Category Archives: «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior

Category: «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior

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How Do You KNOW That?

The philosophical subject of epistemology is the study of knowledge. Father A. C. Cotter, S.J., who was Father Leonard Feeney’s philosophy teacher, and whose book on the subject was heavily utilized by Brother Francis in his philosophy course, defines epistemology as “the science of the certitude of our cognitions.” Epistémē (ἐπιστήμη) is the Greek word for knowledge. Cognition, I should say, is both (subjectively) the … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Apologetics, Philosophy | 5 Comments
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What on Earth Do Catholics Want?

The incomparable Patrick J. Buchanan authored a column on the racial and religious remapping of Europe and America: “Will the West Survive the Century?” The twin engines propelling these demographic shifts are the birth dearth of Europeans (in both continents), and the careless immigration policies of Europe and its North-American outposts. Inasmuch as these phenomena are both practical expressions of liberalism, and inasmuch they are … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Catholic America, Politics and Society | 7 Comments
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Jean-Paul Sartre: ‘Bathroom Bill’ Philosopher Extraordinaire

Anyone who has studied a smattering of modern philosophy in college has probably heard the misanthropic utterance of Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) from No Exit, “Hell is other people” (L’enfer, c’est les autres). As with Friedrich Nietzsche’s “God is dead,” this pithy little impiety has been scrawled as graffiti on bathroom walls (where it arguably belongs), and blazoned on t-shirts, stickers, and now, on Internet “memes.” And just … More →


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Sursum Corda

On Sunday, June 12, our little IHM School had its graduation. Two young ladies made up the entire graduation class. What follows is the very brief opening speech I gave at our commencement exercises. At some point in their intellectual formation at IHM School, these young ladies have learned the definition of truth — specifically that of logical truth. For those who might not have … More →


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O Sacred Banquet!

Saint Paul twice speaks of handing on to others things which he himself had received. One of these things was the truth concerning the Death and Resurrection of Christ (I Cor. 15:3-4); the other was the mystery of the Holy Eucharist (I Cor. 11:23ff). This passing on of something received is called “tradition.” It is by tradition that the Church receives her doctrines, her scriptures, … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Sacraments | Leave a comment
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Saint Robert Bellarmine

(You can learn more about this great saint on the Reconquest episode I recorded with Mr. Ryan Grant.) He was born on October 4, 1542, at Montepulciano, Tuscany, and died September 17, 1621 in Rome. Saint Robert’s parents were Vincenzo Bellarmine and Cinzia Cervini, a niece of Pope Marcellus II. His mother was conspicuous for her piety. Robert was the third of their ten children … More →


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The Mass in Type and Prophecy

This week’s Reconquest show is called The Mass in the Old Testament. The title is not meant to connote an anachronism: I am well aware that the Mass was instituted on that first Holy Thursday, the night before Our Lord suffered His Passion. In invoking the Old Testament, I am speaking about types and prophecies that pointed to the future reality of the Holy Sacrifice … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Catechesis and Fundamentals, Sacraments | Leave a comment
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Kill Them All!

Much attention has been given to the so-called “dark passages” of the Bible in recent years. This is largely due to the use put to these passages by the enemies of the Christian name, by which I mean the aggressive, new-fangled atheists, who lately write pompous books against God, and get further media attention in order to attack Him. The “dark passages” are those parts … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Apologetics, Holy Scripture | 4 Comments
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Weeping Women

The pew I occupy on a daily basis is very close to the eighth station of the Cross: “the women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus.” This proximity occasions my reflecting on it more than on the other stations. It has become, in a manner of speaking, my station, so let me presume to tell you about it as we approach the Sacred Triduum. The episode … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Holy Scripture | 5 Comments
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God is Here

There is a Latin rhyme that goes like this: Ora et labora, Deus adest sine mora. In English, we can translate it this way, keeping the rhyme: “Work and pray; God is here without delay.” Ora et labora is well known as a motto of the Benedictine Order. What I am considering now is the Deus adest part: “God is here.” If we really had … More →


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Knowledge and Mystery

When I was first studying philosophy, I overheard a conversation between an eccentric old philosophy professor and one of the other seminarians. It fascinated me. This old gent said that Our Lord defended the study of philosophy in the Gospels on that occasion when the disciples of Saint John the Baptist came to ask Him if He were the Christ: “And John called to him … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Philosophy | Leave a comment
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The Crusades: Just Wars?

[How and when to listen to my show, ‘Reconquest.’ Also: Listen to past episodes.] A typical catalogue of the supposed historical crimes of the Catholic Church — or of Western men in general — would include the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. Just as the latter has its received history, known as the Black Legend, that provides the modern “thinking man” with his talking points, … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, History, Politics and Society | 4 Comments
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Anger Issues

Anger is a vice that seems to be on the increase, with the country splitting at the seams of religion, class, race, party, and ideology. Pat Buchanan refers to this as the “balkanization” of America. At the opposite moral extreme is the vice of a certain pacifist or soft person, who would rule out all anger as wrong. In order to situate anger in man, … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Catholic Living, Morals, Spiritual Life | 7 Comments
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Are the Works of Mercy a Matter of Justice?

Continuing the general subject of the last Ad Rem, I would like to reply to this second question about Mercy. We are, after all, in the “Year of Mercy,” and some things should be gotten straight about this gravely misunderstood virtue. The answer to the title question is yes. Let me begin my explanation by saying that I do not suggest changing the name from … More →


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Are the Works of Mercy Ever Obligatory?

Two questions about “mercy” were recently asked of me. Since we are soon to embark on the “Year of Mercy” proclaimed by Pope Francis, and since there is much confusion about the subject in general, I thought it worthy of our attention to consider these questions in an Ad Rem. Are any of the spiritual or corporal works of mercy obligatory Is there any sense … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Catholic Living, Morals, Spiritual Life | 3 Comments