The Subsistent Soul: Are You More than Particles?

The word “subsistent” is tricky. Modern day dictionaries define “to subsist” as “to be sustained,” or “to maintain existence” or “to support or maintain with provisions or funds, to support.” This meaning is consistent with the word’s etymology. In classical Latin, subsistere meant “to stand firm” or “to come with relief or support.” In post-classical Latin the word meant “to […]

A Woman Changed By Grace

Some place, some time there was a woman who woke alone on Christmas Day. The cachinnation in the club from the night before still rattled in her ears, the smell of cocktails rancid on her breath, makeup chalky, long hair awry. She’d hoped someone would love her. She’d waited in her car for the one who promised to rescue her […]

Mary and Ecumenism: Our Mother Wants Her Family United

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, God the Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity; one God. Holy Mary, pray for us. The Litany of Loreto, also known as the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a litany of praises to Mary approved by the Catholic Church in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V. The […]

Did You Know St. Hippolytus Refuted Astrology in the Third Century?

Astrology has its roots in the astral omens of ancient Mesopotamia dating back to the third millennium before the birth of Christ.[1] The ancient Babylonians presumed astronomical observations of the configuration of celestial bodies gave them the ability to predict the future. These astral omens (omina) involved occultic beliefs that events in the natural world, such as lightening, cloud movements, […]

The Ardent Light of Faith During Advent

The song “O Holy Night” is usually heard throughout the holidays, even in secular environments, because it is so inspiring. The text was written by the French poet, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847 and titled “Cantique de Noel.” Cappeau was the commissionaire of wines in a small French town. The parish priest asked him to write a Christmas poem, […]

St. Aquinas (to Moms) on Repaying Favors at Once

Just like I read encyclicals, I read the Summa theologiae like a mother, which lends itself to a more homely brand of scholarship. Moms? Oh, we get the systematic dialectic of St. Thomas because it’s kind of like how we deal with our children. We pose a question. The children say, “No, I think it’s this way.” Another child says, “Well, I think it’s that way.” […]

Fr. Jean Buridan and the Birth of Modern Science

The reaction to Pierre Duhem’s 1913 volume Le système du monde: histoire des doctrines cosmologiques de Platon à Copernic (The System of World: A History of Cosmological Doctrines from Plato to Copernicus) was both strong and spectacular. His work provided undeniable evidence that in the Middle Ages faith in the predictability of nature was rooted in the theology of God as the […]

When Children Wonder if Faith Conflicts With Science

My first grader, Lucy, is learning about Adam and Eve, Original Sin, and The Fall. Typically, she’s dotting her i’s and crossing t’s. Typically, I’m bracing for the usual question. “Wait Mommy, who did Cain and Abel marry?” I’ll explain how we do not know, and for the first time she may wonder if faith conflicts with science. That pains me a little. […]

Does the Church Say Humans Evolved from Matter?

After Pope Francis’ comments last week about evolution and the Big Bang, a mommy-friend asked me a question. Us mommies like clarity because we need clear answers for inquisitive children. She said: “I get that the Big Bang is possible, simply caused and designed by God. I get that life changes and evolves over time. No problem. But, does the Church really say that human […]

Should a Woman Pursue a Ph.D. in Science if She Hopes to Raise a Family?

Recently a university science major asked me some questions. “Do you recommend a young woman pursue a Ph.D. in science if she hopes to raise a family? Can she do both?” I had just finished speaking about my decision to leave my career and stay home with my “most important inorganic-organic composite material productions” (i.e. children). I have five daughters, so I’ve thought about these questions already. I […]