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.

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Act and Potency in the Christian Life

In the Tuesday night Philosophy group that has been meeting since this past summer, we are now more than halfway through the course on Cosmology. We recently covered the subject of act and potency — a couple of simple words that conceal an enormity of wisdom to help us contemplate truth and navigate around manifold errors old and new. If Heraclitus and Parmenides had understood … More →

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Why Is Total Consecration the Remedy to Our Ills?

The following is an excerpt from my recent conference talk. I am probably not alone — I hope I am not — in considering much of devotional literature a bit tiresome when it presents one or another special devotion as if it were the end-all and be-all of the Christian life, as if those who do not practice it are somehow cursed, or as if it … More →

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Scandal! Heresy! And Grace!

When considering the multiple scandals and heresies besetting the Church in our time, three Biblical verses come immediately to mind: “And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea” (Mark 9:41). “Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must … More →

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The Holy Rosary and Spiritual Childhood

Happy feast day Blessed Mother of the Rosary! It was called in England, Our Lady’s Psalter and also Our Lady’s Beads. The early Christians repeated simple prayers, Paters and Aves, by moving their thumb along a beaded string. Bede, in Old English, means a “petition.” That is why the famous writer of the Ecclesiastical History of the English People chose the religious name, Bede, as a … More →

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Marian Consecration: A Little History

To whet the appetites of our readers for our conference theme, I present here a small chunk of my own talk, which is the “title cut” of the conference, since it has the same name: “Total Consecration to Mary: The Remedy for our Ills.” This little section is a micro-history of Total Consecration to Mary. What is total consecration? I will not take the time … More →

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The Faith of Mary

The other day I was speaking to a priest about the challenges of the apostolate today. In the bleak modern landscape, where so much militates against revealed religion (and even common sense), “You have to have the faith of Abraham and the patience of Job,” I said. It is a commonplace to use these two holy men of the Old Testament as models of these virtues. Scripture … More →

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Perseverance: a Graduation Speech

The following is a brief introductory speech I gave at IHM School’s graduation this past Sunday. Readers should know that our school in rural southern New Hampshire is very small. We had one graduate this year — a fine young man who is very intelligent. Not that I would actually do this, but I surmise that if I invited Marc to the microphone to recite Brother Francis’ … More →

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To the Men

On Saturday, April 25, I was one of three speakers at the Napa Valley Catholic Men’s Conference. My two talks were entitled “Religious Liberty vs. Religious Right” and “Montfortian Masculinity” (those links will take you to our store site, where the talks are now available). The second of these was an amplification of an Ad Rem that I wrote on the subject. What follows is … More →

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The Drama of Holy Week

Contrary to custom, I’m reposting/resending this piece I wrote for Holy Week four years ago. A blessed Holy Week, Triduum, and Easter to all our readers! If the Church’s liturgical calendar were a temple of time consecrated to God, what we are fast approaching is that temple’s Holy of Holies. The Church sanctifies every week of the year, but only one, by virtue of excellence, does she … More →

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Votive Mass for Peace on Sanguinary ‘Roe’ Anniversary

The Mass propers we prayed here at Saint Benedict Center this morning were not those for the martyr saint of today, Saint Vincent; nor were they for that other Saint Vincent whose feast falls today: Saint Vincent Pallotti. They instead came from the Votive Mass for Peace (Da Pacem) in the traditional Roman Missal. This is because January 22 is, by decree of the United … More →

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Looking on Jesus, the Prince of Peace

Far from being what the world thinks it is, namely, the shopping season between Black Friday and Christmas Day, Advent is the Church’s time of penitential preparation for the feast of the Nativity. More than that, Advent prepares us for the two comings of Jesus in time and for His three births. At Christmastime, we will hear a lot about peace. (We are, even now, … More →

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Sanctity: Our Counterrevolutionary Grand Strategy

Here is the text of my talk from our recent Saint Benedict Center Conference.  I. Introduction My talk today will be a brief elucidation of the following thesis: “The comprehensive and adequate grand strategy for today’s Catholic Counterrevolutionary is the acquisition and preservation of sanctity, both for himself as an individual, and for all those whom he can influence.” First, some definitions are in order. … More →

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Salvation Here and Now

Our holy Faith forbids us to say that our salvation is entirely assured in this life and that we cannot fall from grace before we come to our particular judgment and accordingly be damned. The Council of Trent labels such a false assurance “rash presumption” in chapter twelve of its Decree on Justification. The only exception to this is for the just soul who has … More →

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Transfiguration and Theosis

The Ad Rem just posted today was intended to be up in time for yesterday’s feast of the Transiguration. Circumstances forbad that. I’m posting here something of a “coda” to it. For your consideration of the great mysteries of Our Lord’s Transfiguration and of Theosis, here are some further readings. Two notes are in order: (1.) Because of the heavy emphasis that our Eastern Christian brethren … More →

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How to Become Divine

Satan lied to Eve, but his lie had a couple of grains of truth to it. He said that the reason God did not want Adam and her to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was because, “God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good … More →

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