Francis and Benedict, Peter and John

John and Peter

I’m fortunate to have read Pope Francis’ interview before reading any of the fooforaw. Reading him cold, I saw not a single thing out of line with the papacy of Benedict XVI, which is why I was surprised at all the gnashing of teeth going on about a few words taken out of context by the [Read More...]

Spinoza’s Excommunication from the People of Israel

Humanities has a good article analyzing the causes for the uniquely vicious writ of excommunication pronounced upon the philosopher Baruch Spinoza by the leaders of the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam. The text is notable for its eye-popping condemnations, curses, and vitriol, particularly since it was written before Spinoza had published any controversial opinions. Let’s [Read More...]

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...]


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