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March 25, 2015

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).

-Matthew 1:23

One of Islam’s admirable features is the adhan, or call to prayer. Five times a day, a signal goes out from a high place in a mosque alerting all Muslims within earshot that it’s time to pause from their activities and offer one of the short daily prayers...

March 23, 2015

This year marks the centenary of a rethinking of Catholic apologetics that most Catholic apologists have never heard of.

Some Thoughts on Catholic Apologetics was published in London in 1915. The author was E. I. Watkin. Born in 1888, he converted in 1908 and died in 1981. He was a long-time friend of historian Christopher Dawson and wrote and translated many books.

I first came across Watkin’s name when I got an abridged version of the book for which he is best known...

March 18, 2015
The Garden of Gethsemane

Once a year, for the last five years, I have been fortunate to be able to go on retreat with the local secular Carmelite community. Every October, we drive a couple of hours north of San Diego to El Carmelo in Redlands, California, a retreat house run by the Discalced Carmelite Friars of the California–Arizona Province. The retreat runs...

March 16, 2015

Richard Becker, who describes himself as a “God-haunted lunatic,” has an entertaining rant against the use of missalettes at Mass.

Being a God-haunted lunatic myself, allow me to counter-rant in the same spirit.

In his piece, Becker poses a number of arguments against using missalettes at Mass. Let’s take a look at them:

 

1) The Argument from...

March 16, 2015

It is said that half of all the art in Europe is in Italy, and half of all the art in Italy is in Florence. That may not be arithmetically precise, but it can’t be far from the truth.

When Florentine art is mentioned, everyone thinks of the giant Uffizi Gallery, but there are many other showplaces, among my favorite being the Bargello, which once served as a jail but today houses chiefly sculpture, and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, where the best pieces from the cathedral are kept....