St. Alphonsus Ligouri

On the Strange Function of Absolutes

Most people today “absolutely” maintain that they do not hold or live by “absolutes.” They live by their desires and choices, which are readily changeable. No one is much bothered by the “logic” of his own views. The proposition that “No absolutes exist” is itself an absolute. If it is true, an absolute exists. If [...]

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 [...]

How Do I Want to Be Dead?

The July 9 New York Times Sunday Review contained a feature by Richard Conniff. Driven by his research on English moles, he visited the grave of Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows. What impressed Conniff, and inspired his op-ed, was that Grahame’s grave was in both “a graveyard and a wildlife refuge. [...]

The Saints of August

August can be a dreadful month, with summer heat and lethargy at their peak. This is why so many take the month off, or most of it, heading to favored spots for vacation. Congress “recesses” for the month, a well-deserved break from months spent bickering and accomplishing practically nothing. Traditionally, many European offices are shuttered [...]

Why Pray?

Hope is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all… ∼ Emily Dickinson If hope is a virtue we cannot reach heaven without, where then is the handle we need to take hold of to get there? The answer is prayer, which is [...]

Lessons Drawn from the Japanese Martyrs

Christianity came to Japan in 1549. The Land of the Rising Sun must have been ready to hear the good news when St Francis Xavier first set foot on its shores. By the time he left, just two years later, there were three thousand Japanese Christians. Over the next forty years that number increased to [...]

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Catholic Art

According to the new English edition of the Roman Missal, the priest, in the introductory rite, addresses the congregation as follows: “Brethren (Brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.” The term, “sacred mysteries” in reference to the Mass is of ancient origin as is the [...]

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