Category Archives: Theology


The proper object that theology studies is God. Theos is the Greek word for God. However, in this section are articles not only about God, but about the Faith and moral issues which constitute Church doctrine.   Certain articles that appear in this section also appear in other sections, such as that on the “Sacraments,” “Catechisis,” “Faith and Reason,” and “Heresies and Errors.”

Theology is a broad subject.  Candidates for the priesthood must complete four years of theology.  Theology is divided into natural, supernatural, and pastoral theology.  These, in turn, are divided into other related subjects.  Natural theology is the study of God as we can know Him by reason alone.  Supernatural theology is the study of the God as He revealed Himself to man, in scripture and tradition.  Pastoral theology is the study of God in His relation to the members of the Church, His body.  Sacramental theology would fall under this category. So would canon law, as part of ecclesiology, the study of the Church.

Other branches of theology are dogmatics, moral theology, biblical theology, and ascetical or mystical theology.

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Faith and Miracles

What is faith? The Baltimore Catechism gives a very simple definition of faith as the first of the three theological virtues: “Faith is a Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which God has revealed on the authority of His revelation in the scriptures and the Church teaching.” Holy scripture and tradition are the two pillars that the Church uses to teach the … More →

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The Synod is Over

The 2015 Synod of Bishops has concluded. Now begins the process of studying, understanding, implementing, or resisting the various provisions of its final document. Much of this will be in the form of “spin.” Modernists will cheer. “Conservatives” will defend the ever-changing status quo. Traditionalists will rant. And, true to their various positions, each will have cause to do so. In our cursory read of the … More →

Posted in Columns, Current Issues in the Church, Marriage and Family, Theology | 6 Comments

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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The Challenge of Tradition

Tradition as Challenge is the title of Josef Pieper’s recently published and long awaited English translation of Tradition als Herausforderung — his deeply reflective and engagingly varied book of collected essays and speeches first published as a whole in Munich, Germany in 1963, over a half century ago. This counterpointed collection still has much to teach an attentive and receptive reader, especially those who want … More →

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Noah’s Ark and Peter’s Bark

In this number of the Ad Rem, I wish to consider the interesting and dogmatically significant subject of Ark-Church typology. In order to do so, I am going to excerpt from two other pieces — one written by Brother Thomas Mary, the other by your humble servant. I will credit both, though I will be less scrupulous in my own citation.1 A very important device … More →

Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Outside the Church there is no Salvation, Patrology, Theology | 2 Comments

‘Lead Us Not Into Temptation’ — What Does This Mean?

And lead us not into temptation… Have you ever wondered about this petition in the Lord’s Prayer? What exactly are we asking of God our Father? This petition of the Our Father must be taken in conjunction with the next, which is, “Deliver us from evil,” then the meaning is more clearly understood. God does not “lead” us Himself into the temptation of sin such … More →

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Auxiliary Bishop Elect of LA Prefers Rahner and Von Balthasar to Doctors of the Church

CNA December 2012: Dr. Ralph Martin, Professor of Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, has written an important book titled “Will Many Be Saved?” The text received a good deal of attention at the recent synod on the New Evangelization, and its opening pages are filled with endorsements from some of the leading figures in the Church today. Dr. Martin’s argument is straightforward enough: … More →

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The Apostles Creed

The feast day of Saint Thomas the Apostle on the traditional Roman calendar is December 21. In the new calendar it is July 3, so I took the liberty of giving him honor on this day too. Saint Jerome had the Apostle’s feast day listed on July 3. It was transferred to July 3 in 1969 so that the feast would not interfere with the … More →

Posted in Articles, Catechesis and Fundamentals, Theology | 2 Comments

The Father, an Appreciation

The First Person of the Holy Trinity gets shabby treatment. I say that without any irony whatsoever. God the Father gets shabby treatment in His Person, in His works, by the disregarding of His Law, and by the current, widespread profanation of the institution of human fatherhood, which is a created image of Himself. If human fatherhood is to be restored to its proper dignity, … More →

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To Be the Handmaid of the Handmaid of the Lord

“What manner of salutation is this”? Luke 1:29) Our Lady, with wonderful modesty and humility, related today’s event to the Evangelist, Saint Luke. The account is so chaste, so simple, so childlike. We begin with an angel, Gabriel the Archangel. He is sent by the Lord God to a house in Nazareth, in Galilee, to a Virgin espoused to a man named Joseph. Luke then … More →

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Posted in Columns, Our Lady, Theology | 3 Comments

The Twenty-One Slain Copts: Martyrs?

The savage infidels who call themselves ISIL have added to their brutal crimes recently by simultaneously beheading twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya. This grievous crime against defenseless civilians should rouse our just indignation. Further, such a persecution of the baptized by those who hate the Cross (and have vowed to conquer Rome) should elicit a chivalric response in Catholic hearts. With all our … More →

Posted in Columns, Current Issues in the Church, Outside the Church there is no Salvation, Theology | 35 Comments

Epiclesis and Filioque: Church Unity and the Schismatics January 19

In praying for the return of the schismatics to Church unity under the pope, I thought, by way of contrast, to clarify my own mind on two issues that, as I see it, have no basis being controversial at all. The sin of schism is a sin against charity, a rupture of the bond of charity, a grave offense against the Holy Ghost. As I … 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 →

Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Mass and the Liturgy, Spiritual Life, Theology | 12 Comments

Christian Certitude

All our knowledge of God is analogical. In brief, this means that every concept that we rightly apply to God is partly the same as, but also partly different from, that same concept as applied to creatures. (Click here for a fuller explanation.) We know God by means of the world around us — the Book of Nature. All creation was made for God’s glory … More →

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Posted in «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior, Philosophy, Theology | 18 Comments

Analogical Knowledge of God

What does it mean when we say that “all our knowledge of God is analogical”? In brief, it means that every concept that we rightly apply to God is partly the same as, but also partly different from, that same concept as applied to creatures. In Logic, we study the three modes of predication: univocity, equivocity, and analogy. As will soon become obvious, predication is … More →

Posted in Columns, Philosophy, Theology | 2 Comments