General

People Can Change

"Moses Breaking the Tablets" (detail) by Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There is a remarkable story of transformation that occurs in the Old Testament, and it happens to a character we all know very well. “One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, […]

What I Learned Talking with Thousand of Skeptics on Reddit

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

I just finished my second dive into the Reddit AMA world. One of the most popular websites in the world, Reddit is a forum for all sorts of online conversations and presentations. The AMA (for Ask Me Anything) is a twenty-first century version of the medieval quodlibetalquestions, during which a game theology professor would entertain any inquiry that came from […]

All Souls Day and Prayers for the Dead

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

I’ll never forget that bleak January day when my father died.  It was very hard to believe in the resurrection as I watched the undertakers carry away his lifeless corpse in a body bag. But imagine this scene.  You are an unborn child who has lived in cozy but cramped quarters with your twin for nine months.  But now you […]

The Still Pilgrim Recounts Another Annunciation

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell.                                                                        The Still Pilgrim Recounts Another Annunciation Aren’t there annunciations… in most lives? […]

Scruples and Moderation: Understanding the Advice of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Near the end of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises is a curious section titled, “Some Notes Concerning Scruples.” Scrupulosity is one of those pesky spiritual problems that we don’t always recognize but can give us a lot a grief if left unchecked. Believe me, I know! Never heard of scrupulosity? How about Catholic Guilt? Scrupulosity is Catholic Guilt run […]

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. […]

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

St. Teresa's Interior Castle

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to write another book. “Forever” was a well-chosen word because of the properties and symbolism inherent in the diamond. […]