tradition

Theodor Haecker

“Prussian idealism took the heart of flesh and blood from the German and in its place gave him one of iron and paper.” Theodor Haecker, 1940 For his open, published opposition to the German, National-Socialist “New Order,” the anti-Nazi humanist and writer Theodor Haecker (1889-1945) was prohibited from writing or speaking in public in his [...]

God Save the Queen

On February 6, Queen Elizabeth II marked her diamond jubilee, an achievement that Great Britain will celebrate throughout 2012. I am not a monarchist, but I’ll happily join in saluting the Queen, who embodies several qualities that are in short supply among 21st-century public figures. In one of a slew of diamond jubilee books, author [...]

An Interview with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev

A year and a half ago, while searching for a recording of Bach’s Matthäus-Passion to share with a friend, I stumbled across a YouTube clip entitled simply: ”St Matthew Passion. No. 1.” Filled with idle musical curiosity, I clicked away, and within moments, realized that I had discovered something extraordinary. This was breathtaking music; grandiose, [...]

Jesus of Egypt

“Out of Egypt I called my son.” — Hosea 11:1 In the Gospel of Matthew, the advent of the Messiah is followed by an abrupt departure. Almost immediately after the Magi visit them, the Holy Family rushes away to Egypt because Joseph has been warned in a dream that King Herod would kill the infant [...]

An Open Letter to Catholics on Behalf of Ron Paul

The letter below was published by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., in 2007, but apart from the names of the alternate Republican candidates, it remains of interest today. It is reprinted with the permission of the author.   In the tradition of Walter Block's Open Letter to the Jewish Community in Behalf of Ron Paul [...]

Dogged Faith and Fermented Honey

If you live in a major city which happens to be blessed by immigrants from Ethiopia, you may already have been exposed to a little of that country’s fascinating culture and cuisine. One of the African nations with the oldest continuous literate culture, it is also one of the two countries that first embraced Christianity; [...]

‘Tactical Voters’ went to Romney in New Hampshire

  To win just under 40 percent of the vote in a primary with five active candidates is pretty impressive, even for a candidate like Mitt Romney, who started off with significant advantages in New Hampshire. Yes, he is well-known there because he was governor of next-door Massachusetts, had run before and owns a house [...]

The Scandal of What We Sing

It is with deep gratitude that I greet the new translation of the Mass into English.  At last, we will have a rendering that is theologically and linguistically precise, that captures the figurative meanings intimated in the Latin, that respects the poetic form of the prayers, that embraces the sacred, and that resonates with the [...]

How Will You Mark Thanksgiving?

How will you spend your Thanksgiving Day this year? Sleep in because you have extra days off? Settle down to watch football? Pull up a chair at four o’clock to eat a huge feast? Make plans for Black Friday, plotting with the multitudes to storm the stores and “shop-until-you-drop?” Why not consider another tradition? The [...]

Exploring the Supernatural

Things in Heaven and Earth: Exploring the Supernatural, Harold Fickett, ed., Paraclete, 1998, 230 pages, $14.   We are now living through a third Great Awakening. It is, of course, a far cry from anything Jonathan Edwards could have imagined. The television show, Brimstone, depicts a damned soul released from Hell with the mission of [...]

Of Tepees and Tabernacles

We are building a new church in our parish, and to lead the effort I have been thinking and reading about church architecture. Looking around at the dismal buildings that have been presented as Catholic churches over the last 50 years, one has to ask where on earth the architects, designers, and liturgists got their [...]

Concentrating the Mind

Catholic opponents of the death penalty sometimes seem to lose sight of the primary purpose of punishment. The Ca­techism of the Catholic Church (final text) says, “Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense.” If I commit a serious offense against society, I bring about a disorder, and the point [...]

Two Steps Ahead of the Spirit

  Which pope said the following? The family is a kind of school of deeper humanity. But if it is to achieve the full flowering of its life and mission, it needs the kindly communion of minds and the joint deliberation of spouses, as well as the painstaking cooperation of parents in the education of [...]

The Importance of Place

“On the whole, it would appear to be for the best that the great majority of human beings should go on living in the place in which they were born.” So wrote T.S. Eliot in Notes Towards the Definition of Culture. Like much of Eliot’s cultural philosophy, it is a thoroughly contrarian, even atavistic notion, [...]

Credo

The translation of the Nicene Creed used at Sunday Mass beginning in Advent will read, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty" -- not, as currently, "We believe in God." Often I say Mass using the Latin Novus Ordo. This is the text that was supposed to be translated into English. The Latin Creed begins [...]

Our Wobbly World

In antiquity, everything depended on tradition because people recognized that their ancestors were the oneswho had survived in a hostile world that wanted to kill them. So smart people listened to what their ancestors said and, Darwin being right about some things, tended to be the survivors, while stupid people ignored seasoned wisdom and wound [...]

The Death of Osama bin Laden

The death of Osama bin Laden did not end the war against jihadism, a war bin Laden had declared against the United States in a 1996 fatwa that mandated the killing of Americans wherever they could be targeted. But it did take one key leader of jihadist Islam off the global strategic chessboard. The death [...]

Returning to the Field

It was not so easy for a Catholic in the early 1980s to advocate for a free society. While much of the nation welcomed the conservative shift President Reagan brought to U.S. policy, the American Catholic bishops were not among them. Those Catholics whose common-sense politics leaned right found themselves isolated in their larger faith [...]

Do You Believe in Good?

Not long ago, in New York City's subway system, there was a campaign underway proclaiming that people can be "good without God." The ads' anti-gospel followed upon the good news previously advertised f ro m the so-called Coalition of Reason: "Don't Believe in God? You're Not Alone." Of course, it's unlikely that even God "believes" [...]

Up from Literalism

The past few weeks have seen a contentious, sometimes enlightening debate over how committed Catholics must be to truth-telling, in what circumstances, and at what price. The issue arose when bloggers responded acerbically to the pro-life sting operations of the heroic Live Action operatives who exposed Planned Parenthood's use of our tax money in violation [...]

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