An Irish Priest Writes about “The Force Awakens” and Skellig Michael

Says he: Since its in the zeitgeist it’s worth pointing out that for at least 400 years Skellig Michael was the site of a monastic community-from 8th to 12th century. Merchant ships from Byzantium traded fish for wine, presumably for the celebration of the Eucharist. The stone staircase built by the monks takes you from [Read More…]

Question about Mercy

A reader writes: I enjoyed reading The Heart of Catholic Prayer and found it interesting to reflect on some aspects of the Our Father and the Hail Mary that were not previously top of mind. One chapter that stuck with me was Chapter 8 (“And forgive us our trespasses..”) where you rightly point out how [Read More…]

Talking About Adam and Eve to a Seven Year Old

A reader writes: I wonder if you have ever seen this question addressed well, or if you would be willing to take a crack at it on your blog: My seven year old daughter is asking questions about Adam and Eve. Her naive literalism (de facto, never explicitly taught by us) is not going to [Read More…]

A reader asks about the pope calling Christians and Muslims “brothers and sisters”

He writes: I was hoping you could help me understand something. The Pope recently said that “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,” and of course this caused quite a stir. I ended up arguing with both a Protestant friend and a Catholic friend as to what he meant by this.  Initially I said, “All [Read More…]

A reader struggles with an alienated niece

He writes: We really respect your knowledge and level headedness of the faith and have a concern to share with you about church teaching on marriage. My wife and I have taught Theology of the Body for four years and have a good understanding of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Our niece, who was raised Catholic, [Read More…]

On Using the Language of “War” for Stuff that is Not War

A reader writes: I know I’m behind, but I had the chance to listen to your podcast episode where you and Simcha Fisher disagreed over the use of warfare language in response to the Paris terrorist attacks (and terror attacks in general, I think).   I thought I would weigh in.  Let me say, too, [Read More…]

Interesting note from a Reader on the Gnostic/Fundamentalist Loathing of the Feminine

Keying off my remark, “What we discover in the strange Mommie Dearest vision of Mary in older Evangelical circles is nothing about Mary, but plenty about the peculiar fears Evangelical culture has of connecting anything feminine with Christian piety.” …he writes: This particularly struck me. Earlier in my seminary studies, I wrote a philosophy thesis [Read More…]

Do we fast if Christmas is on a Friday?

A reader writes: I hope that you and your beautiful family are well and as always thank you so much for the wonderful work that you do. I do have a quick question though and I am hoping you may know the answer. What is he Church’s teaching on the obligation of abstaining from meat [Read More…]

A question about private revelation and hell

A reader writes: What do you think about the many, many horrific dreams and visions of Catholics over the years regarding Hell?  When I first really dove into Catholic literature, I remember being really shook up over St. Teresa’s vision of the place she had merited there.  She was shoved into a tiny hole in [Read More…]

Question about the formation of the Protestant Canon of Scripture

A reader writes: Since I last wrote to you (about Dum Diversas), I have been received and confirmed into the Church. Thank you for your kind and respectful answers to my honest questions, and thank you so much for writing By What Authority. That book was the nail in the coffin of my Protestant life [Read More…]