May 7, 2013

In the Divine Comedy, Dante is guided through the heavens by his courtly love, Beatrice.

These heavens are based on the astronomical ideas of the day, and she takes him through nine of them before they arrive at the ultimate dwelling place of God.

The idea that there are multiple heavens is not a concept that originated with Dante. Various ancient sources, including passages in the Bible...

May 7, 2013

As a speaker with Catholic Answers, I fly a lot. Part of what I love about flying is meeting those sitting next to me.

On a recent flight I had an opportunity to share my faith with a woman who seemed to believe in everything except the law of non-contradiction: fairies, God, heaven, reincarnation, Catholicism, the law of attraction.

One thing she didn't believe in was hell.

In fact, after learning what I do for a living, one of the first things Mary said to me was that...

May 6, 2013

Candida Moss, a professor of early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame, claims that many of the reports of martyrdom in the early Church under the Roman Empire were entirely fabricated in her recently published book, The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom.

According to...

May 6, 2013

When he wasn’t ideating Morlocks and alien tripods, H. G. Wells took a moment to snark that “Belloc and Chesterton have surrounded Catholicism with a kind of boozy halo.”

There’s something to that: Along with their other accomplishments as authors, speakers, and defenders of the Faith, Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton invented—or at least perfected in their time—the jolly melding of Church and tavern that celebrated God’s presence in creation from tabernacle to tankard.

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May 5, 2013

As both a guest and, at times, a host on our radio broadcast, Catholic Answers Live, I have spoken on many different topics over the years. Mostly, I do the “Open Forum Q&A” on Tuesdays, but my favorite hours have been our “Open Forum for Non-Catholics,” when we take calls only from non-Catholics or from people who are in the process of coming into full communion with the Church but who are not yet formally Catholic.

After a recent hour of “Open Forum for Non-Catholics,”...