Catholic Church

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 […]

Undeniable

Photography © by Randy Hain

“Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins. The existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works, by the light of human reason, even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error. This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding […]

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. […]

God is Asking Something Heroic of Us

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

“The disciple of Christ consents to ‘live in the truth,’ that is, in the simplicity of a life in conformity with the Lord’s example, abiding in his truth. ‘If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth.” (CCC, 2470) I first interacted with Father Roger Landry […]

We are Made for Truth, not Heresy

"Fall of Lucifer"

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23). Few things are more heartbreaking for a faithful Catholic than to hear someone say, “I really love the Catholic Church, but I just disagree with a few of Her teachings.” We might politely refer to such a one as a “cafeteria Catholic” in […]

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 […]

Ask a Carmelite — Is There a Difference Between a Nun and a Sister?

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Dear Sister Timothy Marie, Sister Timothy, are you a nun? Dear Friend, Well, I do wear a long brown habit and I have professed three vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty, in consecration to God forever. But am I a nun?  My name is SISTER Timothy Marie. But am I a nun? Here is the answer. In a practical, everyday […]

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 […]

They Know I’m Catholic, Right?

Photograph © by Andy Coan

I gave a talk one Sunday morning to the men’s club of a large Atlanta Methodist church at the request of an old friend. When he asked me to speak to this group months before the talk, I responded with a question which I would ask him repeatedly every time we got together: “They know I’m Catholic, right?” I engage […]