Apologetics Corner

Peter Claver vs. Immanuel Kant

One of the greatest heroes of the social justice wing of the Church is, quite rightly, the seventeenth century “slave of the slaves,” St. Peter Claver. Born in Barcelona, Claver joined the Society of Jesus and was known, even as a young man, as a person of deep intelligence and piety. Spurred by what he took to be the direct […]

In Defense of Marriage

In Defense of the Sacraments of Service—Marriage and Holy Orders… Our Vocation In His infinite love and goodness, God created man and woman in freedom to know, love and serve Him in this life and to spend all eternity with Him in the life to come. This call to holiness is our vocation and dignity. “Man is by nature and […]

"The Taking of Christ" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Difficulty of Evangelizing and Modern Man

“Indeed, let us continue to go out and teach all nations!” As members of the Body of Christ striving for communion with the saints, we are faced with an essential mission contingent upon first picking up our crosses. Our primary duty is to cultivate our interior habits of being by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Good works follow the cultivation of […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Answering Objections to Christianity

The Uniqueness of Christianity Ronald Knox once quipped that “the study of comparative religions is the best way to become comparatively religious.” The reason, as G. K. Chesterton says, is that, according to most “scholars” of comparative religion, “Christianity and Buddhism are very much alike, especially Buddhism.” But any Christian who does apologetics must think about comparative religions because the […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Grace or Karma?

Just a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Stephen Davis, retired professor of the philosophy of religion at Claremont University. In preparation for the meeting, I read Dr. Davis’s book called Christian Philosophical Theology, which includes a chapter contrasting two basic approaches to religion throughout the world. The first—which can be found in much of the […]

The Contradiction of “Pro-Choice but Not Pro-Abortion”

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). Our beloved Holy Father calls us to let mercy temper our conversations about publically sanctioned offenses against the fifth, sixth and ninth commandments, particularly abortion, and indeed there is great […]

Whose Truth Will Set You Free?

“It’s a non-denominational Bible Study,” my friend’s wife said at the restaurant. “It’s not tied to one Church or another, so it’s really good for everyone,” she explained with a confidence that nobody would be offended. She was excited to tell us about this new program she was coordinating with other women from her neighborhood.  She explained they were of “all faith […]

Saint Peter

From Scotland to Rome – A Story of Conversion

It was 11:45 in the evening and I couldn’t sleep.  I was anxious about a phone conversation I overheard my wife having with her mother about Catholicism and my patience for this divisive topic had run out.  My mother-in-law was asking my wife how she would feel about not receiving the Eucharist at her sister’s upcoming Catholic wedding now that […]

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

“Flower of Carmel” — A Truly Beautiful Prayer

Every year on July 16, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray—before meals, morning and/or night prayers, […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

A Pro-Life Philosophy

Introduction Thank you. Does this [microphone] work? Can everybody hear me? If not, raise your hands. Whoever’s absent, please raise your hand. A Review of Logic A couple of preliminary rules. I’m a philosopher, I like to argue, so I’d like to say something about the role of argument in addressing an issue like abortion, and then something about the […]