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Salvation Here and Now

Our holy Faith forbids us to say that our salvation is entirely assured in this life and that we cannot fall from grace before we come to our particular judgment and accordingly be damned. The Council of Trent labels such a false assurance “rash presumption” in chapter twelve of its Decree on Justification. The only exception to this is for the just soul who has … More →


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How to Become Divine

Satan lied to Eve, but his lie had a couple of grains of truth to it. He said that the reason God did not want Adam and her to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was because, “God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good … More →


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Exploring Nature to Find God

Our readers may be aware that here at Saint Benedict Center, we have a scouting apostolate affiliated with the Federation of North American Explorers (FNE). The FNE has enshrined the following as point six of its Explorer Law: “An explorer sees in nature God’s creations; he loves plants and animals.” Short and sweet, but there is much behind it. Ancient Greek philosophers believed that nature … More →


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Catholic and Patriotic

Patriotism is a great virtue. To be a patriot is to love one’s fatherland. This means that it is to love the land of the people that sired you. Patriotism is a natural overflow of the virtue of piety — that is, the virtue of the home. As piety would have us rendering what is due in justice to parents and other family members, patriotism … More →


Posted in Catholic America, Catholic Living, Faith and Reason, Morals, Politics and Society, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 6 Comments
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Identity

This Ad Rem is a brief introductory speech I gave at IHM School’s graduation on Trinity Sunday. As Prior, I am expected to say something; mine is not the main feature. Readers should know that our school in rural southern New Hampshire is very small, hence the two graduates.  Good afternoon, Reverend Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Ladies, and Gentlemen. It is my task to welcome you to … More →

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Condemning Modernity

O tempora o mores! Thus did Cicero famously lament the affairs of men in his own day. And while the First Cataline Oration might seem a strange place to begin a piece on condemning modernity (it being part of antiquity, after all), there is a peculiar appropriateness. Cicero lamented that Cataline had not been executed, even though there was much evidence against him as a … More →


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The Troubles in the Church Began with _____.

Robert Hickson told me about a friend of his, a Greek, who appeared to be gloomy one day. Robert noted this in an effort to show sympathy, and his friend replied that yes, this is true; he had been demoralized “ever since the Battle of Manzikert.” The Battle of Manzikert, when the Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines, occurred in 1071. It marked the beginning of … More →


Posted in Current Issues in the Church, Philosophy, Polemics, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 5 Comments
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Helping Sinners Along

Readers may be acquainted with the old saw about “lies, damn lies, and statistics.” But whether or not we put much stock in the statistics generated by sociologists and their polls, well known social and ecclesiastical trends would lend credence to the statistics I read in our local newspaper, which carried an article originally appearing in The Record of Hackensack, N.J., “Catholic Church and faithful … More →

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What Happened in the Tomb?

A blessed Triduum and Easter to all our readers! Every year around Holy Week, the publishers of America’s popular reading material let loose a volley of blasphemies against our Lord’s Resurrection. Citing one or another perfidious “noted scholar,” the glossy-covered journals that accost us at the checkout counter vie with one another in perverting the populace with contempt for the sacred. Professor Bart D. Ehrman has … More →

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Heresy of the Day

When I was a young lad, my grandfather, who was not a big joke teller, and who spoke nothing but French till he was sent to school, once entertained himself enormously by telling me this little joke: A man in a restaurant asks the waitress, “Miss, can you tell me what the soup du jour is?” To which she replies, “No sir. It changes every … More →

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The ‘YUM’ Factor

There were many interesting reactions to my piece, “The Yuck Factor.” Some accused me of Manicheanism, Islamic voluntarism, “rantings and ravings against gay and lesbian people,” insanity, “innate, inbred bigotry,” and being simultaneously a “closet gay” and a “homophobe.” Others thought the piece had merit, like the editors of LifeSiteNews.com, and that intrepid Scotsman, Tony Fraser (son of Hamish Fraser), of Apropros Magazine. Both these … More →

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The Yuck Factor

In our increasingly superficial culture, many moral decisions are made based on surface appearances, emotional reactions to those appearances, and an alarming lack of intellectual or volitional activity to check those emotional reactions. This has serious ramifications for all of us, including integral Catholics who want to evangelize the larger society of which we are a part. Whereas many of the issues we might consider … More →


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Education in the Broad Sense

The great mandate to the Church can be called “educational,” for Jesus commanded His apostles to make disciples of all nations. A disciple is one who learns. One who “makes” a disciple teaches him. Ergo, the Church’s mission is (largely, if not exclusively) a teaching mission. Traditionally, the Church speaks of the tria munera, that is the three offices, or duties, of the ordained. These … More →

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Quaint Theories of Modernity

In his humorous but informative documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” Ben Stein refers to Darwinism as a “quaint nineteenth-century theory.” This is what is known as “damning by faint praise,” and it is a commonly employed rhetorical device. Oftentimes, it is nothing more than a cheap shot, being far heavier on rhetorical effect than on justice or logical rigor. In this case, however, I think … More →


Posted in Catholic America, Catholic Living, Current Issues in the Church, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 5 Comments
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The Vows and Oaths of Christendom

In a conversation with some of our conference speakers, who are also all contributors to this web site, the question “What is Christendom?” was presented for our consideration. The hope was expressed that these writers would each offer his thoughts on the subject in future articles. Upon reflection, I thought of answering this question indirectly, by replying to another question, “What makes Christendom?” To that … More →


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