Category: 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.

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. … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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. … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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”. … Continue reading