Category: Christianity

The Third Decree

     [A very short story for you today. It has been said – by me, among others – that if you must have a government, the ideal would be a monarch absolutely committed to justice. For the only legitimate use of force against others is to effect the maintenance or restoration of justice. That’s why …

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Thanksgiving Afterthoughts

     It’s right there in the name of the holiday: Thanksgiving Day is a day for giving thanks. But to give implies that there’s someone to receive. To whom shall our thanks be offered?      Would anyone like a hint? Our supposedly Catholic president appears to need one:      Since the first Thanksgiving on Plymouth …

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Allhallowtide

     If you’re a Gentle Reader who comes for the political tirades but leaves when I start to rant “Catholic stuff,” here’s your heads-up: It’s time to go, hero. Fran’s boiler is lit once again.      Not many other commentators are likely to mention this. Hallowe’en, which has become one of the most “celebrated” days …

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Clerical Missteps

     The news in religion today focuses on the “Synod on Synodality” currently being held in the Vatican. Many Catholics are seriously concerned about what’s being discussed by the assembled clergy. Longstanding teachings of the Church appear threatened. Of course we won’t know what will come of it all until it’s over and its deliberations …

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Compare And Contrast

     The mysteries of the Future Columns folder continue to ramify. When there are a lot of entries in it, I have trouble selecting one to write about. But when there are only a few…I still have trouble selecting one to write about. Probably incipient Alzheimer’s Disease or something. What did you say my name …

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Were You Called? How Did You Answer?

     The Parable of the Vineyard can be interpreted in several ways:      Jesus told his disciples this parable:      “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.      …

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Worthy As Few Are Worthy

     Does anyone here remember the old “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s” rye bread commercials? They had a good point. Similarly, you don’t have to be Catholic to love Anthony Esolen.      Dr. Esolen’s most recent column is a clarion call. While he reminds us to “expect no help” in our …

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Self-Denial And All That

     Today’s Gospel reading includes one of the most disturbing, even ominous, of all Jesus’s statements:      “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”      This passage resonates with particular power in the aftermath of viewing Nefarious. For in that remarkable movie, the demon made its …

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Schisms

     I was minded to take the day off, but I started thinking about St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans:      Brothers and sisters: I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my …

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People Of Hope

     I recall recommending The Hope Line as a worthy charity earlier this year. Unlike most other charities, it doesn’t offer material or financial help to those who come to it. Rather, it offers a sympathetic ear and voice. Its workers will talk to you about anything, but an emphasis on…drum roll, please…hope. Within that …

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Love And Suffering

     With today, Trinity Sunday, the liturgical year continues into “ordinary time.” That’s a misleading title for this period. It’s intended to mean that we’re beyond the special season of Easter and have not yet entered the special season of Advent. Yet any part of the year in which believers practice the Christian faith is …

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Miracles And Faith

     A few days ago, I mentioned two “candidate miracles” that recently occurred on this continent. One was a case of Miraculous Multiplication; the other was the incorrupt body of a deceased nun. As I’m already a Catholic and serious about it, these don’t “prove” anything to me, though they say that God continues to …

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Gifts

     Not long ago, I encountered the following passage in a secular novel:      “Things should make sense. If they don’t, there’s no point to anything. It wouldn’t even be worth trying to figure things out any better. Why would our universe make sense with rules that make things like this ship work among other …

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Human Institutions

     They’re imperfect – all of them. Every now and then, a reminder is useful.      The Acts of the Apostles contains a pair of segments that make many things plain – indeed, plainer in some ways than the Church would like us to know. The first of them is in Chapter 2:      And …

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A Brief Announcement

     Someone who gave the name of “Mike Bizzaro,” along with a strange-looking email address, just wrote to inform me that “[my] soul has been removed from Christianity.” He also provided a link to one of the ugliest web pages I’ve had the dubious pleasure of visiting. It is extremely important that anyone who agrees …

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Faith, Doubt, And What Lies Apart From Them: A Sunday Rumination

     [I wrote the essay below five years ago, in ruminating on another Divine Mercy Sunday. Having reviewed it, I find that it still serves the occasion — FWP] ***      Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: …

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As He Said

     In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the …

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Good Friday 2023

     On Good Friday, Christians commemorate – not “celebrate” – the Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a day for thinking about ultimate things. The Church is constantly at pains to remind us that no matter how our temporal lives may run, every one of us will face “the last things:” death, judgment, and …

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Rising Voices

     Most of the time they whisper, inaudibly but clearly all the same. But now and then their whispers become sounds. Sometimes they’re louder than anything else in your world, even your four decade-long tinnitus. If you’re alert to them, you know you’re in danger. If you’re not, the danger is incalculably amplified.      My …

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The Wager

     Nothing is certain but uncertainty. – Pliny the Elder      Here it is, that grand day that cometh but once a year: April Fool’s Day, on which the only certainty is that someone is planning to make you look like a credulous idiot. Wait: can you really be certain of that? Well, maybe not, …

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