We’re All Soldiers in the Cosmic War (St. Ignatius Loyola)

 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)        Am I going out on a limb to […]

We’re Living in the Age of Esau

In pursuit of an illusory freedom we have cut ourselves off from the experience of our ancestors (racist, rigid, old, dead, etc.) and don’t even seem to have noticed that at the same time we have cut ourselves off from reality.      It’s not all up to us.  We can’t invent ourselves, we can’t, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy notoriously opined, “define [our] own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” A proper appreciation of what we have been given by our predecessors helps us understand our reliance on what has been given to us by God as well (which is one of the main ideas behind this blog). If, like Esau, we listen to our appetites of the moment and disregard everything else, we will lose our own birthright . . . forever.

What does it mean to be a Successful Failure? (St. Bridget of Sweden)

     My, but things have been interesting lately, haven’t they?  Not that interesting is good.  The dust has not yet begun to settle from the Pope’s assault on the Traditional Latin Mass in his motu proprio Traditionis Custodes,  which was published last week. A large number of the most committed Catholics (and not just those who prefer the TLM) […]

A Hand Slap to the Traditional Latin Mass

Introibo ad altare Dei ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam. “I will go up to the altar of God, to God who makes joyful my youth” – Psalm 43:4 There is a well-known story about Canute, King of England and much of Scandinavia in the 11th century, who wanted to illustrate insignificance of human authority: […]

“Gloria” from Johann Baptist Wanhal’s Missa Solemnis

     It’s hard to overstate how much beautiful, excellent music has been created over the centuries, and how much of it is rarely heard by the vast majority of people.  Last week I published a clip of a “Kyrie” composed by Johann Baptist Wanhal.  Wanhal was an important and influential composer of the late 18th and early 19th […]

Death and Human Dignity

    Suicide is a key image for our culture today.  Our society is always looking for new ways to destroy itself. We seem intent on destroying our connections to our forebears, destroying their reputations and even tearing down their statues.  We reject the classic achievements in music, art, and architecture that they have handed on to us. We […]

Music Monday: “Kyrie” From Wanhal’s Missa Pastoralis

     One of the wonderful things about having a centuries-deep treasury of sacred music is that there’s always more to discover. I was listening to a classical radio station the other day when I was in the car with one of my sons, when a beautiful but unfamiliar composition was playing.  “There’s a lot going on in […]

Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World

     This July 4th is the 245th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which grounds the founding of the Unites States in a theological argument: . . . that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the […]

There Are No Dead Ends With God (St. Monegundis)

  As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:20)      There are no dead ends with God.  Most of us are familiar with the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis, how his […]