Category: Christianity

Services

     I’ve been back from Sunday Mass for about an hour. Since then I’ve been reflecting on an aspect of Christian practice that has occasionally intrigued me. It stems from a brief conversation I had with my pastor, the esteemed Monsignor Christopher Heller, just after Mass.      It occurred to me, seemingly by chance, that …

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An Institution, Its Functions, And Its Organization

     I have said at other times that a church is necessarily a conservative institution. Its first duty is to conserve its theological core, for from that, all its other doctrines and pronouncements must flow. A church that discards or casually alters its core, or permits it to be altered or ignored by those who …

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The Ever-Trendy Faith

     Gerard van der Leun has a typically excellent essay up today. It’s so good that I almost feel as if I’m committing an offense against the proprieties by pull-quoting it, but…well…maybe the authorities will look the other way:      Back in 2006 National Geographic and other media echo chambers thought enough of this “discovery” …

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Evidence, Inference, and Faith

     What statement is aimed at you more often than any other?      For me, it’s “You must be crazy.” or some variation thereof. And more often than not, the stimulus is my religious beliefs. The person casting the aspersions on my sanity deems them “irrational,” the great majority of those who hold them as …

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Christian Love: A Primer

     Every now and then I get a burr under my saddle, and I have to vent. (“No, really?”) (Shut up, you.) Today is such a day. I hope you’ll indulge me, as the subject matter is critical to the future of Mankind. Yes, the subject is the one in the title of this piece …

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For Corpus Christi 2022

     The Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ, is a supremely important one throughout Latin America, and in parts of Europe and Africa as well. I wrote an essay about its significance some years ago. The feast strikes me as particularly significant today, owing to the steadily tightening food shortages here: …

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Virtue And Its Nature

     The contemporary aversion to philosophy – and to most philosophers, come to think of it – has the same emotional foundation as the contemporary aversion to poetry. Sarah Hoyt once wrote that the decline of civilization begins with open-mic poetry nights. She had an excellent point. It would apply with equal force to open-mic …

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Prepping

     Just now…for some time, really…a number of my colleagues in this madness we call blogging have focused a great part of their efforts on preparing for the collapse of American society. They’ve been gathering the supplies and weapons they believe will be needed for the day when what remains of civil order disappears and …

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For Mothers’ Day 2022

     A Happy Mothers’ Day to all my Gentle Readers, all mothers, and anyone who had a mother! Mothers, as most of us are aware, are vital to the continuing of the species…and you’ve just got to love our species. Especially the members who wear “pronoun pins” and insist that men can give birth. But …

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The Message

     These days, virtually no one in the public eye speaks plainly and clearly. How long has it been since you last heard a politician answer a direct question with a direct answer – especially an answer of “yes” or “no?” Come to think of it, how long has it been since the last time …

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The Neglected Patriarch

     Today is the feast day of a remarkable saint, the stepfather and protector of the most important Child ever to be born: Joseph of Nazareth. Yet few give him much thought, as virtually nothing about his life is included in the New Testament. For a modest taste, one must turn to a “non-canonical” document: …

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Faith, Hope, And Confidence

     As has been happening more and more frequently of late, I’ve got a large number of entries in my “Future Columns” folder, and absolutely no interest in writing about any of them. That the topics themselves might not go unnoticed or undiscussed, here are the links: Can a state law override your freedom of …

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There Are Days

     Indeed, there are whole years. And 2021 was one such. This year isn’t shaping up to be better.      But this is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the special liturgical season of Lent. It moves around from year to year, as it depends on the date of Easter. For those with an interest, …

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Do You Pray?

     Not a lot of people pray these days. To my sorrow, that includes many self-nominated Christians of every denomination, including mine. I understand some of the reasons. Our lives have never before been as cluttered as they are today. The world around us presents us with a multitude of distractions, some seemingly so imperative …

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Even The Greatest Men Are Sometimes Wrong

     Men are fallible. We make mistakes. Some of us are wrong more often than right. And yes, “men” includes women, so no smirking, ladies. Especially since the majority of you react worse to being criticized than to being publicly groped.      The history of Christianity knows few mortal figures to compare with Saul of …

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Threatening Or Heartening?

     I’m in the habit of sending out “Happy New Year” notes to my friends, cordial acquaintances, and other regular correspondents. Those who reply usually just echo the wish, perhaps with a few words of personal news attached. However, this year one friend, whom I’ll call Smith, included in his response that he’d decided to …

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Saint Stephen

     Today, December 26, is the feast day of Saint Stephen, one of the first (some accounts make him the very first) martyrs to the Christian faith. Here’s what this morning’s missive from the Catholic Company has to say about him:      St. Stephen (1st. c.) was one of the Church’s first deacons in Jerusalem …

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The Big Whys

     Why do you do what you do? Apart from the autonomic stuff such as breathing, and the instinctive stuff such as chasing cute girls, that is.      As far as I can tell, there are only three categorical reasons for any consciously chosen action: Desires; Fears; Beliefs.      Virtually everyone understands the first two …

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Names

     [My Christmas story. Someone – apart from Joseph and Mary – had to be first on the scene. But who might that have been…and what did he take from being first to lay eyes on the Christ Child? – FWP] ***      Census has always been an irritant. There are many — I am …

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Christmas, Children, and Christ

     If you have young children (I don’t), or were once a young child yourself (I wasn’t), you’re probably familiar with children’s Christmas frenzy. It’s all about the presents. (Well, maybe a little about the decorations.) The religious aspects of the holiday are virtually impossible to communicate to them. The origin of the gift-giving tradition …

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