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Showing posts from May 17, 2015

More Than Words

It's not only the band Extreme's 1991 anthem to fornication, it's also a reality of the spiritual life. If you and I don't go to Mass, pray, confess our sins, and do works of charity, then a Catholic dude from New Jersey becomes an associate pastor among the Reformed, consigned to wearing Santorum sweater-vests for the next 30 years. Not that there's anything wrong with the sweater-vests. You can hardly blame him. There's no real intent to schism there. He might have concluded that Catholics wouldn't know Jesus from a hole in the ground. Isn't that true? I am not putting myself forward as some kind of paragon or example, but I believe the Catechism. I believe that if I were to skip Mass on a Sunday or another Holy Day of Obligation, that's a grave sin, and I'd be fortunate to avoid Hell, if I died with that on my soul. There are other things that I am much more inclined to actually doing, and so I stay close to the Church, and the Sacrament o

Room For Squares

This was the debut album 14 years ago from John Mayer. Some might say he is for frat-boys and basic fools, but I have always felt he told the story of being 20-something at the beginning of this century better than anyone else. We grew with him, and he with us. He's branched out stylistically and instrumentally, but I believe he is, as much as anything else, a songwriter. If a personal lack of virtue makes him less able today to give words and music to our experiences, that doesn't diminish what he's already done. The next two discs were even better, many say. Well and good. In all cases, I'm thankful for his gift.

LOL: "Entering The Catholic Church Will Solve All Your Problems!"

Buahaha. Buahaha. Seriously, that's hilarious. Has anyone ever actually said this? If you enter the Catholic Church, you're going to be crucified. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." If you don't know this, now you do. Is it worth it? YES. I love some of these Reformed guys; they sit around telling themselves that we converts have some deep-seated primal need for, well, anything that can be used to ignore the important questions that naturally arise. You want to know what's deep-seated? Our obligation to find the truth. Obligation. It's not like a desire for chicken wings, or sex, or Coca-Cola; reality demands that we live in accord with it, as the "is" that God created, whether it's morality, or dogma, or social ethics. If Jesus Christ came into the world, then He is the Truth to which creation must conform. He has instructed, he has taught, and we must believe only that. The trouble is, a great many Christians

Straight Talk

You know, I don't need to ponder the depths of contemplation versus social engagement, because I know that holiness, true holiness, is forged in battle, not bubbles. If you don't recognize that you are the sort of person who is drawn to whatever the wretched evil of the day is, you'll never succeed. Not ever. This is why I don't hector sinners , because I get them. We are the same tribe. But all the side-hugs and Bible time cannot obscure the fact that the enemy of our souls will find us, and test us. There is no "them"; we are them. Romans 5:8 is for us, or it is for no one. Social pressure will never fabricate the obedience that comes from supernatural love. I'm hoping the Duggar kid wasn't mixed up in some bad business, but I'll bet he was. One can only pretend to hate evil for so long. Father, grant us grace, that the pull of lesser loves grows ever weaker, and love of You may grow without measure, through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son

You Satisfy The Hungry Heart

One of those advocates of the Extraordinary Form said to me, "Actually, you're choking on "Gift Of Finest Wheat" and those other hippie hymns you sing." You hold your tongue, son. That is a great hymn. Why? Because it's true. If a dog had an immortal soul, he'd convert upon hearing it. It's weird that I'm the one saying this, because we shouldn't be singing hymns at all. That's right, at all. If I had two dogs, two puppies with whom I could guide on their life's journey, they'd be named Gregorian, and Chant. And seriously, who stole the antiphons? And yes, I'd be totally happy if all the priests faced ad orientem, because a priest making a sacrifice would be/is doing exactly that. I don't even look at him. But once more, do not say we are complicit in turning the Eucharist into "meal-time," just because you and Michael Voris haven't gotten your way today. I actually believe this gospel we are hearing abou

Dear Ministry Leader Person

I am sure there is someone out there who has actually been hurt by a church's (some would say inordinate) focus on families. But you know what this sounds like? Whining. The apology sounds like whining, the stuff that prompted it sounds like whining, and all these people should get doctorates in whining. You know what? You're about to get a heavy dose of the truth. If you take away celibacy as a special gift to God that is actually greater than marriage, this is what you get. You get a whole bunch of people who are defined by the fact that they aren't having sex with someone. Thanks, Luther. Thanks, Calvin. I blame you. Look, I'm a screw-up of the highest order, and the only thing funnier/worse than me giving a talk on chastity is...I don't even know. But chastity is what we really need. Here's a working definition of chastity, OK? It is the self-mastery of being defined by something other than sexual desire. You need this in any case, OK? Just trust me.