Quiz: How Well Do You Know Valid, Sacramental, and Invalid Marriages?

Because Marriage existed as a part of God’s natural plan for human beings before Christ elevated it to the level of a sacrament, it can be hard to understand what makes a marriage valid and sacramental, valid and merely natural, or invalid all together. A lot of what happens when the Church thinks about particular cases … Read more…

Seminary: The Inside Scoop (Three Things You Should Know)

A lot of the time when a young man is trying to work out his vocational discernment with fear and trembling, the greatest obstacle in his way is accurate information about what his life in any of the hypothetical vocation choices would actually look like. Drawn from my experience in seminary, I’d like to help … Read more…

“No One With A Good Car Needs To Be Justified”

Thus declares the antagonist of Flannery O’ Connor’s story, Wise Blood. He’s tapping into the general shallowness of our thought about salvation and what it means for us. If you can fill up your car with gas and drive off wherever you want, why do you need salvation to feel good about your life? We … Read more…

Fulfilled in Your Hearing

For even the most adroit of readers, the Scriptural texts that constitute the Bible can be complex and difficult to understand, not only in terms of content and meaning, but also with respect to their origin and purpose. The Bible has, for almost all of its history, been simultaneously a perennial object of study for … Read more…

What Does Star Wars Have To Do With Scripture?

Star Wars Episode VII is the movie that I’ve been waiting for since roughly 1997, or whenever it was that I saw Return of the Jedi for the first time and wondered when the next installment would arrive. Star Wars completely enthralled me from the very first moment that I saw that epic narrative text … Read more…

The Paradoxical Kingship of Christ

Today is the climactic finale of the Church’s liturgical season, the Solemnity of Christ the King. Next Sunday we will inaugurate a new liturgical year that begins with the joyful anticipation of Advent. The solemnity of Christ the King has always held great personal significance for me and is, in some ways, my favorite feast of … Read more…

The 3 Most Important Things to Remember When Thinking About the Synod

In case you’ve somehow managed to avoid hearing about it, there happens to be a synod of bishops in Rome right now discussing “the vocation and mission of the family in the contemporary world.” Pope Francis has called this gathering because he wants the help of his fellow bishops to make a statement to the … Read more…

The God of Revelation Vs. The god of Our Making

The following is adapted from a talk that I gave to a High-School retreat last week: The pre-Christian world knew that there was divine power in the cosmos, anyone who has read the Greek and Roman classics knows that those powers were not by any means considered universally benevolent. It is one thing to know … Read more…

How to Memorize Anything and Everything, Especially the Faith!

Do you have vivid memories of scenes from novels you’ve read and movies you’ve watched? Do you ever wish that you could have the same kind of recall for the things you have to memorize for school or for the truths of the Faith? Have you wondered why it is that you remember so clearly … Read more…

On Handwashing, Marketplaces, and The Fear of Evil.

Just a brief note to convey a thought I had about today’s Gospel reading from Mark, Chapter 7: “When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. —For the Pharisees and, in fact, all … Read more…