Category Archives: Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life

This category, of course, can cover many topics. We try to limit it in this section to articles that deal with the inner life of the soul elevated by grace or wounded by sin: virtue and vice, heroic Catholic men and women as seen under the light of the particular virtue they exemplified, the cardinal virtues, spiritual formation, growth, and purgation, and the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.



This Ad Rem is a brief introductory speech I gave at IHM School’s graduation on Trinity Sunday. As Prior, I am expected to say something; mine is not the main feature. Readers should know that our school in rural southern New Hampshire is very small, hence the two graduates.  Good afternoon, Reverend Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Ladies, and Gentlemen. It is my task to welcome you to … More →

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On Being Violent

And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away. (St. Matthew 11:12) I love it that nothing of the words of our Blessed Lord has the mark of mediocrity. It’s never just a truism – something that Confucius could have said. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. [Somebody once said, … More →

Posted in Columns, Current Issues in the Church, Holy Scripture, Spiritual Life | 1 Comment

Good Advice: Stay Awake, Say the Rosary, for Our Lady

Patti Maguire Armstrong blog: When I was around ten years old, my parents decided to pray a family rosary one evening. It was the first time ever. We knelt together in the living room and began. But before finishing the first decade, things began to break down.  I don’t recall the specifics but making faces and giggling were involved.  My mother declared it a failure, and we … More →

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Readings for Holy Week and Easter

Recommended reading for Holy Week, the sacred Triduum and Easter Sunday: Holy Week in General — The Drama of Holy Week by Brother André Marie. Holy Thursday — The Eucharist in Four Simple Mysteries by Father Feeney, introduced by Brother Francis;  Delivering What We Have Received (on the Eucharist) by Brother André Marie. Good Friday — The Seven Words by Brian Kelly, Imitating Christ’s Humility: … More →

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Pope Francis Gives Inspiring Message on Humility, Meekness

AsiaNews: “Dialogue needs meekness, not shouting. We must also think that the other person has something more than me, as did David : ‘ He is the anointed of the Lord, he is more important than me.’ Humility , meekness … To dialogue, you need to do what we asked for in prayer today , at the beginning of the Mass : to become everything to … More →

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Posted in News, Spiritual Life | 2 Comments

The Vows and Oaths of Christendom

In a conversation with some of our conference speakers, who are also all contributors to this web site, the question “What is Christendom?” was presented for our consideration. The hope was expressed that these writers would each offer his thoughts on the subject in future articles. Upon reflection, I thought of answering this question indirectly, by replying to another question, “What makes Christendom?” To that … More →

Posted in Catholic Living, History, Politics and Society, Spiritual Life, Vocations and States in Life, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | Leave a comment

The Reign of the Holy Ghost

The Church’s calendar is soon to reach its dramatic terminus. We are yet in the lengthy last part of it, the Pentecost cycle, which, this year, began on Sunday, May 19. Since, liturgically, we are in the Reign of the Holy Ghost, I thought it good to focus our attention on that reign before beginning the new liturgical year. The Church’s calendar is at once … More →

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

Today Begins Christ the King Novena

The Novena to Our Lord Jesus Christ the King begins today. In the traditional rite, the Feast of Christ is the last Sunday in October, which is the last Sunday before the Feast of All Saints, and also — for our separated brethren — “Reformation Sunday.” (We pray, in the official prayers of the Church, that they will accept His Kingship and no longer remain … More →

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Reflections on the End of Time

“In the revealed prophecy of the end of history a catastrophic end within history is foretold. Whoever believingly accepts this [apocalyptic] prophecy, that is to say, whoever takes it to be revelation, has no possibility of ignoring the fact that the end of Time [Apoc. 10:5], within history, will be a downfall, a catastrophe. Nonetheless, his attitude to history, his attitude to the future, may … More →

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What You Believe Matters

Reading the masterpiece of Catholic spirituality, The Interior Life Simplified and Reduced to its Fundamental Principle, I came across a passage that speaks eloquently of the importance of faith to one’s moral worth. (The passage may be viewed in context here — bottom of page 107, continuing to the next page.) No, it is not the autonomous conscience, the doing of one’s own will, or … More →

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Posted in Catechesis and Fundamentals, Columns, Current Issues in the Church, Spiritual Life | 1 Comment

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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God’s Braveheart

There were natives in our New World when the missionaries came, who thought it a good idea to eat the heart and drink the blood of the enemy they killed, if that enemy showed exemplary courage. Like other pagans — e.g., the Germanic tribes and the Norsemen — the American natives put courage at the top of their hierarchy of virtues; whereas we Christians put … More →

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Mourning as an Act of Affirmation

In an unexpected way, my husband and I were recently led to a rather deep and deepening reflection on mourning (or mournfulness), and on its seeming incompatibility with human superficiality and human lukewarmness. We thereby also came to appreciate a new aspect or facet of the Parable (Matthew 5:3): “Blessed are they who mourn, for they themselves will be consoled.” (“Beati qui lugent, quoniam ipsi … More →

Posted in Articles, Arts and Culture, Catholic Living, Spiritual Life | 3 Comments

Life with the Trinity

Philosophers tell us that the essence of a relation is to be ad aliquid — “towards another.” In considering our own relationships, the most important ones we can speak of are those we have with the Holy Trinity and Our Lady. Elsewhere, we have considered the trifold relationship of the Blessed Virgin with the Three Persons. Hers not only forms a model of our own … More →

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Posted in Outside the Church there is no Salvation, Spiritual Life, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | Leave a comment

Modern Noise and Man’s Ingrained Inattentiveness

This brief essay proposes to consider how two eloquent Catholic authors, Hilaire Belloc and Evelyn Waugh, describe and deal with the phenomenon of noise, an unmistakable mark of the intrusive modern world even in times of putative peace. The first account is from 1925 and deals with a famous city upon the water in northeastern Italy, Venice; and the second account is from 1938, some … More →

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