John With Jesus: From Passover to the Garden of Gethsemane

By |2019-04-19T02:24:54-05:00April 17th, 2019|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Barbara Elliott, as she portrays the events of the Last Supper to Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane from the perspective of the Apostle John. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher I went with Peter to make the arrangements for [...]

Mass of Notre Dame

By |2019-04-15T23:17:07-05:00April 15th, 2019|

Editor's Note: Guillaume de Machaut's Messe de Notre Dame (Mass of Our Lady) is the earliest complete setting of the Ordinary of the Mass attributable to a single composer and was written for performance at the great Cathedral of Our Lady of Reims in France. The following description comes from the website of the Boston [...]

The Derisive Fall of the Oxford Union

By |2019-02-21T12:24:29-05:00February 21st, 2019|

Where, one wonders, in these sad and tawdry days, can we find students of the holy ilk of Chaucer's pilgrim who place faith and reason ahead of priggish pomp and political pontificating? Not, it seems, at the Oxford Union... I am in receipt of an invitation to address the Oxford Union from its President, Daniel [...]

Becoming Saints in a Time of Scandal and Crisis

By |2019-02-16T23:10:26-05:00February 16th, 2019|

In responding to the present crisis and scandal in the Church, I believe it is possible to experience both righteous anger and godly sorrow and yet maintain a healthy detachment. We move away from healthy detachment when we embrace an emotional or spiritual state that depletes our inner resources and prohibits us from becoming saints... [...]

“Tolkien” the Film: Wormtongue’s Revenge?

By |2019-02-15T13:58:20-05:00February 15th, 2019|

A new film, simply titled Tolkien, purports to depict the author’s formative years as a child and young man, but will, I fear, show only a perverted and distorted version of the truth, weaving lies in a manner of which Wormtongue himself would be proud... I hate to say it, but I think that Wormtongue [...]

Why America Needs Thomas Aquinas Now

By |2019-02-09T21:12:05-05:00February 9th, 2019|

Who can save us amid our current intellectual messiness? I would offer Aquinas. His philosophy doesn’t get as much attention as other philosophers, but it was he who synthesized the ancient Greek into a unified Western philosophical system that will stand the test of time... The 2016 data breach of the personal Gmail account of [...]

The Faith and the South

By |2019-02-08T21:42:23-05:00February 8th, 2019|

When we think of “the faith and the South” we tend to think of Protestantism in general, and perhaps the Southern Baptists in particular, especially in terms of the so-called Bible Belt. There is, however, much more to the South than the Protestant evangelical or fundamentalist culture that has made its presence felt, socially [...]

Did John Paul II Change the Course of Irish History?

By |2019-03-17T00:11:03-05:00January 26th, 2019|

Did the speech made by Pope John Paul II at Drogheda during his visit to Ireland in 1979 change the course of Irish history? This is the contention of a new documentary John Paul II in Ireland: A Plea for Peace, written and directed by David Naglieri. The originality of the film’s premise lies [...]

Mercy as a Reality Illuminated by Reason

By |2018-12-26T23:16:41-05:00December 26th, 2018|

In his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii gaudium [EG], Pope Francis insists that we need to anchor our approach to the Church’s missionary task in the Incarnate Word as the principle of reality (“il criterio di realtà”: 233). This principle can be a guide for “the development of life in society and the building of a people,” [...]

Finding Faith in the Manger: Berlioz’s “Infancy of Christ”

By |2018-12-24T23:13:02-05:00December 24th, 2018|

Could anything as tender and touching as L’Enfance du Christ have been written by a man who did not believe? One hopes that Hector Berlioz was able to find the Christmas that he portrayed so beautifully... The poet Wallace Stevens once wrote that “The major poetic idea in the world is and always has been [...]

Do You Desire True Liberty? Then Let the Children Live!

By |2019-03-07T11:13:58-05:00December 18th, 2018|

St. John the Baptist came to prepare the way of the Lord by proclaiming the Good News of the coming of the Redeemer, and by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. According to Abba Apollo, a desert father who lived about 1,700 years ago, the devil has no knees. He had them [...]

Winning the Long Defeat

By |2018-11-28T21:55:23-05:00November 28th, 2018|

Actually I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect “history” to be anything but a “long defeat”—though it contains… some samples or glimpses of final victory. – J.R.R. Tolkien Together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat. – Galadriel My kingdom is not of this [...]

Death to the Death Penalty? René Girard’s Challenge to Thomas Aquinas

By |2018-11-23T23:38:59-05:00November 19th, 2018|

Is acceptance of the death penalty contrary to the modern understanding of the dignity of the human person? The anthropology of René Girard allows for a rereading of Thomas Aquinas’ defense of capital punishment... The Catholic Church’s recent definitive revocation of the death penalty[1] suggests that something in the zeitgeist demands a rethinking of one [...]