5 08, 2022

Be Rarely Angry but Never Arrogant About the Church Crisis

By |2022-08-03T23:12:27+00:00August 5th, 2022|Theology|

In full transparency, I do not categorize traditionalists as "joyless" any more.  The truth is that I find more joy in traditional communities than I do the normy Catholic world.  In fact, I currently find some of the highest levels of joy, happiness and fraternal charity in traditional communities than nearly any other community to which I am frequently exposed in the United States.  I would consider evangelical Christians way up there, too, actually. But "joy" doesn't matter too much, especially as we consider the Scriptures and the official ascetical theology of the Catholic Church.  Both teach that "gifts of the Holy Spirit" are given by God and they are [...]

9 07, 2022

The Dark Night of the Soul: What It Is Not.

By |2022-07-09T19:03:43+00:00July 9th, 2022|Theology|

In seminary, my favorite professor taught both ascetical and Carmelite theology. I agree with him that St. John of the Cross was probably not a sullen melancholic. St. John is made out to be today as a debby-downer (especially by us perman-grin Americans) because he writes so much about detachment. But even a cursory study of the life of St. John of the Cross reveals his high levels of energy, not only towards the ascetical life, but even the evangelical life of helping the townsfolk outside his 16th century monastery in Spain. St. John of the Cross' pathway of the Nada, Nada, Nada is where we arrive at the apex [...]

21 06, 2022

Balancing Self-Confidence with Humility

By |2022-07-16T15:22:20+00:00June 21st, 2022|Theology|

One of the things I find fascinating about Special Forces guys in the US Military is that they are usually soft-spoken.  One of the things I find fascinating about fully-certifiable narcissists is that they are always the opposite:  Whereas narcissists frequently speak about themselves in a self-centered manner, they secretly have extremely low self-confidence. So, what is the relationship between self-confidence and humility?  The pious answer goes like this:  "One should have confidence in God, not oneself."  While this is true, it does not take into consideration the difficult balance that St. Thomas Aquinas makes between magnanimity and humility.  In the Second Part of the Second Part of his Summa Theologiae, St. [...]

22 03, 2022

Things Come to Life In Death

By |2022-03-24T15:40:55+00:00March 22nd, 2022|Theology|

p/c: Peter Sweden I have always found my spirituality in the Jesuit and Franciscan traditions, maybe also in the Carmelite traditions, too.  Personally, I have always found Benedictine spirituality a bit boring when compared to, say, the stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi or the transports of St. Teresa of Avila or St. Peter Claver nursing to life mostly-dead African slaves sliding off boats onto the docks of Cartegena so he can evangelize and eventually baptize them. But as I look at a modern world that spends more time looking at a screen than the sky, listening to YouTube more than family members, laughing at Netflix characters more than with [...]

7 11, 2021

No Feasting Without Fasting

By |2021-11-07T14:37:49+00:00November 7th, 2021|Theology|

by Andromeda “I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3 The novel idea which claimed, and still claims, that modern man is exempt from the precepts of the Gospel, ‘because times have changed,’ entered into, and firmly established itself in the Catholic ethos during the post conciliar period of the Church. We were, it was proclaimed, to enter into a new Springtime, throwing off the dark and dowdy ways of thinking and being, and by so inaugurating a new human fraternity which would bring about a heaven right here on earth.  It followed as a natural consequence of this happy hypothesis, [...]

28 10, 2021

The Great Ones Part 3 of 3

By |2021-10-26T17:53:36+00:00October 28th, 2021|Theology|

by Guest Writer “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” - Luke 23:34 I’ll admit that I’ve long harbored an idea, albeit subconsciously, that only God could forgive heroically. What I mean is that only an infinite God of infinite magnanimity towards the most treacherous of His creatures could speak words of forgiveness while wasting away on the cross. For the rest of us finite humans, there has to be a limit. It’s the same mentality that St. Peter had when he thought he hit it out of the park with his question of forgiving a brother who sins against him seven times.  In [...]

26 10, 2021

The Great Ones Part 2 of 3

By |2021-10-23T20:56:03+00:00October 26th, 2021|Theology|

Above top left is my friend, Msgr. Philip J. Reilly, a priest of the diocese of Brooklyn who has saved tens of thousands of babies from abortion.  Above top right is a man who he helped convert, Dr. Bernard Nathanson MD who killed 75,000 babies before being baptized a Catholic.  The good news of the blog post will eventually get to these two men. But first, I want to admit that I was going to write a blog post on these two men.  The top left (second set of pictures) is Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele. Wikipedia says of him that he was "known as the Angel of Death (German: Todesengel), [...]

24 10, 2021

The Great Ones Part 1 of 3

By |2021-10-23T20:20:29+00:00October 24th, 2021|Theology|

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to Him with her sons, and kneeling before Him she asked Him for something. And He said to her, “What do you want?” She said to Him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, in Your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink My cup, but to sit at My right hand and at My left is [...]

7 09, 2021

Rivers of Living Water

By |2021-09-04T02:23:09+00:00September 7th, 2021|Theology|

Et sustínui qui simul contristarétur, et non fuit: et qui consolarétur, et non invéni.—Ps 68:21 Many people ask me with our crisis in the Church, "What are we to do?"  At the risk of sounding saccharine-sweet, I'm going to propose that one of the best things you can do is to give your heart to Jesus to let His heart break in yours here on earth over the state of the Church.  If St. Teresa of Avila wrote, "Christ has no hands but yours; Christ has no feet but yours," and since we know that Saul (before becoming Paul) in persecuting the Church was literally persecuting Christ-Himself (cf. Acts 9:4) [...]

4 03, 2021

Flying Kites on Clean Monday

By |2021-03-05T18:21:14+00:00March 4th, 2021|Theology|

An author at The Greek Reporter writes: "For Greek Orthodox Christians, Clean Monday marks the beginning of the 40-day fast before Easter; tradition dictates that the faithful start abstaining from eating animal products and fly a kite.  Clean Monday is a cleansing of the body in preparation for the holiest period of Greek Orthodoxy and the flying of a kite is an effort to reach the Divine. Having your gaze fixed in the sky for as long as the kite flies is spiritual and mental elevation." That last line might sound a little hokey, but deeper is something a Russian Orthodox priest texted me at this time last year:  "We [...]

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