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

«Ad Rem» Brother André Marie's Email Message

«Ad Rem» is our Prior’s weekly email message offering news and commentary regarding the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Crusade of St. Benedict Center, and issues affecting the universal Church. Each number offers brief, ad rem (“to the point”) commentary on timely or otherwise important matters. Click here to subscribe to our email list and receive the «Ad Rem» each time it’s published.

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The Phenomenon of Laudato Si’

The publication of Laudato Si’ has been met with a variety of reactions both positive and negative. “Weighing in” on the contents of the encyclical would be ill-advised for me on a number of counts, so I will not do that. Instead, I will offer my readership seven observations on the phenomenon of Laudato Si’ and some questions it raises on the nature of the … More →


Posted in Culture Wars, Current Issues in the Church, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 10 Comments
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To the Men

On Saturday, April 25, I was one of three speakers at the Napa Valley Catholic Men’s Conference. My two talks were entitled “Religious Liberty vs. Religious Right” and “Montfortian Masculinity” (those links will take you to our store site, where the talks are now available). The second of these was an amplification of an Ad Rem that I wrote on the subject. What follows is … More →


Posted in Catholic Living, Spiritual Life, Vocations and States in Life, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 6 Comments
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The Father, an Appreciation

The First Person of the Holy Trinity gets shabby treatment. I say that without any irony whatsoever. God the Father gets shabby treatment in His Person, in His works, by the disregarding of His Law, and by the current, widespread profanation of the institution of human fatherhood, which is a created image of Himself. If human fatherhood is to be restored to its proper dignity, … More →


Posted in Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 2 Comments
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God is Good

When my religion class was recently discussing “goodness,” I asked them a tricky question. How is it that, in the creation account of Genesis, God calls His creation, including man, “good” seven times (Cf. Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, and 31), yet Jesus says in the Gospel “None is good but God alone” (Luke 18:19)? A bright freshman named Anne gave the best … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 2 Comments
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The Drama of Holy Week

Contrary to custom, I’m reposting/resending this piece I wrote for Holy Week four years ago. A blessed Holy Week, Triduum, and Easter to all our readers! If the Church’s liturgical calendar were a temple of time consecrated to God, what we are fast approaching is that temple’s Holy of Holies. The Church sanctifies every week of the year, but only one, by virtue of excellence, does she … More →

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Posted in Mass and the Liturgy, Spiritual Life, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | Leave a comment
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Art, Religion, and Purpose

Brother Francis used often to speak of the importance of purpose. He would begin with Aristotle, but not end there — for “the Philosopher,” as he was known, did not ascend to the truths of supernatural revelation. Aristotle saw the “four causes” in nature: formal cause, material cause, efficient cause, and final cause. That last, the final cause, is called “the cause of causes.” It … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 7 Comments
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Good Servants, Poor Masters

[As Lent begins, please let me draw the readers’ attention to two relevant offerings on our web site: Suggested Lenten Penances, and Guilt Transformed, Some Lenten Thoughts. Also, for those beginning the preparation for Total Consecration on February 20 in order to make the consecration on March 25, here is a book with True Devotion to Mary and all the readings and prayers you will … More →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 2 Comments
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The Evil in Our Hearts

“Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.” (Mt. 5:8). Without a doubt, the sixth Beatitude pertains to sexual purity, but not exclusively so. Its scope also includes purity of charity and of faith, as well as love of truth in general. Saint John Chrysostom goes so far as to make it synonymous with the presence of all the virtues and holiness … More →


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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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Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 5 Comments
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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 →


Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 21 Comments
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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 | 6 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