Lift high the Cross!

“The Cross is not a roadblock on the way to happiness; it is a ladder up which one climbs to a heaven of love.” — Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Three to Get Married)

Take up your cross daily, for by it, Christ shall take you up eternally.

remember dear christsian_edited

Angel Offer Mass

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The pope speaks today…

“We believe that preaching is exceedingly necessary and praiseworthy, yet that it must be exercised by the authority or license of the Supreme Pontiff or by the permission of prelates. But in all places where manifest heretics remain and renounce and blaspheme God and the faith of the holy Roman Church, we believe that, by disputing and exhorting in all ways according to God, we should confound them, and even unto death oppose them with the sword of God as adversaries of Christ and the Church.”

– Pope Innocent III, Profession of Faith Prescribed for Durand of Osca and HIs Waldnesian COMpanions (18 Dec. 1208; DS 426)

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Lend me your ears… #1P5 #Catholic

Just in time for the weekend, Episode 4 of the One Peter Five podcast (MP3 download link) is available for your listening pleasure–and I just happen to be one of the participants in the discussion. (So much for listening pleasure, I guess.) As Steve Skojec, founder of 1P5, explains:

Today Steve does a 1P5 Roundtable discussion with Elliot Bougis and Scott Broadway. We talk conversion stories, the evangelical power of the Eucharist, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and those pesky labels we append in front of the word “Catholic”.

One Peter Five podcast

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Lest we forget…

“The pope is infallible, not indefectible.”


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A cinematic hypothesis…

The third installment in a movie trilogy is never better than either or both of the previous installments.

I can grant that sometimes part three is good, but I’m not familiar with any case where it’s the best of the trilogy.


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You know who is in control…

…based on whom you’re not allowed to criticize. 

In one week, Cdl. Dolan has not only knelt down before civil-liberty scruples–or the heresy of Americanism–but also come out as the grand marshall of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, when, for the first time, gay pride groups will openly march on behalf of their sexual proclivities. 

It used to be cool to call for more spine, as much from our fellow Catholics as from our bishops, but now a saccharine shell of unity and an entrenched campaign of emotive evangelism has made everyone afraid to say “boo!” even to the devil. As Msgr. Charles Pope reminded us–before his message was summarily erased from the diocesan website–the time for political coyness is long gone.* Gird up your loins, strengthen your feeble knees, walk and talk like adults committed to, and humbly claimed by, the truth.

But aye, there’s the rub. Perhaps the one thing beta bishops and beta believers can’t stand is a clear, uncompromising Christian virility (i.e. virtue). Look around you. We’re swimming in a teenybopper Church. May we spit out the lukewarm pacifier (even in the papal flavor), and instead nourish our souls on prayer, penance, and steady passages of Scripture. Sadly, though, we know aggiornamento has failed because even common sense is extirpated as reactionary dissent.

* Officially: Pope more Catholic than pope. 

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How being religiously rational might entail being rationally religious…

If a rational agent seeks to maximize overall personal utility, and if religious devotion demonstrably improves one’s quality of life, then a rational agent will pursue religious devotion, the more sincerely and zealously, the better. For example, I’ve known at least to anti-religious persons who said they will still raise their children based on religious assumptions, in order to secure a moral foundation from youth, and then will deflate the idea of God, hoping that the external moral framework will remain strong, like a papier-mache balloon.

I’m trying to catch the rationalist at his own game. It’s very popular today to calculate things based on rational utility (according to evolutionary psychology and modular cogsci, of course), so there’s no reason, in principle, why a utility-maximizing rationalist would reject religion, unless, garsh, his animus against religion stems from–say it ain’t so!–simply irrational sources.

A true rationalist will most likely be a religious fanatic, even if only on self-consciously utilitarian grounds. It’s weird how a primary argument for sexual license is that people should be given the freedom to follow their inherited impulses, and that repressing our deepest natural inclinations is as dangerous as it is unsustainable. Yet, meanwhile, these same rationalist types will rant all day that the evolved God-instinct, anthropocentric fallacy, etc. should be resisted at every turn, and that giving in to the unsleeping religious instinct is a social evil of the first order.

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