Christian Cheer

In every gift show a cheerful countenance, and sanctify thy tithes with joy. Ecclesiasticus 35:11 For God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 It is sometimes noted that God has a sense of humor, and that his saints likewise display their fondness for a good joke, of a certain kind. One characteristic of holyContinue reading “Christian Cheer”

The Light of the Living

Psalm 55 (56 in the Hebrew) is written for “a people that is removed at a distance from the sanctuary.” Separated from his Creator, man turns on himself and becomes his own enemy: Have mercy on me, O God, for man hath trodden me under foot; all the day long he hath afflicted me fightingContinue reading “The Light of the Living”

True Philosophy

After standing up to bloodthirsty tyrants with holy cheek, Peter and John might have been disposed to boast of their victory. Instead, these “true philosophers,” as St. John Chrysostom calls them, return “to their own company,” and join them in a most sober and instructive prayer (Acts 4:23-31). These earliest of Christians reflect on theContinue reading “True Philosophy”

The Devil’s Cross

Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’s sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 By the time we reach this capstone of the Beatitudes, it has long been evident that true happiness is inseparable from suffering. Of course, Christ continually refers us to the “kingdom of heaven,” in which our sacrificesContinue reading “The Devil’s Cross”

Straitened Sore

Thomas Stapleton, in his early and masterful biography of St. Thomas More, describes how clever the saint was at hiding his virtues from others, and at disguising the provenance of his literary works. More’s Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, for instance, pretends to be written “in the person of a Hungarian who speaks of theContinue reading “Straitened Sore”

Knowing the Lord

It is the “first day of the week,” and the first day of our Lord’s resurrected life (Lk. 24). Two of his disciples are walking on the road, “reason[ing] with themselves,” “and are sad” in their reasoning. It is fitting that Christ appears to them in earnest discourse, for Christ himself is the Logos (Reason)Continue reading “Knowing the Lord”

A Certain Uncertain Disciple

Once upon a time, Saul of Tarsus was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1). Today, his advice on fighting the good fight continues to sound from pulpits and resound in faithful hearts worldwide. Saul’s transformation contains important lessons for those who would follow Christ today, under the lordshipContinue reading “A Certain Uncertain Disciple”

Serving the Good Wine

Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. Romans 12:14 As Christians, we are called to perform a delicate balancing act. When faced with evil, we are neither to surrender, nor to overcompensate. “Hating that which is evil,” and “cleaving to that which is good,” we are to “overcome evil,” not by evil, butContinue reading “Serving the Good Wine”

Helping the Republic Keep its Head

If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you . . . Thus begin Rudyard Kipling’s familiar verses on becoming a man. We might also apply them to the increasingly difficult challenge of keeping our republic in times such as these. If this blog does not regularlyContinue reading “Helping the Republic Keep its Head”