Category Archives: Faith and Reason
Faith and Reason
The mysteries of our holy Faith are beyond reason, but they are not unreasonable. They can be defended, not proven, by arguments based on reason. Even the holy sacrifice of the Mass, which is so sublime a mystery, is called a “reasonable” sacrifice in the Roman liturgy. It is in this sense that philosophy is called “the handmaid of theology.” Terms such as “principle,” “matter,” “form,” “substance,” “accident,” “transubstantiation,” are a few of those which theology makes use of to defend the reasonableness of the mysteries of our Faith.
When we employ arguments from reason to defend our religion we are engaging in the work of apologetics. In its ancient usage the Greek word apologetikos meant both “apology” and “defense.” Some of the early fathers of the Church wrote “apologia” in arguing with pagans in defense of Christianity. Polemics, on the other hand, is the art of arguing from holy scripture and tradition to defend the Faith.
This section of our site covers quite a broad spectrum of topics that all fall under Faith and reason. But it mostly explores where Faith and reason meet, especially in today’s context: burning moral questions of the day, scientific inquiry, and other fronts where both divine revelation and human philosophy stake their claims.
In God Loves Mountains, reference was made to the “Book of Nature.” Brother Francis, in his profound little volume, The Challenge of Faith, has the following meditations on that subject under the heading, “The Book of Nature.” These products of a truly contemplative mind are truly worthy of being savored. The whole world was created for man: very little of it for his use, and … More →
Tradition-minded Catholics, perhaps especially those of us familiar with Bro. Francis Maluf’s landmark essay on the subject, are rightly wary of sentimentality in religion. By sentimentality in religion I don’t mean saccharine piety, which is bad enough, but the emotion-driven acceptance of untruth for truth: belief in something because it makes us feel good. The great example of this in our day is the belief … More →
With his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI declared that a “Year of Faith” will begin on October 11, 2012, and conclude on November 24, 2013. October 11, is the feast of the Divine Maternity. What is Faith? The Baltimore Catechism gives a very simple definition of Faith as the first of the three theological virtues: “Faith is a supernatural … More →
One supposes it may be seen as in questionable taste to cite one’s own work, but that is what I am about to do here. I hope the reader will indulge me. I’m not simply plugging a book. There is a point. Young Tony and the Priest; Coming to Belief in an Age of Unbelief, a novella by me published by Loreto Publications, is a … More →
You’ve no doubt heard the expressing “lunatics running the asylum.” Well, The Telegraph reports that a new article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born. … More →
A month ago this website posted some lines by me in which I lamented that the state of formerly Christian society was fallen so low that probably no more than a half-dozen Americans cared that the Christian interest would not be served by whichever of the two principal candidates for President won in the November election. I could as easily have written of the outcome … More →
Donna Harrison, M.D., is an obstetrician-gynecologist in southwestern Michigan and director of research and public policy for the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She wrote a rebuttal to a recent article in The New York Times. (National Review Online) The recent New York Times article by Pam Belluck, asserting that so-called abortifacient drugs may not be abortive at all, is a wonderful example … More →
Intelligent Design!!! You can’t say that, Sir. You’re a scientist. We are radical secularists here. You’re not supposed to talk about First Causes in our workplace. Stick to your field of secondary causation and say no more, even if the subject of a First Cause comes up in your presence. You are paid to be a stupid materialist; so be stupid, leave your mind at … More →
This article recently came to Catholicism.org’s attention. These excerpts came from the Alliance for Life Ministries site. Ven. Emmanuel d’Alzon had similar ideas. America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as … More →
Nothing could be more distinctive of the age in which we live than the overpowering prominence of mathematics. All through the Catholic centuries, arithmetic and geometry constituted all the mathematics that an educated Christian was asked to learn. Even these two subjects were treated from a more contemplative point of view, which made them far more harmonious with other liberal studies. Arithmetic consisted in the … More →
I noticed that this “reversion” story was written by a man that had the same surname as me, only spelled out in Gaelic, so it caught my curiosity. Every conversion story is unique and this one is a real gem in God’s heavenly New Jerusalem. May Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh persevere in the holy Faith unto death and win many others to the truth. Maolsheachlann O … More →
[This is an actual sermon, by an actual priest. He graciously allowed us to publish it on our web site. Please keep in mind that it was written to be communicated orally, not in print. The standards of citation reflect that. The priest who gave the sermon is especially indebted to Fr. Philip Wolfe, FSSP1] By the authority invested in my own mind, I am … More →
When I read “studies show…” or “a recent study has indicated that…” I admit to having a healthy dose of skepticism. Depending on who does the “studying,” the conclusions of such a scientific pursuit could be worthless or even harmful. Of course, they could also reveal something true. So, my fellow skeptics, take it with as large a grain of salt as you like, but: … More →