A Review of Common Fallacies that Weaken Arguments. | Archdiocese of Washington

  It occurs that our capacity to converse and to set forth arguments for the truth are often hindered today on account of many factors. One of those factors is a paradoxical relationship between a kind of skepticism and and exaggerated insistence on absolute proof that results. The fact is, absolute certitude in our human condition is rare, and to insist on it is usually unreasonable. This of course does not mean that firm certitude Continue Reading →

RORATE CÆLI: Christmas Octave: Devotion to the Child Jesus First part

The devotion to the Child Jesus Fr. Alban Cras, FSSP – Conference The devotion to the Child Jesus goes back to the very origins of Christianity. There are somewhat legendary depictions of the Child Jesus in the Apocryphal Gospels (cf. Infancy Gospel of Thomas, that presents a super-hero Child Jesus). We then see the Child Jesus appear notably to Saint Jerome, and also to Saint Catherine of Alexandria. In the Middle Ages, the entire world Continue Reading →

Some Paradoxes of Christmas | Archdiocese of Washington

In the ancient Church, and until rather recently, we genuflected at the two references to the incarnation in the Mass: at the Creed and at the Last Gospel (John 1). Why did we do this? It was explained to me that the mystery was so deep that one could only fall in silent reverence. There are many paradoxes and seeming impossibilities in the incarnation. As mysteries they cannot be fully solved, so they claim our Continue Reading →

Today is Born a Savior. And here are some of His saving Gifts | Archdiocese of Washington

There is a Scripture reading proclaimed at the Christmas Liturgy that usually gets overlooked. And yet it should elicit considerable reflection since it is proclaimed at the Christmas Midnight Mass, one of the Church’s most prominent Liturgies. It is from the Letter to Titus in the Second Chapter. I would like to reproduce it in full and then give some commentary following. The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject Continue Reading →

NCRegister | Recognizing ‘God With Us’ Even Now

If you view Advent as a time of purification, of evacuating the self to make room for Christ in you at Christmas, it will appear as “a little Lent.” It would be likening Advent to the state of a desert, which is precisely the meaning of Lent as a desert experience. But Advent has a different and bigger meaning. Advent is salvation history itself writ small. Its proper understanding demands refocusing on the meaning of Continue Reading →

Defending God-Given Freedoms – Truth and Charity Forum

The 19th century Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky once wisely said, “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.” Christians continue to wage a political and legal battle against a predominantly secular culture about the law and the meaning of life—both increasingly corrupted by what Blessed Pope John Paul II coined a “culture of death.” Unfortunately, this deviant contemporary trend is determined to make God irrelevant and extinct from society. Dominating the national discourse, this Continue Reading →

What is the “Central Mystery” of Our Faith?

Our faith begins with God. We sometimes forget that. For all the discussions and debates that Christians can get lost in, we sometimes forget that our belief is rooted in God. Blessed Pope John Paul II once proclaimed that our generation engages in a fundamental struggle, which is whether we believe in God or not. Love, as it is said, requires a self-emptying. A teacher I know once asked this question to a student who Continue Reading →

A Strange Thing Jesus Said to a Paralyzed Man – Another Insight from Pope Benedict’s New Book | Archdiocese of Washington

The Gospel from Monday the second week of Advent is the gospel of the paralyzed man who is lowered through the roof. It is presented to us in Advent because, among the many prophecies about the Messiah, would be that the lame would walk. But the Gospel also helps us to focus on Jesus’ central mission for us, and it is very provocatively expressed in this Gospel. The Gospel passage contains a rather peculiar and Continue Reading →

A Recipe for Readiness – A Meditation on the Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent. | Archdiocese of Washington

As we begin the Advent Season, we are immediately drawn into its principle theme of preparation and readiness for the coming of the Lord. The first coming of the Lord has already been fulfilled at Bethlehem. And while we should prepare spiritually for the coming Christmas Feast, these first weeks of Advent bid us to focus even more on the Second Coming of the Lord in Glory. Thus, as the curtains draw back on the Continue Reading →

Judge Not | Crisis Magazine

When we truly find that light the need to shine it everywhere will be compelling. Anything less than its full exposure means we have passed judgment. When we tepidly proclaim the word of the Lord so as not to give offense, we judge our listeners to be beyond its benefit. When we mute the doctrinal teaching of the Church so as not to challenge, we judge people deserving of the sin that enslaves them. When Continue Reading →

A Music Set Apart | Crisis Magazine

The offertory antiphon for the Sunday before the last Sunday of the liturgical year is the famous text “De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine; Domine, exaudi vocem meam.” From the depths, I have cried out to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice. It’s not a text heard in parish praxis much anymore. It doesn’t fit the decades-old clamor for upbeat, put-a-smile-on-your-face pop songs that are favored by publishers and pew sitters alike. And yet Continue Reading →

Homilies – Homiletic & Pastoral Review

Today, the Church begins a new liturgical season. This season, and this day, not only dignifies the beginning of a new Church year, it also reawakens the nearness of God’s loving presence dwelling among us in the Word-made-flesh. It announces the imminent coming and manifestation of the eternal Son, wrapped gloriously in the tattered, flagellated robes of our humanity. He comes to us as the divine warmth that melts the frigid lovelessness of sin and Continue Reading →