Undue deference: Roe and Casey were both indefensible and deserve no respect

At the heart of the Left’s culture war is the right to invent one’s own Constitution, of standing, of the universe, and of the value of innocent human lives. Five Supreme Court justices on Monday struck down a Louisiana regulation of abortion businesses as unconstitutional, without really citing the Constitution at all. Instead, the ruling … Read more Undue deference: Roe and Casey were both indefensible and deserve no respect

The triumph of Dullness

A platitude, widely circulated in my youth, held that “ideas have consequences.” It is true, after a fashion. It is especially true of stupid ideas. Already, half a century ago, in the universities I was determined to avoid (except their libraries, and interesting professors), it seemed to me that “Dullness” reigned. This is the goddess … Read more The triumph of Dullness

A Question and a Warning from the Lord.

In the 4th Century, St. Augustine lamented the decline of Rome and Roman culture. Like any good citizen, he loved his country and culture. But things were falling to pieces, decadence was everywhere. He struggled to understand this and accept it. In his sorrow he wrote The City of God which contains his own observations … Read more A Question and a Warning from the Lord.

Four Disciplines of Worthy Disciples

In the Gospel this Sunday [June 28, 2020], the Lord gives four important principles for a disciple. He also teaches on the concept of being worthy of Him. We tend think of being worthy as acting in a way that meets a certain standard, but the Greek word for “worthy” involves more than merely external … Read more Four Disciplines of Worthy Disciples

God wishes us to be meek even toward ourselves.

God wishes us to be meek even toward ourselves. When a person commits a fault, God certainly wishes him to humble himself, to be sorry for his sin, and to purpose never to fall into it again; but he does not wish him to be indignant with himself, and give way to trouble and agitation … Read more God wishes us to be meek even toward ourselves.

Bill Barr Tears the Seamless Garment

Executing child murderers does not make Bill Barr any less pro-life. Catholics, says Attorney General William Barr, “understand that only by transforming ourselves can we transform the world beyond ourselves.” Saccharine? Perhaps. But this remark from Barr’s now-infamous Notre Dame speech summarizes the faith of a man whose public Catholicism has for decades emphasized both … Read more Bill Barr Tears the Seamless Garment

On Public Statuary

Although scientists like to flatter themselves, this is not an “age of science.” The use of reason to make sense of things has been in decline for a long time, and we compare rather poorly to the men of the Dark Ages, who could be quite handy with if/then propositions. We believe what we want … Read more On Public Statuary

Everything Beautiful, Abortion Destroys: Mother Teresa in 1985, 35 Years Ago

Will we do everything in our power not to destroy life? Will we love? Will we be loved? Mother Teresa put these kinds of questions 35 years ago this weekend to the National Right to Life convention. Help mothers, whomever they may be, wherever they may be. And if they don’t want their children, “Mother … Read more Everything Beautiful, Abortion Destroys: Mother Teresa in 1985, 35 Years Ago

Small Is Beautiful: How Small Groups Can Transform Large Parishes

Week after week attending Sunday Mass at her newfound parish, Mariette Coolidge had not yet made a friend. She had uprooted her life in California after the death of her husband and moved to Huntersville knowing nobody but her immediate family. As a community of 8,000 souls, St. Mark’s Catholic Church looked formidable. “I met … Read more Small Is Beautiful: How Small Groups Can Transform Large Parishes

The wisest way….

“O my God, you and you alone are all wise and all knowing! You know, you have determined everything that will happen to us from first to last. You have ordered things in the wisest way, and you know what will be my lot year by year until I die. You know how long I … Read more The wisest way….

Life Lessons: Four Pillars, Three Little Pigs

Here’s a simple fact: Life is brief. We have limited time in the world. So how should we use it? Before answering, consider that word should. Should is a modest, single syllable with immodestly thick implications. It suggests that different paths forward in life exist. Some are right, and some are wrong. Thus our choices … Read more Life Lessons: Four Pillars, Three Little Pigs

Eucharistic procession in Madison, WI, traverses sites of looting, unrest

“There are forces trying to pull God out of our nation,” Fr. Richard Heilman told participants. “We’re walking and praying with our Lord, and asking that Our Lord be every bit a part of our nation.” . . . Christ came to the public square here in the capitol of Wisconsin on Sunday. He processed … Read more Eucharistic procession in Madison, WI, traverses sites of looting, unrest

