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.

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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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Millais: "Christ in the House of His Parents"

What Have We to Offer?

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 →

Posted in Articles, Catholic Living, Culture Wars, Faith and Reason | 4 Comments

New York Times Contracepts Science

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 →

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NASA Allegedly Has Mission Specialist Demoted for Defending Intelligent Design

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 →

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Posted in Columns, Faith and Reason | 1 Comment

Fulton Sheen’s ‘A Plea for Intolerance’

 This article recently came to’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 →

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Mathematics and Christian Education

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 →

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Posted in Articles, Faith and Reason | 7 Comments

Conversion Story: Good Thinking Leads Young Atheist to Embrace the True Faith

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 →

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Posted in Faith and Reason, News | 1 Comment

A Sermon against Evolution

[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 →

Posted in Articles, Current Issues in the Church, Faith and Reason, Polemics, Sermons | 10 Comments