Minding Our Spiritual Step

Lent begins with the Devil tempting Christ to cast himself from the pinnacle of the temple, with abusive reference to the ninetieth Psalm: “He has given his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways . . . lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Though man lives “in every wordContinue reading “Minding Our Spiritual Step”

Deceiving the Elect?

There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Matthew 24:24 Is it possible to deceive the elect? Strictly speaking, the elect are those who will finally be saved, and as such any who may be deceived, will at last—byContinue reading “Deceiving the Elect?”

Where Honor is Due

Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen,Let honor to thee, O God, be sung;Dir sei Lob und Dank bereit.For thee, let praise and thanks be prepared!Dich erhebet alle Welt,All the world exalts thee,Weil dir unser Wohl gefällt,Because our welfare is pleasing to thee;Weil anheutBecause today,Unser aller Wunsch gelungen,All our wishes have been achieved;Weil uns dein Segen soContinue reading “Where Honor is Due”

Do not Be Deceived

Today is the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, popularly known as the most skeptical member of the Lord’s inner circle. The more I reflect on the nature and fruit of his incredulity, the more it seems to me that Thomas’s hesitancy, and subsequent surrender, contain profound lessons on the nature of genuine faith. ProtestantsContinue reading “Do not Be Deceived”

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”

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”

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”