December 30, 2014

New Year’s Day promises two certainties: college football bowl games and Christmas trees on the curb. To Catholics, of course, January 1 is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. It's a Holy Day of Obligation, and the final day of the Octave of Christmas.

The Church, however, is so generous with joy. She does not end our celebration of the Incarnation with the conclusion of the Octave of Christmas. She extends it to Epiphany. Twelfth Night, as our English-speaking brethren call it, is...

December 30, 2014

Catholic Answers Press has published a new single-volume edition of Radio Replies, the classic question-and-answer book by Australian apologist Fr. Leslie Rumble. As a semi-regular feature on the Catholic Answers blog, we will post some samples from Radio Replies to showcase Fr. Rumble's knowledge, faith, and wit.

769. Christmas Day is always on December 25th. Why are not our Lord’s...

December 22, 2014

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

Anna Comnena was the thirteen-year-old daughter of Emperor Alexius I when the initial group of Crusaders marched into Constantinople during the First Crusade in the late eleventh century. Later, as a woman in her forties, she wrote the Alexiad, an account of the events of her father’s reign. In describing the arrival of these warriors from the West,...

December 20, 2014

As a young Protestant, this was one of my favorites to ask Catholics. “Why do Catholics pray ‘repetitious prayer’ like the Rosary when Jesus says not to pray ‘vain repetitions’ in Matthew 6:7?”

I think we should begin here by quoting the actual text of Matt. 6:7:

And in praying do not heap up empty phrases (“vain repetitions” in KJV) as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words....

December 15, 2014

I recently received a couple of apologetics inquiries that may not seem related on the surface, but that I believe are suggestive of a common problematic approach to the Mass. The first was about the propriety of Christmas pageants in church. The inquirer was very obviously put off by the common custom of small children acting out the Christmas story for the benefit of parishioners, and wanted to know if this kind of spectacle was appropriate in a church dedicated to the worship of God:...