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Montfortian Masculinity

“I am therefore very worried, and I call upon all Catholics, laymen, priests, and bishops, to involve themselves, from now up to the upcoming [October, 2015] Synodal assembly, in order to highlight the truth on marriage.” The words come to us from Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, and were spoken in an interview to Le Figaro’s Jean-Marie Guénois. Intentionally or unintentionally, the good Cardinal has become … More →

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The Divine Infancy

Pax Christi! The month of December is dedicated to the “Divine Infancy.” As with so many consecrated phrases in the Religion, that innocent pairing of words touches upon a great mystery that a little child can understand, while the greatest minds of Christendom, past and future, could never completely scale its heights. For a moment, let us situate ourselves somewhere between the little child and … More →


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Looking on Jesus, the Prince of Peace

Far from being what the world thinks it is, namely, the shopping season between Black Friday and Christmas Day, Advent is the Church’s time of penitential preparation for the feast of the Nativity. More than that, Advent prepares us for the two comings of Jesus in time and for His three births. At Christmastime, we will hear a lot about peace. (We are, even now, … More →


Posted in Mass and the Liturgy, Spiritual Life, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 12 Comments
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Christian Certitude

All our knowledge of God is analogical. In brief, this means that every concept that we rightly apply to God is partly the same as, but also partly different from, that same concept as applied to creatures. (Click here for a fuller explanation.) We know God by means of the world around us — the Book of Nature. All creation was made for God’s glory … More →

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Posted in Philosophy, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 18 Comments
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The Paramagisterium

The Catholic Church is infallible. Her infallibility is supremely invested in the Roman Pontiff, but is also exercised by the college of bishops, when they universally teach the same doctrine with and under the pope. Not only books, but libraries of books have been written to explain the truths expressed in those two sentences, there being myriad complexities surrounding an issue that is, at its heart, quite simple. … More →


Posted in Current Issues in the Church, Heresies and Errors, Polemics, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 5 Comments
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Revolutionary Doctrines on the Family

Much is being said about the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops just completed. Typically for such an event, ecclesiastical politics of the worst sort were on display, as can be seen from the excellent reportage of Sandro Magister and Rorate Caeli. In this respect, we have just witnessed a repeat performance of the kind of procedural manipulation very well documented to have taken place at Vatican … More →


Posted in Current Issues in the Church, Heresies and Errors, Morals, Outside the Church there is no Salvation, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 30 Comments
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Counterrevolutionary Considerations

Saint Benedict Center’s conference will take place very soon (October 10-11). As I prepare my own comments on this year’s theme, I thought I would give both a plug for, and a sneak preview of, what our attendees will be hearing in a little over a month. Our theme is “Catholic and Counterrevolutionary.” For my purposes, I will define “counterrevolutionary” as “of or pertaining to … More →


Posted in Catholic America, Catholic Living, Faith and Reason, Politics and Society, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 2 Comments
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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 Catiline 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 Catiline 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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