This is the Wood of the Cross

Christ falls with the cross Domenicino ...ITALIAN (1581-1641) The Getty Center, Los Angeles - U.S.A.

Thanks for your patience over the last month while I throttled back on the more regular and/or serious blogging to take some time with family. This summer has been hell, and I thought some time away from the computer would be a good thing, particularly in the dog days of summer when all the cool [Read More...]

St. Augustine and the Jews

The pilleus cornutus was a pointed had which medieval Jewish men had to wear when travelling outside their ghettos.

This is a post from way back at the beginning of this blog, but it’s one of the better things I’ve published here and it wasn’t seen by too many people at the time. Since today is the feast day of St. Augustine, I decided to rerun it.  The paper was the product of a [Read More...]

Meditations on the Tarot: A Conclusion UPDATED

Valentin Tomberg

Note: This is the last in a series which looks at the real history of Tarot. I do not deny that Tarot has occult connections which are seriously problematic for Catholics. This series is not about fortune telling, but about cultural history and gaming. I was beginning to worry that God and the Machine would be All [Read More...]

The Bishop’s Dice Game [Tarot Series]

medievaldice

Note: This is the fourth of a series which looks at the real history of Tarot. I do not deny that Tarot has occult connections which are seriously problematic for Catholics. We will get to all of it in time, but for now please be aware that this series is not about fortune telling, but about cultural [Read More...]

On Divination

Since the Tarot posts are drawing in some new readers, I thought I’d share the relevant passages on divination from the Catechism, just so we’re all in the same page. Divination is gravely evil and strictly forbidden. I don’t support it, suggest it, take it lightly, or play around with it. Here’s why: 2115 God [Read More...]

How Prayer Works, And How It Doesn’t

god

After posting on prayer in the wake of our experience with Sandy, I got a chance to see it work up close. Two days after writing that post, my wife was struck with symptoms which everyone (GP, EMT, and ER personnel) thought were classic signs of a heart attack for a woman: nausea, pressure/pain in [Read More...]

The Gnostic Noise Machine and the “Wife” of Jesus UPDATED

papyrus_front_text_500

I was going to let the whole “Jesus had a wife” thing pass by in silence, since the discovery of a minor fragmentary unprovenanced 4th century papyrus of a probable Gnostic text is about as relevant to actual Christianity as an episode of Scooby Doo. If it turns out to be authentic (big if) it [Read More...]

Sr. Boulding: “Grace was there first”

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“If you want God, and long for union with him, yet sometimes wonder what that means or whether it can mean anything at all, you are already walking with the God who comes. If you are at times so weary and involved with the struggle of living that you have no strength even to want [Read More...]

“We did not make ourselves”

Benozzo Gozzoli: Death of St. Monica

Yesterday we celebrated the feast of St. Augustine. The day before that was the feast of his mother, St. Monnica, who emerges from his writing as a forceful and brilliant example of early Christian piety. Chapter IX of The Confessions ends with a long description of the death of Monnica, reaching an ecstatic vision that [Read More...]

Big Physics News Due July 4th

A big announcement is scheduled for Wednesday from the scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). The internet scuttlebut is that they finally have proof of the existence of the Higgs boson,  the particle which gives all other particles their mass. They allegedly have a “four sigma level” (about 99.99%) certainty of the particle’s existence. [Read More...]