Faith and Culture

"Our Lady of Fatima" (detail) by Chambers

Our Lady of Fatima and a Theological Reading of History

This past [month], we celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to a group of shepherd children near the Portuguese town of Fatima. The series of Fatima appearances—lasting from May until October of 1917—is one of the most extraordinary in the history of the Church. It has also beguiled political and cultural commentators outside the […]

View of Monte Cassino Abbey at Dusk | (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Benedict Option and The Identity/Relevance Dilemma

Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation has certainly emerged as the most talked-about religious book of 2017. Within weeks of its publication, dozens of editorials, reviews, op-eds, and panel discussions were dedicated to it. Practically every friend and contact I have sent me something about the book and urged me to comment on it. […]

“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 […]

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 […]

"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 […]

The Nature of Music and the Soul

The Nature of Music and the Soul by Matthew Cole Austin and Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg “…when lawlessness has established itself there [in music and poetry], it flows over little by little into character and ways of life.” Plato, Republic 424d # # # The world is changing and we have become progressively desensitized to the increasing temptations available to us […]

Disputa (Disputation of the Blessed Sacrament - Detail) by Raphael

Three Root Issues that stand between Catholics and the Modern World

The great philosopher Aristotle said “The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousand fold.” These modern times bear out this wisdom. When influential thinkers of the past such as William of Occam, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, G.W. F. Hegel and several others took deviations from the truth in their philosophies, it […]

Jesus and Judas

Unfaithful “Catholic” Colleges

In 1972, the Venerable Fulton Sheen said something like, “I recommend that my relatives send their college-bound children to secular colleges where they will have to fight for their faith, rather than to Catholic colleges where it will be stolen from them.” Catholics in America stand witness to so-called “catholic” colleges as onlookers once looked on the naked emperor without […]

The Way of the Cross

The Danger of Human Respect

A persistent danger we Catholics face in this declining age is succumbing to the sin of human respect. We live in a climate of narcissistic self-promotion, rampant moral relativism and the constant intolerant call for tolerance of vice. The Catholic Church is diametrically opposed to all three positions and for a Catholic to publicly oppose any one of them is […]