Apologetics Corner

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Why it Matters Who Jesus Is

I have been reading, with both profit and delight, Thomas Joseph White’s latest book, The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology. Fr. White, one of the brightest of a new generation of Thomas interpreters, explores a range of topics in this text—the relationship between Jesus’ human and divine natures, whether the Lord experienced the beatific vision, the theological significance of […]

Evangelizing Through the Good

Anyone even vaguely acquainted with my work knows that I advocate vigorous argument on behalf of religious truth. I have long called for a revival in what is classically known as apologetics, the defense of the claims of faith against skeptical opponents. And I have repeatedly weighed in against a dumbed-down Catholicism. Also, I have, for many years, emphasized the […]

"Into the Wild" © by Jef Murray—(Click sketch for artist's gallery.)

Biblical Truth About Fasting

Last week, I asked the question, “Are you looking for the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ?” and responded by exploring the reasons for the Catholic practice of self-denial. We saw that “fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, helps us, by God’s grace, to […]

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

Why Catholics Practice Fast and Abstinence?

Would you like to know the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ? Of course you would.  We all would. Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one […]

The Crown | NETFLIX

“The Crown” and the Fundamental Values of Society

***Spoiler Alert*** The Netflix original series The Crown, which has to do with the last months of the reign of King George VI and the first years of the reign of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, is just the kind of program that Americans in particular seem naturally to love. It features beautiful photography of palaces, processions, and formal receptions; and […]

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Feast that is the Sacraments

Four elements stand out in the traditional Catholic doctrine of what a sacrament is. Fundamentalism is suspicious of all four. A sacrament is “a sign that effects what it signifies, instituted by Christ to give grace.” 1. Sacraments are signs and symbols. Fundamentalism is temperamentally wary of symbolism. It has a plain, “no-nonsense” mentality. Symbols are too poetic for its […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Conversion Stories from the Bible

Nearly everyone loves conversion stories. Over the last couple of decades, the conversion stories of people who have entered the Catholic Church have exploded onto the scene in the form of compilations of short stories found in books such as Surprised by the Truth and more detailed accounts such as found in Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. But no book contains more […]

"St. John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness" (detail) by Anton Raphael Mengs

Strive to be Legendary, not Popular

A while ago, I was lamenting to myself that I have not yet had my “big break” as an author or speaker (I know, it’s a bit ridiculous to admit).  My first traditionally published book was released almost a year ago, with a big splash and then quiet, calm waters followed.  Here I am, in the midst of winter, and […]

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

When are We Who We Are Meant to Be

When I was seventeen-years-old, I wanted to be the next Jim Morrison. I was actively seeking to feed only my sensual delights through a hedonistic framework built in order to cope with insecurity and make my social experiences more comfortable for myself. To make matters worse, I was increasingly affirmed in my impression that I was truly myself (and at […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

God Chose Mary to be His Mother

Each January 1 (the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. Some want to know where we can find these teachings in the bible. Some even suggest that Catholics pay […]