How to Define Dogma

Today we commemorate the day on which “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” These words are taken from a decree of Pope Pius XII, solemnly defining as dogma—that is, as revealed by God—a privilege which theContinue reading “How to Define Dogma”

Unwinding Unwisdom

An old and erroneous nugget of unwisdom has it that the English word tedium originates from the Latin Te Deum—the Church’s hymn of thanksgiving, attributed to St. Ambrose of Milan, rehearsing on earth the divine praises we hope one day to sing in heaven. To those who have difficulty sitting through a sermon or sacredContinue reading “Unwinding Unwisdom”

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”

Behold Thy Mother

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is just. Honor thy father and thy mother, which is the first commandment with a promise: That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest be long lived upon earth. Ephesians 6:1-3 When Jesus therefore had seen his mother, and the disciple standing whom heContinue reading “Behold Thy Mother”


During Eastertide, the Church’s Marian hymn of choice is the Regina Caeli: Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia; Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia: Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. (Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia; the Son you merited to bear, alleluia, has risen as he said, alleluia. Pray to God for us, alleluia.) JustContinue reading “Alleluia!”

Betting on the Strong Man

When a strong man armed keeps his court, those things are in peace which he possesses. Luke 11:21 For his pains in casting out a devil of dumbness, our Lord is accused of being in league with the devil. On its face, the accusation is preposterous, assuming as it does that Satan is dumb enoughContinue reading “Betting on the Strong Man”

Queen of Heaven

Hail, O Queen of Heaven enthroned. Hail, by angels mistress owned. Root of Jesse, Gate of Morn Whence the world’s true Light was born: Glorious Virgin, Joy to thee, Loveliest whom in heaven they see; Fairest thou, where all are fair, Plead with Christ our souls to spare. Ave Regina Caelorum Dr. John Pepino discussesContinue reading “Queen of Heaven”

Help for the Fallen

Loving Mother of the Redeemer, who remain the open Gate of Heaven, and Star of the Sea: Give aid to a falling people that strives to rise! O Thou, who begot thy holy Begetter while all nature marveled, virgin before and after, receiving that “Ave” from the mouth of Gabriel: Have mercy on sinners! AlmaContinue reading “Help for the Fallen”

Let Us Sing in Exaltation!

Or nous dites Marie, music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier Let us sing, I pray you, In exaltation, In honor of Mary, Full of great renown: That all the human race Might be saved from danger, A message was conveyed To the precious Virgin. Mary was appointed By predestination To be born Of royal lineage. Now tellContinue reading “Let Us Sing in Exaltation!”

All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed

Magnanimity is the virtue by which the great-souled man “tends to the greatest things,” in accordance with his natural and supernatural gifts. Magnanimity is incompatible with presumption, which attempts the impossible; ambition, which seeks recognition without merit; and vainglory, which ambitiously grasps for the highest honors. Magnanimity is perfectly compatible with humility, since both virtuesContinue reading “All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”