The exceptional Catholic novelist behind the popular Downton Abbey

When, several years ago, my wife first asked me to watch Downton Abbey with her, I was somewhat skeptical. A television show which had become that much of a fad seemed unlikely to be particularly worthwhile but I decided to give it a try and was soon thrilled with my decision. Not because it was … Read more The exceptional Catholic novelist behind the popular Downton Abbey

What To Do When Children Leave the Church

It’s a heartbreak for faithful Catholics parents when their children leave the Church. Even among families trying to do everything right, results are often mixed. Since we are one family in Christ, it is a situation that affects us all. For families suffering this heartache, here are insights from an author in that situation, a … Read more What To Do When Children Leave the Church

Chronicles of scientism

As an old Cold Warrior, and once “science kid,” whose childhood developed through the 1960s, there is nothing that ought to surprise me. We have Antifa today; we had the Weather Underground then. We have parallels to every event I witnessed through the idiot box of adolescence, and vice versa. Even the destruction of American … Read more Chronicles of scientism

Protesting on Both Knees

On June 4, I was returning from early morning Mass for religious sisters across Midtown Manhattan when, on 48th Street, I entered the pedestrian protective tunnel of a construction site. There was an African American construction worker on the other side of the tunnel who, as I approached, asked at high volume, presumably for his … Read more Protesting on Both Knees

The Coming Christian Reckoning

There is nothing left for us but taking the Benedict Option, which is to say, turning inward to build (rebuild) our spiritual houses, and cultivate not passion for “issues,” but disciplines of prayer, catechesis, and cultivating a willingness to suffer for our faith. I expect that a number of congregations will be seized by a … Read more The Coming Christian Reckoning

On kneeling

One kneels to what one believes to be holy: Jesus Christ, in the case of faithful Catholics; or political correctness, in the case of those who deny Him. In the present circumstances, when the former are denied access to the Sacraments in many places, especially here in Canada, we may still kneel in prayer. This … Read more On kneeling

With Cries That Pierce Me to the Heart: A Priestly Testimony of Grief in These Times

This moment of shared outrage and unified demands for action has so quickly devolved into partisan hatred, venomous blame-game accusations, racial strife and bitter division. The death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minnesota police officers is an event that united us all in shock and anger. As a video recording shows, Floyd’s … Read more With Cries That Pierce Me to the Heart: A Priestly Testimony of Grief in These Times

The Church in North America and Europe ceased to be culture-forming and came to be, instead, formed by the culture

In short, at some point in her history the Church in North America and Europe ceased to be culture-forming and came to be, instead, formed by the culture. Granted, the Church has always been and should be influenced by the dominant culture. How else could she evangelize? How else could she enculturate her message in … Read more The Church in North America and Europe ceased to be culture-forming and came to be, instead, formed by the culture

Confronting the Heart of Darkness

The first thing that might strike us about Fr. Longenecker’s book is that he understands not only that the very air is thick with angels but that the angels themselves are not always what they seem. Some of them are deceptive. They are angelic in the fallen sense of the word, which is to say … Read more Confronting the Heart of Darkness

“Lord, Teach Us to Pray”: Reflections on Fulton Sheen

When I got my first teaching job (about fifteen years ago now), I simply wouldn’t give a lecture on any topic whatsoever without looking to see if Sheen had a talk on the subject that I could listen to first. And, of course, he had talks on nearly everything. Even so there were a handful … Read more “Lord, Teach Us to Pray”: Reflections on Fulton Sheen

What is Wrong – Chesterton was right. We are what’s wrong with the world.

It is over a century since G. K. Chesterton published his book What’s Wrong with the World. He had originally wanted to call it “What’s Wrong” but the publisher insisted on the longer title. In its pages the multitudinous problems associated with modernity are analyzed and solutions are posited. The reader will note that neither … Read more What is Wrong – Chesterton was right. We are what’s wrong with the world.

What is acedia, how do you pronounce it, and why does this priest tweet about it?

What should you be doing right now? If the answer is “not reading this article,” you might want to keep going. If you’re reading this article because you’re distracting yourself from something that needs to be done, you might be struggling with something called acedia. On March 2, just before the coronavirus pandemic caused shutdowns … Read more What is acedia, how do you pronounce it, and why does this priest tweet about it?

China’s Coronavirus Mishandling Further Undermines Accord With Vatican

As Chinese diplomats are summoned to chancelleries all over Europe for an upbraiding over Beijing’s complicity in the coronavirus pandemic, the clock is ticking on one of the most important diplomatic decisions facing the Vatican. At the same time, the most senior bishop in Asia has bitterly attacked the credibility of the Chinese regime, restricting … Read more China’s Coronavirus Mishandling Further Undermines Accord With Vatican