When College Shakes Your Faith, Listen to Flannery O’Connor (Lights in the Darkness series)

My second piece in the Lights in the Darkness series In a modern culture that is adrift, it is good to be reminded of the true, the good and the beautiful. Each week it is my humble privilege to offer one selection from an indispensable canon of essays, speeches and books that will light a candle in the darkness. It is a canon I have assembled over many years that I hope will challenge and inspire each reader. But most… Read more

“Why I Am a Catholic” by G.K. Chesterton – (“Lights in the Darkness” Series)

“Lights in the Darkness” In a modern culture that is adrift, it is good to be reminded of the True, the Good & the Beautiful. Each week it is my humble privilege to offer one selection from an indispensable Canon of essays, speeches & books which will light a candle in the darkness. It is a Canon I have assembled over many years that I hope will challenge & inspire each reader. But most importantly, I hope it will remind… Read more

Why the Little Sisters of the Poor Matter

They are not accustomed to fanfare. Nor do they prefer it. But the Little Sisters of the Poor (along with several co-petitioners) found themselves thrust into the limelight of the Supreme Court. Why were they there? To preserve their Conscience. March 23rd was the day that the incomparable attorney Paul Clement and his fellow attorney Noel Francisco would present their cases opposite United States Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. The forum to whom they presented was an eight justice Supreme… Read more

The Church of Second Chances: Christ & the Wretchedness of Peter

The Apostle Peter Kneeling by Rembrandt van Rijn It struck me during Mass. It was the reading from the Gospel of Luke for Palm Sunday – the Passion, to be precise. I’m sure I have heard it (or read it) dozens of times in my life, but it never jarred me like it did tonight. Jesus had finished the Last Supper with his disciples and began revealing to them the tragedy that is to come. He spoke of a traitor. He quelled… Read more

Thomas More’s Choice… & Ours

Thomas More by Hans Holbein “There can be seasonal misrule only within a prevailing architecture of order…Debates and disputations…are possible only within the context of an assured and absolute truth which governs humankind.” – Peter Ackroyd, author of The Life of Thomas More He loved his Church. He loved the Law. He loved his King. Of course he did. And yet ultimately, Thomas More would have to choose. The Church, in More’s time, stretched back 1500 years. Its traditions, its… Read more

What This Catholic Saw At the Movie “Risen”

He was steady, to say the least. And he needed to be. As a Roman military tribune in service of Emperor Tiberius Caesar and, more specifically, Caesar’s prefect in Judea Pontius Pilate, Clavius (played by Joseph Fiennes) survived on a delicate blend of duty, courage and equanimity. The Roman Emperor gloried in his ever-growing and ever-submissive Empire. Pontius Pilate chafed at being relegated to the dusty outpost of Palestine, yet sought to assert ruthless control to achieve a lofty transfer. And, meanwhile, the… Read more

We Need a Burke, a Churchill or a Thatcher…Not a Trump

“Rage and frenzy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years.” – Edmund Burke It was 1790 and the French were still reeling. After little more than a year, the French Revolution, heralded as the truest of democracies, brought about the collapse of the monarchy, the aristocracy and the French Catholic Church. As delirious change swept the august French state, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” was gleefully spoken of in… Read more

Why Antonin Scalia Matters

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Just shy of his 80th birthday and his 30th year on the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin “Nino” Scalia has died. And as people react and consider his life and legacy, it is a perfect time to ask why Antonin Scalia matters? Clearly, in answering this question the greatest amount of attention will be paid to Justice Scalia’s Supreme Court legacy. In his nearly thirty years on the bench, Scalia decided cases ranging from abortion to capital punishment, gay… Read more

Why Christ Needed the Wilderness (& So Do We)

 The Temptation of Jesus by Gustave Dore He was tired and hungry. Why wouldn’t he be? After all, he had been traipsing around in this desert place – this wilderness – for who knows how long? Days… Weeks, even. It had been a time of focus, of resolution, of preparation. It had to be. He needed to feel isolated from his parents and friends. He had to endure the raw elements of the wild. He must endure the biting hunger from… Read more

Why My Kids Go To Catholic School

Author’s Note: Last year, for Catholic Schools Week, I was asked to speak to my parish congregation about why, as parents, we chose to send our kids to Catholic school. While my testimony spoke about our Catholic school specifically, I have changed the name to reflect what I think is common to most Catholic schools. Here was my answer.   It was years ago, but it seems as clear as if it were yesterday. I was talking with my dad… Read more

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