His Soul is His Own

Every subject’s duty is the king’s; but every subject’s soul is his own. Henry V, Act 4, Scene 1 According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the purpose of authority is to help each and every member of a community achieve happiness. For human beings, happiness consists in a life tending toward the perfection of a natureContinue reading “His Soul is His Own”

Praiseworthy by Nature

If sanctity consists in doing our duty and leaving the rest to God, how are we to know our duty? Though divine law instructs us in this matter, its counsels and injunctions are addressed to men already blessed with the light of reason. At their best, St. Paul tells us, “The Gentiles, who have notContinue reading “Praiseworthy by Nature”

Teaching in the Real Sense

Teaching in the real sense takes place only when the hearer is reached—not by dint of some personal magnetism or verbal magic, but rather, when the truth of what is said reaches the hearer as truth. Being taught means to perceive that what the teacher has said is true and valid, and to perceive whyContinue reading “Teaching in the Real Sense”

Obedience to the Faith in All Nations

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, . . . by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead; by whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith, in all nations, for his name. Romans 1:1-5 When St. PaulContinue reading “Obedience to the Faith in All Nations”

One Poet’s Praise

Not fortune’s worshipper, nor fashion’s fool,Not lucre’s madman, nor ambition’s tool,Not proud, nor servile, be one poet’s praise,That, if he pleas’d, he pleas’d by manly ways;That flatt’ry, even to kings, he held a shame,And thought a lie in verse or prose the same:That not in fancy’s maze he wander’d long,But stoop’d to truth, and moraliz’dContinue reading “One Poet’s Praise”

Each a King unto Himself (under God)

Writing to the King of Cyprus, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) advises him to submit his governance to three guides: “the authority of Holy Writ,” “the teachings of the philosophers,” and “the practice of worthy princes.” Like sailing a ship, governance is the skillful direction of a body to its “due end.” A pilot may “proceedContinue reading “Each a King unto Himself (under God)”

Hang on Tight!

The ignorant man clings to the dust until he becomes dust; the wise and prudent man clings to heaven until he reaches heaven. The place where you hang on, you will belong to it. Saint Charbel Makhlouf (source) One should not follow those who advise us to think human thoughts, since we are human, andContinue reading “Hang on Tight!”