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.

What Does the Bible Teach About Fasting?

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

Lent is fast approaching, so I thought we should revisit self-denial. Fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, help us, by God’s grace, to enable the soul to more perfectly and freely pray.  This leads to a deeper union with God and thus we become better stewards of the […]

Argument from Pascal’s Wager

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Most philosophers think Pascal’s Wager is the weakest of all arguments for believing in the existence of God. Pascal thought it was the strongest. After finishing the argument in his Pensées, he wrote, “This is conclusive, and if men are capable of any truth, this is it.” That is the only time Pascal ever wrote a sentence like that, for […]

New York, Abortion, and a Short Route to Chaos

Art Babych / Shutterstock.com (editorial use only)

t was the celebration that was particularly galling. On the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed into law a protocol that gives practically unrestricted access to abortion, permitting the killing of an unborn child up until the moment of delivery. In the wake of the ratification, the legislators and their […]

About Social Justice and Evangelization

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

While I was in Chicago for the Christmas break, I had a wonderful meeting with around thirty young Jesuits, all in their “pre-tertianship” period of formation. This means that these men had already passed through their lengthy education in philosophy and theology and had been involved for some time in a ministry of the Jesuit order. The group I addressed […]

God Chose Mary to be His Mother

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The teaching that Mary is God’s mother was proclaimed to teach us that Jesus is true man AND true God. 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. […]

Our Merciful Mother — Our Lady of Guadalupe

In every approved Marian apparition, Our Lady has a specific mission. Each one reveals a determined and specific message—a unique and necessary goal. In the Anáhuac Valley of Mexico, on a barren hill called Tepeyac, Our Lady of Guadalupe came as a “merciful Mother,” a healer and restorer of all who are broken in body and in spirit. It is […]

The Situation After Baltimore

"Christ Walking on the Waters" (detail) By Julius Sergius Von Klever [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Questions about the state of the process of the reform of the Church in the United States during this second major phase of the clergy sexual abuse crisis have come like a downpour after the meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore November 12-15. This article originally appeared in The Anchor, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass, […]

The Paradigm for Bishop-Led Church Reform

The bishops of the United States are in Baltimore this week for their annual Fall meeting, but this year’s reunion is anything but routine. It will be focused fundamentally, with prayer, penance, and deliberation, on the response to the new wave of sexual abuse scandals; in particular, on how bishops need to be, not part of the problem, but a […]

Stephen Hawking: Great Scientist, Lousy Theologian

Photography Courtesy of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Stephen Hawking was a great theoretical physicist and cosmologist, perhaps the most important since Einstein. It is only right that his remains have been interred alongside those of Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey. He was, furthermore, a person of tremendous courage and perseverance, accomplishing groundbreaking work despite a decades-long struggle with the debilitating effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease. And by […]

Seven Ways Devotion to Saints makes a Difference

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

One good way of understanding my belief is to ask: What differences does it make? Devotion to saints makes at least seven important differences to Catholics. In each case, fundamentalists find Catholicism too mystical for their tastes. First, saints make a difference to our prayer. We’re not alone when we pray. We’re surrounded by saints. If there was any one […]