True and False Equity

“In the beginning, God created heaven, and earth” (Genesis 1:1). Shortly thereafter, Satan fell from heaven, and led the inhabitants of earth astray. Both of the Devil’s sins—refusing to serve the Lord, and recruiting others into his rebellious ranks—are rooted in an appeal to what contemporary culture falsely calls “equity”—a squishy concept by which puerileContinue reading “True and False Equity”

How the Wicked Praise God

“Whether the world wills it or no,” God explains to St. Catherine, “it offers me glory.” True, the intent of the wicked is to insult God. But the ways of the wicked are not wise, and the fruits of their wickedness are not as anticipated. From day to day, the “people of the world” mayContinue reading “How the Wicked Praise God”

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”

Singing What’s True

In my dazed and confused youth, listening to classic rock as I traversed the rural roads of New England, several of Van Morrison’s ubiquitous hits were etched into my soul. Apart from that, I never gave the fellow a second thought, until reading several years ago that the title of his popular tune, “Domino,” isContinue reading “Singing What’s True”

Purity and Play

Blessed are the pure of heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 Our Lord tells that, to be saved, we must become like little children (Mt. 18:3). Speaking as Divine Wisdom, he also tells us of that “When [the Lord] prepared the heavens, I was present”; “I was with him forming all things: andContinue reading “Purity and Play”

A Living Gift of the Living God

This is the day which the Lord has made: Let us be glad and rejoice therein! Psalm 117:24 Poverty of spirit, or detachment from worldly goods, may strike us as a fundamentally negative stance. As noted here, the blessing this beatitude bestows is founded on a willingness to relinquish certain things we may otherwise desireContinue reading “A Living Gift of the Living God”

The Blessings of Poverty

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 Strictly speaking, poverty—a lack of goods—is not good. As with each of the beatitudes, our Lord’s blessing of those who are “poor” (Lk. 6:20), or even “poor in spirit,” contains a paradox. Come to think of it, a paradox—an apparentContinue reading “The Blessings of Poverty”

Many Mansions

Te Deum is the great thanksgiving hymn of the Church, highly appropriate in Eastertide as well other seasons of triumph. Traditionally ascribed to St. Ambrose of Milan (340-397), it strikes me as a joyful extension of the Gloria—more didactic, but every bit as exultant in the greatness of our God. By detailing the ranks ofContinue reading “Many Mansions”

The Test of True Virtue

St. Catherine of Sienna recounts to us how Christ explained the nature of virtue to her. Every virtue, he stresses, no matter how private it seems, is practiced in relation to others. First, every true virtue is given by God, and performed for love of him. Next, every virtue redounds in some way to theContinue reading “The Test of True Virtue”