Apologetics Corner

Apologetics gives reason for our hope in Christ Jesus.

“Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15)

By word and example we proclaim Christ Jesus. We are to manifest a joy to the world, even in the midst of suffering.

When we live as Christ taught we are joyful. This is a beautiful life that attracts others.

Apologetics is not principally entering into and winning debates. Rather it is answering people’s questions about why we are joyful through the use of both faith and reason.

That being said, we need to know both the history and doctrine of the Catholic Church and be able to demonstrate its foundation in God’s word.

John Henry Newman in Full

"Blessed John Henry Newman" by Sir John Everett Millais

I write these words in the Rome airport, on my way to England, where I will deliver a paper on St. John Henry Newman and evangelization. I’m still basking in the glow of the splendid Mass of canonization yesterday, presided over by Pope Francis and attended by tens of thousands of bishops, priests, and faithful from all over the world. […]

CARDINAL ETCHEGARAY, HENRI DE LUBAC, AND VATICAN II

Notre-Dame de Paris, Gothic style, 1163-1345 (Madhurantakam [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Last week, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray passed away. Perhaps his was not a household name, but this very decent man made a substantive contribution to the life of the Church, serving in a number of different capacities over the years and collaborating closely with St. Pope John Paul II. I had the privilege of meeting him in the mid 1990s when […]

One Cheer for George Will’s “The Conservative Sensibility”

We the People are the opening words of the preamble to the Constitution of the USA. The document underneath is a copy of the Declaration of Independence with the date, July 4, 1776

I have been following George Will’s thought for a long time. I’m old enough to remember when his column occupied the last page of Newsweek magazine every other week and when he sat in the chair of conservative thought on David Brinkley’s Sunday morning political talk show. I have long admired his graceful literary style and his clipped, smart manner […]

Lord, will those who are saved be few?

"Universal Judgement" (detail) by Michelangelo

I once heard a comment from a friend who was preparing a homily for today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel (see Luke 13:22-30). He was finding it difficult to “preach that there will be so few in heaven.” He has no problem on preaching about death, judgment, Heaven and Hell; but, he is disturbed and sad that, in his understanding, there will be […]

Obstacles to Evangelizing in the Modern Age

"The Taking of Christ" (detail) by Caravaggio

“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 […]

Finding God in All Things

There is, to be sure, a stress within the Biblical tradition that God is radically other: “Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” (Isaiah 45:15) and “No one shall see [God] and live” (Exodus 33:20). This speaks to the fact that the one who creates the entire universe from nothing cannot be, himself, […]

Into the Deep—Flower of Carmel

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

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, […]

The Catholic Writer Today: A Continued Conversation

Midway through the title essay of The Catholic Writer Today, Dana Gioia writes, “By now I have surely said something to depress, anger or offend every reader of this essay.” Gioia is probably correct in that assessment. But I find great hope in his candor and analysis of a complicated problem: “…the paradox that, although Roman Catholicism constitutes the largest […]

THE USCCB MEETING, JORDAN PETERSON, AND THE “NONES”

Last week, I gave a presentation at the USCCB Spring Meeting in Baltimore. My topic was what I identified as the second greatest crisis facing the Church today—namely, the massive attrition of our own people, especially the young. I trust that the first—around which most of our discussions that week revolved—is obvious to everyone. Judging from the extremely positive reaction […]

Paul on the Areopagus — A Master Class in Evangelization

"St. Paul Preaching in Athens" (detail) by Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The account of St. Paul’s address on the Areopagus in Athens, found in the seventeenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, is a sort of master class in the evangelization of the culture, and anyone engaged today in that essential task should read it with care. The context for Paul’s speech is his mission to Greece, which commenced when […]