Back to School!

And so, it’s that time of year again—time to go back to school. Late August is marked by the return to the classroom, and with it comes all the emotions of young people leaving the freedom of summer behind, back-to-school … Continue reading

Augustine’s Belated Baptism

Sometimes we avoid the medicine because we don’t like to admit that we are sick. We look away, make excuses, or minimize the danger. Then, with a jolt, a shock bends us double, knocks us down and out. Finally, desperately … Continue reading

The Virtuous Mother

It can be said that mothers do it all when it comes to their children. They raise them by taking care of their physical, material, emotional, and spiritual needs. They, of course, have the help of their husbands to assist … Continue reading

What Made John the Baptist so Holy?

Today is the memorial of the Passion of John the Baptist, who was killed by the corrupt King Herod for condemning the monarch’s illicit marriage (Mk 6:17-29). For John, this was the culmination of a life of sanctity announced by … Continue reading

The Divine Model

As human beings, we learn to do great things by imitating others. “Imitation is natural for man from childhood,” says Aristotle, “one of his advantages over the lower animals being this, that he is the most imitative creature in the … Continue reading

Sister Larry (Caged) Bird

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.   (Mt 13:45-46) Last month, ESPN held up the fine … Continue reading

Labor Day

The very first “Labor Day” was celebrated on September 5, 1882. While today the holiday is characterized by barbecues, the start of a new school year, and the end of the summer, it began as a fruit of the labor … Continue reading

As Grain Once Scattered

Why does the Eucharist look like bread and wine? The Eucharist, of course, is not bread and wine. It is the body and blood of Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus wants his body and blood to look like bread and wine, not … Continue reading

Hunger is the Best Sauce

Today, the restless love of Saint Teresa of Calcutta was rewarded with the restless love of Jesus, the unsleeping rest of heaven. Many times in Luke’s account of the Gospel, we hear of a master and a servant. In two … Continue reading

A Sickness Unto Death

Saint John Chrysostom tells us that, “It is not so much sin as despair that casts us into hell.” How can this be? Despair is not the most serious of sins, but in the Christian life, it can be the … Continue reading

The Hillbilly Thomists at Appaloosa 2019

How many major music festivals have you been to that were dedicated to the Infant of Prague?  If your answer is “zero,” then cancel your plans this Labor Day Weekend and come to see The Hillbilly Thomists perform at DC’s … Continue reading

The Queen Mother

As one might admire a many-faceted gem, turning it over and over to reveal still greater brilliance, each mystery of our Catholic Faith shines forth with exquisite beauty.  The Fifth Glorious Mystery—the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen … Continue reading

That Sin, Again?

Have you ever confessed a sin and then, no matter how earnestly you intended to amend your life, had the desire to commit that sin again? Why aren’t we simply fixed after Confession?  Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Confession that … Continue reading

Perfect Prayer

“The Lord’s Prayer is most perfect” (ST II-II q. 83, a. 9). Such a bold claim might be supported by observing the centrality of this prayer in Christian life. In the first decades of the Church, the Our Father came … Continue reading

Legal Delight

Upon reflection, the last stanza in the Responsorial Psalm for today’s readings (the proper readings for the Memorial of St. Bernard) could come across to us as perverse: “in the way of your decrees I rejoice.” Why should a decree, … Continue reading

Why I Desire to be a Catholic Priest

The difficulty of explaining “why I desire to be a Catholic priest” is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one, rather mysterious and all-encompassing reason: I have heard a still, small voice in the silence of my … Continue reading

Let Heaven Receive Her Queen

Celebrations that commemorate Mary gild the liturgical year. Among others, we remember her Immaculate Conception, her Presentation at the Temple, her fiat at the Annunciation, her Visitation unto Elizabeth, her divine maternity, and, today, her Assumption into heaven. In the … Continue reading

Woodstock: Back to the Garden

Today would have been the opening day of Woodstock 50, a celebration of the pivotal music festival of 1969 that took place on a farm half a century ago in New York from August 15th – 18th. Woodstock 50 was … Continue reading

Atlas and the Infant

In the heart of Midtown Manhattan lies a juxtaposition of cosmic irony. On the west side of Fifth Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets, stands Atlas, a four-story bronze statue of the great Titan of ancient Greek mythology, who was … Continue reading

The Art of Dying Well

There is a question that haunts me: How do I die well? This summer, while I visited Catholic patients at the hospital, I found the beginnings of an answer. There, I saw a man die well.  A few days before … Continue reading

Christian Royalty

A few months ago, a new heir, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was born to the English throne. There was much buzz surrounding the revelation of the baby’s gender and name. When the reveal came, it captivated the hearts of not only … Continue reading

Back to the Little Prince

2019 Summer Reading Recommendations:The Little Prince (or en français) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Certains livres nous apprivoisent. Ils créent des liens avec nous.Some books tame (befriend) us. They make connections with us. For me, Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince is one … Continue reading

Faithful Justice

2019 Summer Reading Recommendations:On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer by Antonin Scalia On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer is a compilation of addresses, speeches, and excerpts from judicial opinions by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, interspersed … Continue reading

A Daily Examen

Today, people live busy lives. We are surrounded by noise and distractions as we hustle off to work or school…and then back to home…only to rush off in the evening for another meeting or another social event. We like to … Continue reading

Untangling Vipers and Draining Venom

2019 Summer Reading Recommendations:Vipers’ Tangle by François Mauriac The human heart is a mysterious thing. As Scripture says, “More tortuous than anything is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9). A tangled mess of loves, the … Continue reading