Ep. 21—Lactantius: The Fall and Rise of the Christian Cicero

He was the greatest rhetorician in the Latin-speaking world. Born in North Africa, Lactantius was summoned to serve at the imperial court. He converted to Christianity and, with the persecution of Diocletian, lost his job and lived in poverty. He continued writing to strengthen the faithful. With the rise of Constantine and the legalization of Christianity, he was restored to glory. In his writings we have a unique eyewitness account of one of history's most important transitional moments.

Podcast Highlights: The abuse crisis, acedia and more

This episode revisits some great moments from past Catholic Culture Podcast episodes.

Our culture is attempting suicide

The public meetings that build up our culture— the concerts and parades and lectures and religious rituals— are still banned or tightly restricted. The public events that tend to destroy that culture are allowed.

Joseph Ratzinger—Aspects of Christian Meditation

“All the aspirations which the prayer of other religions expresses are fulfilled in the reality of Christianity beyond all measure.”

Remedies for Discouragement

If you find yourself discouraged by the attack on truth, goodness, and beauty, be a cancel-culture subversive.

St. John Fisher against heresy

The need for an authority principle in any religion which claims to be based on a Revelation of God is crystal clear by now. Indeed, the situation is so bad that, as soon as our secular culture goes through a moral shift—such as approving abortion or homosexuality or gay marriage—just as quickly do various churches, having illogically appropriated the name of Christ, begin to change their tenets of faith and morals to suit their own worldly comfort and satisfaction.

The English bishops’ pre-emptive surrender on Covid vaccine

When a Covid vaccine becomes available, this statement by the English bishops will be quoted by zealous lawmakers campaigning to make the vaccine mandatory—and thus to deprive the English people of the freedom to make their own medical decisions for themselves and for their children.

Origen of Alexandria—Homily I on Genesis

“In accordance with the view of the apostle Paul, let us give attention to the text - that we can, as he himself says, receive ‘the mind of Christ’ and know ‘the things that are given us by God.’”

Practicing Catholics without the faith

Years ago, a friend who is a priest explained why he had run into difficulties with the archbishop in a different diocese. “If he’s a Catholic, I’m not,” my friend said. “And if I’m a Catholic, he’s not.”

On textbooks, the academic process, and things that last

The problem with contemporary materials from major publishers is that they tend to be ideologically driven. This is true not only in the sex-and-gender area but with respect to many other intellectual, social and religious problems which are rapidly destroying modern culture. Indeed, Western culture is pretty much in unbridled rebellion against both God and nature.

Ep. 82—A Habitual Counterculture—Brandon McGinley

Brandon McGinley calls for Catholics to return to the essence of the faith, rather than to a previous era of Catholic "success", and so find creative ways to restore a robust and evangelical Catholic culture in the unknown years to come. 

Models of Political Meddling by Clerics

From an orthodox Catholic point of view, intrinsically evil actions are mortal sins. So it’s fair game for a priest to play the part of John the Baptist and identify the proponents— including Catholic politicians who promote these evils— for the brood of vipers they are.

Ep. 20—Origen, Part 2: Hero, Heretic—or Hybrid?

It's hard to be an intelligent Christian without handling Origen's ideas. He set the ground rules for scientific study of the Bible. He wrote foundational works in spirituality, apologetics, and fundamental theology. In this episode we look at those big accomplishments, but also examine the ideas that got him into trouble. Do souls exist before they get bodies? Does Satan get saved in the end? Does allegory trump history when we read the Bible? And did Origen really say all these things anyway.

From the Archive: The Akathist Hymn

July 24, 2020 is being observed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America as a day of mourning for Hagia Sophia.

The Fisher who fished for men, and died for it

It is remarkable that Fisher and More were executed two weeks apart in 1535—Fisher on June 22nd at age 65 and More on July 6th at age 57. They knew each other well and respected each other immensely. Fisher was the only bishop in England to stand firm for the Church founded by Jesus Christ. The sadness now, perhaps, is that so few in most Western countries would find this remarkable. For that reason alone, St. John Fisher is particularly relevant to our time.

Wild Strawberries (1957) w/ James Matthew Wilson

James and Thomas discuss Ingmar Bergman's WILD STRAWBERRIES, one of his greatest and most moving films.

A shocking Vatican perspective on the pandemic

Despite stretching to well over 4,000 words, the Vatican document does not mention God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, prayer, or even charity; even the word “Christian” does not appear in the text.

Spiritual Communion: The real thing?

We must again grasp the main point—that our own “spiritual” impetus in the reception of Communion is most important only when considering our own part in the sacrament. But our part is by far the lesser part when it comes to any of the sacraments, and that is what makes loose talk about spiritual communion so potentially confusing. The objective element of a sacrament is what carries its true power, by which I mean the active Presence, specific to each sacrament, of Jesus Christ Himself.

New free eBook on the New Testament

This free ebook covers the Biblical books written as the direct Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There are twenty-seven of them in all, but only twenty essays in the collection. The discrepancy is predictable: On the one hand I have included more than one of the shorter letters in each commentary that dealt with those writings; on the other hand, I thought the Book of Revelation sufficiently difficult to be covered in four separate parts.

An answer to Catholic critics of the American Founding

This is a very important discussion for American Catholics during a time of national crisis, and America on Trial is a very important book. It belongs on the syllabus for any source about the American Founding.

Quick Hits: On law and metaphysics; discovering the TLM; overcoming a pandemic of fear

This judicial logic scoffs not just at the Arkansas law, “but at what nature and nature’s God have wrought.” Pay careful attention to that phrase: nature and nature’s God. Because it’s a reminder that this legal madness strikes at the very foundation of the American Republic.

On toppling statues and reading the riot act

I find myself ambivalent on the subject of tearing down statues erected to honor famous persons. But then I am ambivalent on the subject of erecting statues as well. My own admittedly narrow preference would be to establish no statue to anyone until he or she is canonized by the Catholic Church. But take warning: Even the lives of the saints are only very rarely so free of blame that nothing can be said against them.

Ep. 81—Love Like a Conflagration—Jane Greer

Jane Greer’s poetry is musical, fiery and accessible, and has received high praise from many of today’s foremost Catholic poets

Learning from the saints: Jane de Chantal revisited

We may be surprised by the remarkable similarity between problems faced in previous times and problems we are facing today. The Bubonic Plague fiercely returned to Jane de Chantal’s region of the world in 1629, and though men and women of that time would think it foolish to compare even this diminished version of the Plague with our own relatively feeble pandemic, it is interesting that people knew enough about contagion even then to make special provisions for the reception of the sacraments.

St. Augustine—De Doctrina Christiana, Prologue & Book One

“Whoever, then, appears in his own opinion to have comprehended the Sacred Scriptures, or even some part of them, yet does not build up with that knowledge the two-fold love of God and his neighbor, has not yet known as he ought to know.”

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