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January 18, 2016

Why should we care what the Church Fathers said?

For many Catholics, the question may seem odd, and the answer may seem obvious. But for some Catholics, and I suspect for many Protestants, it’s a fair question.

You see, ever since the dawn of the modern age (not very long ago in the big picture), the Western world has been laboring under the mistaken assumption that simply because we live later in time than ancient people we are naturally more enlightened than they were. Then,...

October 26, 2015

Everyone grouses about death. Maybe we should take a look at the human condition and be grateful that God has provided us with an “out.” We should be grateful that, at the Fall, human nature fell sufficiently far.

It’s bad enough to find our reason impaired and our passions largely outside of our control. It would have been inconceivably worse, I suspect, to find ourselves unreasonable, impassioned, and immortal.

Yes, it’s unpleasant to be under an inescapable penalty of death...

July 31, 2015

This post is the fourth in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them.

This month we remember the 916th anniversary of the liberation of the Holy City of Jerusalem by the First Crusaders (July 15, 1099). News of the success of the First Crusade was enthusiastically welcomed by the inhabitants of Christendom. Unfortunately, Bl. Pope Urban II, who inaugurated...

July 20, 2015

As the last weeks of July become the first weeks of August, print and digital media are filled with articles, letters, and comments about the 1945 atomic bombings.

Year after year, the middle of summer is given over to reiterating the same arguments, often made by the same people and in the same words.

Year after year, I shake my head at what is written and wonder why it is that no progress seems to be made in the discussion. So many people talk past one another. Very few even...

June 15, 2015

I spent the last few days at a men’s retreat in Nebraska. To a Californian, Nebraska is a peculiar state. It’s unrelentingly green and nearly flat. Low hills rise just enough to block distant vistas. You can’t see more than a couple of miles, at least in the part of the state where I was. Your view is truncated, which may be appropriate when trying to focus on the interior life.