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”

Lusting Against the Flesh

Lust is an ugly thing. The “works of the flesh,” which “lusts against the spirit,” include such miserable misbehaviors as “fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcraft, enmities, contentions, emulations, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, reveling,” and others of a like nature (Gal. 5:17-21). All of which, we might note, have been exceptionally popular fromContinue reading “Lusting Against the Flesh”

The Jealousy of God

Seeking to put to rest certain heretical claims concerning the law of Moses, St. Paul draws a sharp distinction between that law and the promise of the Gospel. The ordinances of the old covenant were given “by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not of one: but God is one”Continue reading “The Jealousy of God”

Passing the Guardians By

A man identifying himself as “Francis” recently appealed to the bishops of the world, addressing them as Guardians of Tradition (Traditionis Custodes). The Tradition of which he speaks includes a liturgy lovingly designed, century by century, to manifest as tangibly as possible the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord. In guarding this treasure ofContinue reading “Passing the Guardians By”

Praying for Peter

Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. Luke 22:31-32 In appointing as vicar a mere man, subject to original and actual sin, our Lord was well awareContinue reading “Praying for Peter”

Giving Good Things

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father, who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11 St. Paul tells us that “all paternity in heaven and earth is named” after “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”Continue reading “Giving Good Things”

Let All the Nations Sing

O Queen of all the Virgin choir!Enthron’d above the starry sky!Who with pure milk from thy own breastthy own Creator didst supply. What man had lost in hapless Eve,thy sacred womb to man restores;thou to the wretched here beneathhast open’d Heaven’s eternal doors. Hail, O refulgent Hall of light!Hail, Gate sublime of Heaven’s high King!ThroughContinue reading “Let All the Nations Sing”

That Your Joy May Be Full

Scripture often testifies to the power of prayer. Our Lord himself assures us of this when he couples this command with a promise: “Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full” (Jn. 16:24). Echoing his Master, St. James reminds us that “the continual prayer of a just man avails much” (Js. 5:16).Continue reading “That Your Joy May Be Full”

Our Lifelong Friend

The bridegroom came: and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. But at last came also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Matthew 25: 10-12 A fundamental fact of eternalContinue reading “Our Lifelong Friend”