What a Catholic Can Learn From Orwell, Churchill & Bruce Springsteen


Recently, on my Instagram account (catholic thinker), I posted a quote by George Orwell that went something like this,"There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them."The quote seemed apropos for an issue of the day and it generated an expected number of "likes" before one honest (and earnest) Catholic observer noted, "Strange to see such an anti-Catholic writer being quoted here." This didn't seem to be a snarky comment so common to the subterranean trollers … [Read more...]

Six Words That Explain The Catholic View of Death

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Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Remembering the Dead: Ancestors, Rituals, Relics. Read other perspectives here."Everything is going to be okay."These are the six words she said. And I believed her. Sharon Barrett has said this to me more than once since her husband (and my patient and friend), Dick, passed away last winter. "Everything is going to be okay." Perhaps these simple but confident words best epitomize the Catholic view of death. Before I … [Read more...]

Churchill, Chamberlain & Why Leadership Matters


Recently, thanks to Elizabeth Scalia's piece on Winston Churchill, I got to thinking. Leadership really matters. Seventy five years ago, on September 1st, the most destructive war in human history began. And it began with a strategy called "Lightning War". The German Army under the rabid leadership of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist state raced into and crushed the valiant, but overwhelmed Polish Army in a matter of weeks. Poland, trapped between the two unparalleled despotisms of … [Read more...]

The Conversion of Evelyn Waugh & the Fine Art of Keeping One’s Head


"The trouble about the world today is that there's not enough religion in it. There's nothing to stop young people doing whatever they feel like doing at the moment." - Evelyn WaughIt was an unexpected comment, to be sure. After all, it came from the vogue British novelist who penned the wildly popular satires Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies. But perhaps the occasion on which he chose to say this would excuse that which he said. He was announcing his divorce to his brother. His wife of ba … [Read more...]

How the News Tried To Make Me a Cynic…and Failed


"It is better to light a candle to than to curse the darkness." - Anonymous"C'mon. Give it to me. Just one more time.", he chided. "Not again," I came back. "Just go on. Give me the list. Is it ten? Fifteen? More?" And then, with my level-best self-deprecation, I would begin to count. And list. My friend knew that things had not changed. In fact, he reveled in it. I was a news junkie. And it was out of control. The list of my active subscriptions went something like this: The Atlantic … [Read more...]

Are You Fair to the Catholic Church? (An Invitation to “Recovering Catholics”)


It happened one night years ago at the local Lutheran church. I should have seen it coming. After all, it's the kind of thing I had been around for years. But this is the first time I really noticed it. And it bothered me. My wife and I were taking an Alpha Course over the course of roughly ten weeks. The thrust of the course was to foster small group discussion on the tenets of the Christian faith following an ostensibly ecumenical (effectively Protestant) instructive video by a charismatic, if … [Read more...]