A Saintly Machiavel

Psychologically speaking, July of 2020 was several eons ago. This blog, born of my feeble attempts to make sense of a crumbling social order, had not yet been conceived. In the course of those feeble efforts, however, one memorable moment was my first encounter with the writings of Angelo Codevilla, whose The Covid Coup wasContinue reading “A Saintly Machiavel”

The Fig Tree

A preacher pointed out the irony: as the cycle of seasons plunges us into frigid darkness, the Church presents us with our Lord’s parable of the fig tree: “When the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh” (Mt. 24:32). Is this wanton cruelty on the partContinue reading “The Fig Tree”

Our Mother Tongue

Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season. 2 Timothy 4:2 “Before those who are opposed to the Tridentine Mass,” advises Fr. Roberto Spataro, “let us present a clear and solid argumentation, peacefully and politely, starting always from the reasons held by the other, accompanying him and helping him to appreciate our ownContinue reading “Our Mother Tongue”

Before the Day of the Lord

St. Paul admonishes his flock not to be easily moved from their senses with terror, “as if the day of the Lord were at hand” (2 Thes. 2). That day will not come, he informs them, “unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” How areContinue reading “Before the Day of the Lord”

The Jaws of the Lion

It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. 2 Maccabees 12:46 Domine, Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu. Libera eas de ore leonis ne absorbeat eas tartarus, ne cadant in obscurum; Sed signiferContinue reading “The Jaws of the Lion”

Precious in the Sight of the Lord

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 115:15 As noted yesterday in these ethereal pages, the Kingdom of Christ on earth extends to society as a whole through his enthronement in the hearts, intellects, and wills of men. Even as Christ informed Pilate that his Kingdom is notContinue reading “Precious in the Sight of the Lord”

Kingdom Come

Almost a century ago, Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of Christ the King, to be celebrated on the last Sunday of October. Though placed towards the end of the liturgical year, this reminder of our Savior’s regal office was not intended to replace the last Sunday in the Church’s annual cycle, which (like theContinue reading “Kingdom Come”

Skepticism and Certainty

And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge, and in all understanding: that you may approve the better things. Philippians 1:9-10 In a profoundly pertinent and provocatively penetrating essay, Gary Saul Morrison explores the wise skepticism of Leo Tolstoy. Against those who believe that human affairs can be reducedContinue reading “Skepticism and Certainty”

The Caring Curmudgeon

J. R. R. Tolkein, Oxford professor and author of the (pre-cinematic) Lord of the Rings trilogy, was among those Catholics deeply rooted in the traditions of their faith, who lived to see those customs violently uprooted in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council. Years ago I was delighted to hear his grandson tell ofContinue reading “The Caring Curmudgeon”

The Benefits of Bad Fortune

St. Severinus Boethius (480-524) was no stranger to Fortune, good or bad. Having risen to fame as a preeminent scholar and statesman, he was later imprisoned and then executed for daring to defend the Roman Senate against the raging tyrant, Theodoric. In his Consolation of Philosophy, Lady Philosophy helps Boethius to recognize the benefits ofContinue reading “The Benefits of Bad Fortune”