the old blog

All of modernity’s problems share a common symptom: a reversal of order. Wives ruling husbands, the flesh dominating the spirit, the consensus of the public overruling the truth itself, man seeking to be “as God” (Gen. 3:5). This is, of course, the problem of evil. Even from the beginning, the Devil works his way up the chain of command: fruit, tree, animal, woman, man, God. But as St. Paul reminds us, where sin abounds, grace... [ Read more ]
My parish had a guest celebrant today: Fr. Michael Shields, missionary to Siberia. Today's Gospel reading was the account of Jesus being served by Mary and Martha. Traditional exegesis holds that Martha represents the active apostolic life while Mary represents the contemplative life. Fr. Shields said that the purely contemplative life is a special vocation to which not everyone is called, but that even the most active lay person, priest, or... [ Read more ]
What does it mean to be a "charismatic Catholic"? Chances are, this phrase conjures images of Pentecostal-like hysteria and over-blown emotionalism. As a young man, I attended a certain "charismatic Catholic conference" that shall remain unnamed. It was full of hundreds baby-boomers prancing around a playing tambourines. At one of the breakout sessions, there was a well intentioned priest from a well known univesity who I... [ Read more ]
The pious old, Rosary-rattling woman who never misses daily Mass, the busy priest who never has two seconds to himself, the cloistered nun who spends her entire day everyday in prayer. When we think about holiness, these are often the images that come to mind. And, although holiness is a nice ideal, one look at our own sin-filled souls and we think, I'm just not cut out for that. Reading the lives of the saints can serve to drive this home... [ Read more ]
If I had a nickel for every Catholic who has told me, "I fell away from the Church right after high school," I could buy myself a fancy steak dinner. Some of them, thanks be to God, come back. Many of them have not yet returned to Holy Mother Church, and it's imperative that we pray for their repentance and return. By separating themselves from the Church and her sacraments they are placing their immortal souls in grave danger. It is for that... [ Read more ]