Archive | October 2017

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Attaining Holiness: Our Efforts and God’s Grace

Although asceticism is necessary for the spiritual life, we must realize that in a certain sense all asceticism is destined to fail. Human beings cannot change themselves by their own power. We must desire holiness and do all we can to acquire it. [Saint] Therese said: “I don’t want to be a saint by halves!” […]

We are most like God the Creator when…

Why should we praise and thank God, since God needs nothing from us? But need is not the point. Love is. God mad the world from nothing, needing nothing from the world, and our response to this grace is grateful praise—the response of a loving heart to the God who loves. We are most like […]

Belief, Insight, and the Truth-Telling Thing

The Catholic life sometimes runs: Insight first, then belief. You see a truth and then happily find the Church teaches it. But it often runs: Belief first, then insight. We don’t get very far in the Catholic life without the second. We find, as we grow in our faith, that the belief points us and […]

The Vine and the Trellis

I understand the need for the “encounter with Christ” as opposed to a faith that is merely propositional, but I also believe that without a clear affirmation of the propositions of our faith, the “encounter with Christ” becomes no more than a subjective religious experience. Both are needed, and an analogy I have often used […]

Einstein’s Relativity Theory and Moral Relativism

Einstein’s relativity theory properly concerns the physical cosmos. But it seems to me to describe exactly the situation of the intellectual and spiritual world of our time. Relativity theory states that there are no fixed systems of reference  in the universe. When we declare a system to be a reference point from which we try […]

A Singing School!

In the final stanza, Montgomery unites the choir on earth with the choir in heaven: Saints below, with heart and voice, Still in songs of praise rejoice; Learning here, by faith and love, Songs of praise to sing above. Hymns of glory, songs of praise, Father, unto Thee we raise; Jesu, glory unto Thee, Ever […]

Suffering, Death, and Liberation Into a World

The Christian way is to enter into suffering and death with Christ. We see that He did not dismiss our suffering with contempt, but took it to Himself, embraced it, and fathomed the depths of desolation upon the cross…. He has broken the bonds of sin and death—death, not just the cessation of physical powers, […]