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.

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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

O Happy Fault!

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 →

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Posted in Articles, Faith and Reason, Patrology, Theology | 4 Comments

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

What do Universities Teach?

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 →

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Posted in Articles, Arts and Culture, Catholic Living, Faith and Reason | Leave a comment

Respectable (Liberal) Professional Catholics’ Attempt to Sack Film Backfires

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 →

Posted in Columns, Current Issues in the Church, Faith and Reason | 10 Comments

Public Debate: Fiat Creation By God vs. Theistic Evolution, with Dr. Thomas Seiler And Hugh Owen

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 →

Posted in Columns, Faith and Reason, Special Events | 2 Comments

Get Ready to See Evolution Proven…

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.

Posted in Columns, Faith and Reason | 3 Comments

I’m Just Sayin’

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 →

Posted in Columns, Faith and Reason, Polemics | Leave a comment

Simian Antinomianism

The heresy of antinomianism received its name from Martin Luther, who, wrote against the more “extreme” doctrines of Johannes Agricola, the enfant terrible of Luther’s own novel doctrine of Justification by faith only. In brief, antinomianism — coming from anti + nomos (Gk: “law”) — is the contention that Christians are absolved from adherence to the moral law. That Luther would object to Agricola was … More →

Posted in Book Reviews, Faith and Reason, Morals, Philosophy, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 2 Comments

The Book of Nature

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 →

Posted in Catholic Living, Columns, Faith and Reason, Spiritual Life | Leave a comment

Feeling and Religion

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 →

Posted in Articles, Faith and Reason, Heresies and Errors, Theology | 1 Comment

Faith and Miracles

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 →

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Posted in Apologetics, Articles, Faith and Reason, Miracles and Apparitions | 1 Comment

The Bad News

The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the “Good News” that our King and High Priest ordered to be preached “to every creature.” Not exclusively for one tribe, nation, or continent, it was intended to go to all the nations. As holy Simeon will tell us on Candlemas Day, Jesus is “A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy … More →

Posted in Faith and Reason, Outside the Church there is no Salvation, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | Leave a comment
Brain Synapses

Mystery, Obama’s Brain Research Project (and the Pope)

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 →

Posted in Articles, Arts and Culture, Catholic Living, Culture Wars, Faith and Reason, Heresies and Errors | 1 Comment

Sophists Running the Academy

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 →

Posted in Columns, Culture Wars, Faith and Reason, Morals, Philosophy, Polemics | 1 Comment