22 08, 2023

You Can’t Please Your Enemies (So Don’t Try)

By |2023-09-20T17:47:00+00:00August 22nd, 2023|Theology|

Even though he's not completely Thomistic in his treatment of the virtues, C.S. Lewis brilliantly explains in chapter 2 of Mere Christianity the difference between vanity and pride: That is why vanity, though it is the sort of pride which shows most on the surface, is really the least bad and most pardonable sort. The vain person wants praise, applause, admiration, too much and is always angling for it. It is a fault, but a childlike and even (in an odd way) a humble fault. It shows that you are not yet completely contented with your own admiration. You value other people enough to want them to look at you. [...]

17 08, 2023

Maximalism and Minimalism

By |2023-08-16T18:35:04+00:00August 17th, 2023|Theology|

Recently, I read about a certain African female saint in the ancient Roman Martyrology:  "At Cyrene, in Lybia, St. Cyrilla, a martyr, in the persecution of Diocletian. For a long while she held on her hand burning coals with incense, lest by shaking off the coals she should seem to offer incense to the idols. She was afterwards cruelly scourged, and went to her spouse adorned with her own blood." Notice that St. Cyrilla not only refrained from putting incense on idols (which certainly would have been enough to win her martyrdom under Diocletian) but many Catholics today might even add that she didn't "know her theology enough" to know [...]

3 08, 2023

The Cardinal Virtues Can’t Contradict Each Other

By |2023-08-03T15:20:04+00:00August 3rd, 2023|Theology|

Many seminarians and potential-seminarians to the Catholic Church are thrilled about salvation history.  And this is a good thing.  Indeed, new seminarians love to study how Joshua and Caleb took the Holy Land from the pagans.  We all love how the underdogs could beat the Canaanites and all surrounding tribes.  We all know the spoils of the Land of Milk and Honey did not go to merely the legalistic, but to the courageous.   In fact, Joshua and Caleb were the only two of the original twelve spies to even enter what we now call "Israel."  They obeyed the call to execute great fortitude against all odds: Have I not [...]

20 07, 2023

Pilgrimage as a Life of Penance

By |2023-07-20T12:51:32+00:00July 20th, 2023|Theology|

It hath also seemed good to the holy Synod, to subjoin, to the preceding doctrine on penance, the following on the sacrament of Extreme Unction, which by the Fathers was regarded as being the completion, not only of penance, but also of the whole Christian life, which ought to be a perpetual penance.—Council of Trent, Chapter 14, On the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, Second Session. The key words I want to focus on from Trent above is that "the whole Christian life...ought to be a perpetual penance."  Why does this sound distasteful to even traditional Catholics? First, even good Catholics today tend to see Christianity through a post-Protestant-revolt lens.  One [...]

18 07, 2023

Remedies to Self-Centeredness in the Spiritual Life

By |2023-07-19T14:46:28+00:00July 18th, 2023|Theology|

Many of you already know that the best remedy to self-centeredness in the spiritual life is to do the corporal works of mercy {to feed the hungry; to give drink to the thirsty; to clothe the naked; to harbor the harborless; to visit the sick; to ransom the captive; to bury the dead.} However, since many of you already know that, I want to discuss some other remedies in this post. When I was a charismatic before becoming a traditionalist, I was discerning a good group of Franciscans in the Bronx.  (I still consider them quite faithful and evangelical, so this isn't a now I've moved on blogpost.)   One [...]

22 06, 2023

Ten Tips To Walking the Camino De Santiago

By |2023-06-25T18:48:57+00:00June 22nd, 2023|Theology|

In the first century, following his martyrdom in Jerusalem, the body of St. James the Greater (one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ) was taken by angels and disciples back to the Northwest part of the country he had previously evangelized:  Spain, specifically Galicia.  His body was discovered nearly a millennium later, and pilgrims through the middle ages walked to Northwest Spain to the bones of the Apostle.  In fact, Santiago was one of the three greatest pilgrimage sites of the Middle Ages, next to Rome and Jerusalem. Our 2015 walking Pilgrimage across Spain By the 1970s, the Way of St. James (Camino De Santiago) had nearly [...]

13 06, 2023

Custody of the Eyes by St. Alphonsus

By |2023-06-09T04:15:08+00:00June 13th, 2023|Theology|

The following was written for religious, but lay people can learn much from The True Spouse of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.  The following excerpt is also found at www.saintsworks.net. 'Turn away your eyes lest they behold vanity; (cf. Ps. 119:37) for license causes souls to perish.'—St. Poemen Almost all our rebellious passions spring from unguarded looks; for, generally speaking, it is by the sight that all inordinate affections and desires are excited. Hence, holy Job made a covenant with his eyes, that he would not so much as think upon a virgin. Why did he say that he would not so much as think upon a [...]

20 04, 2023

Avoiding Decisions in Desolation, Part 2: Specifics

By |2023-04-20T04:36:04+00:00April 20th, 2023|Theology|

p/c Daily Wire. In early 2023, Jordan Peterson (above left) interviewed Chloe Cole (above right) with probably well over 10 million listens across all forums.  Chloe is an 18 year old woman who suffered gender-dysphoria and began to chemically "transition" at the age of 12.  At the age of 15, she had a double-mastectomy that she described on this interview as "barbaric."  She is now suing her surgeons and Kaiser Permanente of California as they proceeded into mutilating surgeries when she was not able to give informed-consent.  Obviously, she could not give informed-consent to a mutilating reproductive surgery firstly because it was a mutilating sexual surgery and secondly due to her [...]

18 04, 2023

Avoiding Decisions in Desolation, Part 1: Generalities

By |2023-04-18T17:04:55+00:00April 18th, 2023|Theology|

Five years ago, Sensus Fidelium produced a talk I gave called Making Decisions Without Fear based on the teaching of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  Today we're going to delve much deeper into that oft-quoted parable of St. Ignatius "Don't make decisions in desolation."  That is correct. But the original version from the saint goes like this: In time of desolation, we should never make any change, but remain firm and constant in the resolution and decision which guided us the day before the desolation, or in the decision to which we adhered in the preceding consolation.  For just as in consolation the good spirit guides and counsels us, so in [...]

20 12, 2022

How to Conquer Temptation Immediately, by St. Alphonsus

By |2022-12-19T20:04:30+00:00December 20th, 2022|Theology|

PATIENCE UNDER TEMPTATION & THE MEANS OF CONQUERING With what arms are we to fight temptations in order to conquer? by S. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop & Doctor of the Church The first and principal, and I may say the only, and absolutely necessary means for conquering temptations, is to have recourse to God by prayer.  This means is particularly necessary for conquering temptations against purity;  In temptations it is also very useful to make the Sign of the Cross. The second means of conquering temptations is to humble yourself, and to distrust your own strength.  Thus let us humble ourselves, and at the same time let us have recourse with [...]

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