The Church’s First Decision: St. Matthias

The Church’s First Decision The Church’s first decision (of consequence, anyway) concerned the first successor to the Apostles. That would be the choice of today’s saint, St. Matthias, whom the Apostles designated to take the vacant place of Judas among the twelve. How the Apostles came to their decision gives us an enlightening look at […]

Body and Soul, or, When A Church Is Not A Church

body and soul

Body and Soul        The Devil is in the details.  He is indeed.  Take this whole body/soul thing, for instance.  We have a very hard time giving each its due.  The world of the flesh is constantly trying to pull us away from the life of the spirit.  It’s always tempting us with mere stuff.  In our efforts to resist the world […]

This Is No Time to Despair

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)   No Time to Despair   […]

More Than a Building: A Church is Much, Much More

Basilica Lewiston Maine

More Than a Building:     Christ is Our Model in All Things   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . (John 1:1,4)        Any truly Christian anthropology needs to […]

Catholics, This Is Your Language

Latin is still the official language of the Mass. If you’re lucky you may hear some of the traditional language, your language, in church. 

Newspeak and the Word of God

If you want to change the Church, if you want to change the beliefs that have animated Christians for two millennia, you need to take away the concrete images, the traditional words, and the familiar actions that embody the traditional understanding of the faith. 

Put Not Your Trust in Princes, or, The Autumn of Our Discontent

“My kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus says to Pontius Pilate (John 18:36). Our journey to that kingdom lies along a via dolorosa in this one: we can depend upon the powers of this world to save us no more than Jesus could rely on Pilate to save him from Calvary.

The End Point of Progressive Christianity

Where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint,but blessed is he who keeps the law.   (Proverbs 29:18)        We’re not cats, bats, or moray eels, as I pointed out in a recent post.  “We humans are different.  We are, again, unique among the world’s creatures.  We’re not governed by instinct, we alone can make free choices about how […]

Has Tradition Become a Dirty Word?

     Picture Sunday Mass in a typical parish.  A mother comes up for communion holding a small child in her arms.  As she approaches the priest, she awkwardly holds on to her infant with one arm in order to free up the other to take the Eucharistic host and quickly pop it into her mouth before […]

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: […]