(This was written in preparation for a series of conferences on vocations and states in life that I gave at Saint Benedict Center in the Spring of 2005. Please see the end of this piece for a small table of contents with links to the other conferences.) In the previous conference, we introduced the general […]

[We're posting this at a liturgically inopportune time. It's a matter of scheduling. Read it after the Easter Vigil, if you will.] Every year around Holy Week, the refuse that forms America’s popular reading material comes out with a volley of blasphemies against our Lord’s holy Resurrection. Citing one or another perfidious “noted scholar,” the […]

Why God Hates Sin

December 23, 2010 | 1 Comment

[Originally posted on January 22, 2009] To hear the words, “God hates sin,” may, for certain modern men, invoke images of a deity too demanding to be very comfortable. Such moderns would find the proposition savoring of a dogmatism that borders on the primitive. For them, it sounds so arbitrary for God to label certain […]

The Mystical Incarnation

January 21, 2010 | 1 Comment

Saint Louis de Montfort says that the true Slaves of Jesus through Mary will have a special devotion to the Incarnation (True Devotion , No. 243). Those who desire to be disciples of this great spiritual writer of the Church — an inspiration to so many other saints1 — would do well to consider what […]

The gifts of the Holy Ghost resemble the infused virtues in a number of ways. Both are operative habits which have God as their efficient cause and the perfection of man as their final cause. Both reside in the human faculties and have right behavior as their material object.

Friends Forever: St. Augustine, Friendship, and Catholic Evangelism

Editors Introduction: This is the transcription of a talk that I gave at the 2003 Saint Joseph Forum Conference. The talk is available from The Saint Augustine Institute.

As I write this, it is the Feast of the Holy Family, the first Sunday after the Epiphany. On this day, the Church celebrates Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the human holy trinity that perfectly images the divine Holy Trinity. In the Godhead there is a family of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; on earth, there […]

Grace Perfects Nature

April 12, 2008 | 1 Comment

Rationalists, for whom the supernatural order is a mere fantasy, contend that the Catholic concept of grace alienates man from his nature. The opposite error was advanced by certain modern Catholic theologians who broke with tradition and made grace virtually implicit in nature.

The following is from Blessed Columba Marmion’s masterful Christ, the Life of the Soul. In the larger context, Abbot Marmion is considering the mystery of holiness, first in God, then in men. After speaking of holiness considered as an attribute of God (i.e., in the Divine Nature), he goes on to consider holiness in the […]

This paper answers the following question: Given what Catholics believe about grace, merit and justification, why is it much more logical for Catholics to have treatises on progress in the practice of the presence of God and growth in mystical prayer than Protestants? To answer this question, we must first contrast the two positions on […]

Mysticism and Controversy

November 22, 2007 | 1 Comment

This article was originally published on the Spero News site. It is a wonderful sign that the study of serious mystical theology is gaining momentum in Catholic circles. We have much cause for joy in the revival of the deep, fortifying works of spiritual masters such as St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of […]

The Challoner edition of the Douay-Rheims Bible gives a good description of Philippians 2 at the head of the chapter: “He recommends them to unity and humility, and to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.” In broad overview, what St. Paul delivers in this chapter one of his many exhortations to unity, but […]

Here is the assignment: “The Church teaches that Christ is truly human and truly divine. Comment on the significance of each of the aspects of the mystery of Christ with regard to our sanctification and our salvation.” The title I gave it for the blog uses the word “theandric,” which Father John Hardon, S.J. , […]

The eternal processions in the Blessed Trinity – the Son’s generation from the Father and the Holy Ghost’s spiration from the Father and the Son – are reflected in creation in the temporal missions of the Son and the Holy Ghost. A divine mission involves a temporal “sending” of one divine Person by another (or […]

The gifts of the Holy Ghost resemble the infused virtues in a number of ways. Both are operative habits which have God as their efficient cause and the perfection of man as their final cause. Both reside in the human faculties and have right behavior as their material object. Where they differ is in their […]