Celebrating Cyrano


My essay this week for Imaginative Conservative is a celebration of one of my heroes– Cyrano de Bergerac. Did you know Rostand’s character is based on a real person? Until recently I did not know that the knight with the nose was an actual historical figure. Rostand based his amusing musketeer on a genuine character from [Read More...]

Retreat Forward

The blog is a hungry beast

That hungry beast called a blog has not been fed this week because I have been on retreat. He is very hangry…(that’s the combination of “hungry” and “angry” I did not have WiFi. What did I do on retreat? Slept, read, prayed, looked at the sky, slept, read, prayed and looked at the sky. It [Read More...]

Pope Francis: An Evangelical Charismatic Catholic?

Is the Pope an Evangelical Charismatic Catholic? Here is an article I have written for Catholic World Report. Is Pope Francis an Evangelical, Charismatic Catholic? Three other signs indicate that this is the best way to understand him. First is his repeated discussion of the reality of Satan and the need for spiritual warfare. This [Read More...]

Why I’m Writing for CRUX

Last week CRUX columnist Margery Eagan asked the question why we disregard St Paul’s teaching on slavery, but do not feel free to disregard his condemnation of homosexuality. I attempted to answer Margery’s question on my blog and the CRUX editor offered to publish my response. It is published today here. Which leads me to [Read More...]

Old Monk on How God Answers Prayer


Novice: How can God possibly hear and respond to everyone’s prayers? There are so many! Old Monk: That’s easy. He gives everyone the same answer. [Read more...]

The Joyful Pains of Purgatory

  Here is my article for National Catholic Register on purgatory for All Souls’ Day When we pray for the “repose of the souls” of our departed loved ones, it sounds like a passive activity. It sounds like we are merely putting them to bed and praying for them to rest in peace. However, our [Read More...]

Francis, Faith and Family

Pope greets child after celebrating Pentecost Mass at Vatican

Here is my latest article for Aleteia on Pope Francis’ comments on faith and family. With the Synod on the Family ending its first round, Pope Francis has used the opportunity to re-affirm and strengthen the church’s teaching on marriage and family life, and with it a refreshing understanding of what it means to live [Read More...]

Mantilla the Hon on the Cappa Magna


Guest blogger Mantilla Amontillado is the founder of Veritas Vestments. She holds a degree in Ecclesiastical Haberdashery from Salamanca University. She has done the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella three times on horseback and is engaged to the famous matador, Senor Augusto Torquemada. Lemme tell you hon, that Cardinal Burke, he some kind of crazy [Read More...]

Answering Margery Eagan on Homosexuality

Margery Eagan

Margery Eagan, the spirituality columnist at Boston Globe’s CRUX website poses a question about homosexuality in this column. Listening to the reading at Mass this week from Ephesians Margery heard St Paul say, “Slaves be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling.” The priest explained that times were different back then and St [Read More...]

Does Beauty Matter?


True story: here in the Bible Belt a young Baptist high school kid goes into a Catholic Church. He’s smart and amazingly well read. Already by eleventh grade he has rejected Baptist fundamentalist Christianity. He’s explored the other world religions and rejected them all. He’s on the brink of atheism Then he steps into a [Read More...]

Troubled by Evil Spirits or Demons?


Are all evil spirits demonic? I don’t think so, and here’s why: From time to time I will have someone come to see me who thinks they are demon possessed. They may be hearing voices telling them to do bad things or they might be having hallucinations which they interpret as devils. They might have [Read More...]

Get Real Here and Now


I’ve worn out the keyboard on my laptop. Honestly. The keys don’t respond. Maybe my laptop is telling me something. I spend so much time on the laptop because I write, write, write. I’m blessed with lots of ideas so I clutter up the blogosphere, websites and publishers with my tappety tappings. (this is the [Read More...]

Pick Your Villain: Kasper or Chaput

John Allen

John Allen gives his usual distanced and objective analysis here over some recent fireworks involving Cardinal Kasper and Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia According to CRUX’s heavy hitter, Kasper was unfairly attacked by the conservatives and Chaput by the liberals. First, both the Kasper and Chaput controversies illustrate the importance of context in presenting comments from [Read More...]

Providence, Paranoia and Peace


Here is my article for ZENIT this week. Everyone operates with a certain set of assumptions which they rarely examine. On this foundation of assumptions they construct a framework of beliefs which give order and meaning to their life. Even nihilists find a paradoxical “order and meaning” in believing that there is no order and meaning. [Read More...]

The Intellectually Secular Insane


Fr George Rutler has a clever and rollicking essay here at Crisis Magazine in which he twits the twits in the ivory towers of the Ivy League in their ridiculously blind defense of radical Islam Public thinkers have been usurped by practical atheists who are politely styled “secularists.”  Essentially, the secularist is not without religion: [Read More...]

Ten Things That Are Killing the Family

happy family

The Synod fathers this month were trying to address a real crisis in the human race: the disintegration of the family. The problems are very complex and are not simply a matter of people disobeying God’s law and running around with whoever they please. Is promiscuity a problem? Of course. Is divorce a disaster? Without [Read More...]

History, Histrionics and Hysteria


This week’s article at The Imaginative Conservative website chronicles the tug of war in the study of English ecclesiastical history. Which will it be? Once upon a time the people of England were happy Catholics, visiting their holy wells, attending frequent masses and deeply respectful of purgatory and afraid of hell. The lustful King Henry [Read More...]

How Close Is This Church to Reality?

exterior GRV 02.03.2014 SMALL

Readers of this blog have been following the progress of an exciting new church building project at Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville, South Carolina. In the heart of the Bible Belt we are building a church that looks Catholic to proclaim our Catholic faith with vigor, joy and confidence. Why is this [Read More...]

Duane Mandible on Welcoming Grays

Duane Mandible

Guest blogger, Duane Mandible is a contributing editor to The Truth Hurts, a bi-monthly journal of politics, economics and opinion. He also contributes regularly to Freedom Monthly; Illuminations and The Sojourner. Duane is the author of Guns and Knives will Save Your Children’s Lives. He is Vice President of the Sacred Society of St Philibustre, and enjoys hunting rattlesnakes, square dancing [Read More...]

Why Build a Romanesque Church Today?

exterior GRV 02.03.2014 SMALL

When I arrived at Our Lady of the Rosary parish one of my first tasks was to meet with the Building Committee. The folks in the parish had been trying to build a church for about twenty years off and on and for various reasons it simply didn’t get done. Now it was my job. [Read More...]

Conversion or Come to Daddy?


I read a smart comment yesterday: “Conservatives want to convert people by arguing with them. Liberals want to convert people by agreeing with them.” It’s pithy I can see the distinction, but I’m not sure it is merely a “conservative-Liberal” clash. Underlying the tensions within the Catholic Church –which blew up at the recent synod [Read More...]

Gimme That Ole Time Religion

I’m not too concerned about getting the Catholic religion up to date for people. That’s because the Catholic religion transcends time. Oh yes, we can tinker with this and that, use modern methods of communication and so forth, but no sense tinkering with the religion itself. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sure we can [Read More...]