the story about the children of Israel dancing around the Golden Calf (Ex. 32) and what’s happening among priests and prelates in the American Catholic Church. The article, with an assist from Aquinas, scrutinized their idolatry through the prisms of wealth, pleasure, power, [...]

What Our Lady’s Suffering Can Teach Church Leaders

My wife grew up in a small town, and as Chesterton said, small-town people are the real cosmopolitans. They can’t insulate themselves in a comfy circle of the like-minded; they must deal with everybody. There were good people in her town, but the nasty ones were always walking down her street. Cosmopolitan in a fallen [...]

The Humility of the Mother of God

About a year before being received into the Catholic Church in 2004, the biggest obstacle to conversion for me, a Protestant, who had moved in evangelical and evangelical-charismatic circles, was not the Church’s Marian doctrines, but the political and economic positions of many of the bishops, who seemed to be, except for their stances on [...]

The Desert Fathers and the Geography of the Human Heart

“The crown of the monk is humility.”  ∼ Abba Orr, Desert Father, fourth century. The Lenten season is well underway and it would be difficult to find devotional writings more aligned with the spirit of Lent than the words of the Desert Fathers. Two volumes come to mind: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, translated by [...]

Prayer Shaming: A New Front in the Culture War

A new front has opened in the Culture War. Now they are targeting prayer. The controversy was triggered by the fact that political leaders traditionally sent messages of condolences offering their “thoughts and prayers” to victims and their families. Such innocent expressions of comfort have enraged liberals who claim the idea of prayer especially in [...]

A Lion Teaches Us About Humility

It’s a small miracle, in our present moment of pronounced decline, that any new Catholic eventually arrives at the destination of robust orthodoxy, fervent spirituality, and luminous sanctity. Recent polls confirm this assertion in disclosing the widespread heterodox beliefs and practices of American Catholics: 65 percent believe that employers who have a religious objection to [...]

Balancing Humility and Ambition for the Inner Ring

In his new book How to Think, Alan Jacobs brings up a 1944 lecture by the British writer C.S. Lewis that summarizes well the state of politics three-quarters of a century later and an ocean away—not surprising perhaps, given that his observation is one that humanity has experienced for millennia. In his lecture at King’s [...]

Dignitas: The Manners of Humility

Accounts vary, and a few say that the story about our civil Founders is apocryphal, but it would seem that the story is true. As one of the more jovial national patriarchs, Gouverneur Morris, a native of New York City, but representing Pennsylvania, willingly accepted a challenge from Alexander Hamilton during the Constitutional Convention in [...]

Three Doctors’ Common Antidote to Social Media

The noted psychologist and author Dr. Leonard Sax recently visited our youngest daughter’s school for a talk with parents, focused on his recent book, The Collapse of Parenting. Sax is a leading proponent of treating boys and girls differently, and educating them separately; previous titles of his are Girls on the Edge (2005), Boys Adrift [...]

When Our Memory Fails Us

When I was a lad of about six in the early 1960s, I went with my father to see my beloved Philadelphia Phillies play. At the time, my baseball hero was center fielder Tony Gonzales. Thrilled when he hit a home run to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, I could [...]

When (Righteous) Anger is Justified

In one of my favorite Flannery O'Connor stories, Revelation, Mrs. Turpin—a very large, very cheerful, and heartily judgmental soul—amuses herself by mentally sorting people into their respective categories. She places all the people she looks down upon beneath herself and her husband, and only those who have more of what she and her husband have [...]

Humility and Hubris

Much has been written about the Pope’s humility, and he himself has often spoken about the need for humility. Yet it is possible to detect a certain amount of hubris in the positions he takes on political and scientific matters. For example, it takes a certain level of hubris for a man to take a [...]

Recalling the Central Gospel Message

I recently read an article in New York Magazine lauding Pope Francis in anticipation of his visit to the United States. Amongst the many typical inanities and ignorant statements one finds in such pieces was the following quote: “The pope’s religious message—that the Gospel should be joyful, merciful, and embrace everyone, especially the poor—is plain [...]

Should Pope Francis have Abandoned the Trappings of His Office?

Father Longenecker had an amusing blog last week, headlined “archbishops should live in palaces.” “I think the Pope should live in the Apostolic Palace,” he says, “and I think Archbishop Wilton [Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, who is moving out three months after moving in] should live in his brand new $2.2m home. I think [...]

The Gift

 Show forth, we pray thee, Lord, thy power and come, and with thy great strength assist us, so that by the aid of thy grace, the work that is hindered by our sins may be hastened by thy merciful forgiveness: who art God, living and reigning with God the Father in the unity of the [...]

The Nation at Princeton’s Service

One of the many forms of self-promotion, at my old mater ferox, was a regular bulletin called “Princeton in the Nation's Service,” detailing the many ways in which Princetonians past and present were making the world a better, that is a more Princetonian, place to live.  I suspect that, after the ordinary fashion of human [...]

Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty

“How I long for a poor Church for the poor!” With these words spoken after being elected pope, Jorge Bergoglio underscored a theme that continues to be front-and-center of his papacy. Not surprisingly, many have concluded such statements demonstrate that Pope Francis wants Catholics to devote greater attention to poverty-alleviation. In one sense, this is [...]

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