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.
Due to some mystery lurking deep within the algorithms of YouTube, I was recently presented with a recommendation to watch this video, dating from 1984, of Graham Chapman appearing on a British television program called “Opinions.” I was intrigued because of something I saw in the text summarizing the video. Not yet five minutes in, I stopped it in disgust. If you recognized the first part of … More →
And if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain, for you are yet in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:14). Cardinal Kung emphasized the resurrection in one of his sermons just before his arrest in 1955: If we renounce our faith, we will disappear and there will not be a resurrection. If we are faithful, we will still disappear, but there will be a … More →
The Summer, 2015 issue of the traditional Catholic quarterly, The Latin Mass, features a four-page book review authored by Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula. The book reviewed is A Catholic Witness in Our Time: A Festschrift for Dr. Robert Hickson: Essays and Remembrances in His Honor. The volume is a compilation of papers presented at a surprise party held for our friend and collaborator, Robert Hickson. (His lovely wife, Maike, organized all this secretly.) Of … More →
It is no secret that the German Professor, Hans Joachim “John” Schellnhuber, was one of the three speakers on the occasion of the official presentation of the Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si, this past June 18. Numerous Catholic commentators were taken aback by this selection of one of the main advocates of the trans-national Global Warming Agenda for the task. That agenda, we recall, maintains … More →
Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, eighty-six years-old, Archbishop of Bologna from 1984 to 2003, has just had published a series of twenty-two meditations that he composed for Lenten exercises in 1989 for Pope John Paul II and members of the Roman Curia. The volume is titled, The Manifold Wisdom of God. The title is taken from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 3, vs 10: “That … More →
Several recent occurrences have put me to thinking about universities in particular and education in general. One was marching in the Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Cambridge, MA, in support of the Blessed Sacrament against the planned Black Mass at Harvard Memorial Hall, sponsored by Harvard Extension School — though not by the University per se. Two thousand people converged on Harvard Square, and … More →
Robert Sungenis and Rick Delano are being dragged through the mud for their work in producing the film, “The Principle.” Karl Keating and many others seem intent on destroying the project and personally attacking the producers. The negative hype seems to have generated interest in the film, as well as finding it a distributor. (Who said, “I don’t care what the newspapers say about me as … More →
On Thursday, May 22, 2014 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., a public debate will take place on the proposition: “Be it resolved that special creation — the fiat creation by God of all of the different kinds of creatures — is a much better explanation of all of the facts of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Magisterial teaching, and natural science than theistic evolution.” For the … More →
In a few minutes, this video shows us the character of the quasi-religious faith that evolutionists put in their theory. For some Catholic young-earth creationist resources, go to the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation. See also on this site, Evolution: Pathological Science, by Brother Thomas Mary, M.I.C.M. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Many progressivists who were baptized Catholic but subsequently lapsed will refer to themselves as “Cultural Catholics.” But the individuals I have heard describe themselves thus do not embrace anything like a Catholic culture at all. Rather, they cling to the most grotesque aspects of the post-Enlightment cultures of modernity. Superadding trash to one’s own personal loss of faith or morals does not a Catholic Culture … More →
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 →