Looking Askance at Angels

Over at Virtuous Pla.net, Father Ryan Erlenbush has posted a primer on guardian angels. Generally, this whole topic tends to fall into the same category as the Trinity in yesterday’s post: it’s a hypothesis so dependent on Christianity already being true that it feels pretty irrelevant to comment on here. The reason I remark on it at all is because the specifics of the piece are setting off my scriptural fanfiction detector. Here are some of the specifics Fr. Erlenbush discusses: When did I rec … [Read more...]

Doubting the Utility Argument

First, a quick clarification: in yesterday's post about Divine Mystery, I used the phrases 'Catholic' and 'Orthodox' to refer to two broad approaches to thinking about parts of theology. Both approaches are used in various proportions and contexts in each faith. I didn’t mean to present either approach as a totalizing aspect of either tradition, and I’m sorry for the confusion. [/religion is complicated!]So, on to a different part of the responses to that post. Several readers mentioned that … [Read more...]

Baffled by Divine Mercy Sunday

I am totally confused by Divine Mercy Sunday tomorrow.  According to my googling (which began, but did not end on Wikipedia) this Catholic feast was established on the basis of visions by St. Faustina.  On this Sunday, Catholics are asked to attend confession that day, before they go to Mass, parishes are asked to display the image above (or a similar design) during services, and, as a result of these practices, those Catholics who go to confession and receive the Eucharist that day wil … [Read more...]

Harry Potter and the Unnecessary Assumption

Last week, I went to Mass with my boyfriend on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The officiating priest had lucked out, as the parents whose child was being baptized at the Mass had named their child Mary, providing him with ample material for a homily. Happily, he still returned to the matter at hand, telling the story of the Assumption, talking about the reasons it wasn’t in the readings or the Bible and explaining how the act of taking the event on faith could be t … [Read more...]