Dominican Friars Media

Follow these links for the latest articles, podcasts, lectures, and videos from the Dominican Friars.

The American Catholic Authors: A New Series

“I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.” — Flannery O’Connor The American Dream, despite its associations with land, financial prosperity, and a rags-to-riches mentality, is expressive of a far more general idea—Americans tend to […]

In the Company of Angels

If you flip through a Roman Missal and examine the Prefaces—that is, the priestly prayer directly preceding the Sanctus of the Mass—for all the different liturgical seasons, feasts, votive Masses, and the like, you might be impressed by the comparatively large number: there are over 50! That’s not even including the Marian Missal or the […]

The Lover of the Poor

“And Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’” – […]

Delighting in Our Daily Bread

Before a Dominican friar sits down for breakfast, he has already spent an hour dining at a Sacred Banquet. Between the Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, and the rosary, a friar spends the better part of three hours each day chanting and reciting  the words of the psalter and the prayers of the Church. To […]

The Sacraments and Salvation

Join Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. of Aquinas 101, Godsplaining, and Pints with Aquinas for an off-campus conversation with Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P. about his latest book, “The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church.” All episodes of Off-Campus Conversations with Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. can be found on our YouTube channel, as well as the principal Read more…

How St. Thomas Proves God’s Existence from the Rational Order in Nature

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The Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum. In many ways, it represents the pinnacle of fallen man’s thirst for spectacle, violence, and glory. By the mere whim of the crowd, a man could rise to the heights of fame or wind up dead in the dust. And yet, that same Colosseum is holy ground, soaked in the blood of […]

5 Most Common Questions About Confession from Fr. Mike Schmitz

Has it been some time since your last Confession? You might grasp the significance of this sacrament but feel uncertain about how to approach it after an extended hiatus. If it’s been a while, you may have some lingering questions. Fr. Mike addresses the most frequently asked questions from individuals who haven’t participated in the […]
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To Visit, or Not to Visit?

Suppose you’re out running an errand and you pass a friend’s house. You hadn’t planned to see him, but you have some time to spare, and there’s a light on at his place. Do you stop by for a visit? It’s a tough call. You would have to consider several factors, including whether he is […]

Inspired by the Blessed Mother’s Sorrowful Heart

This article was originally published by Decided Excellence Catholic Media. E September marks the month of the Sorrowful Mother, Mater Dolorosa, the woman who faithfully stayed with the Lord through his most vulnerable and physically weak moments on earth. In order to understand Our Lady’s role (especially during the Passion), we must first look to her […]
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The Paradox of Choice

Ordering from a lengthy restaurant menu is a frightful experience. Your eyes scan desperately over countless options while your mind tries to keep up. The expectation that you somehow keep up a conversation with fellow diners at the table exacerbates the agony. The waiter comes far too early and, blithely ignoring your panic-stricken countenance, asks […]

The Character of Baptism

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Living Authentically like St. Francis of Assisi

Do you want to be a saint? Fr. Mark-Mary reminds us that to live like the saints, we must pray like the saints. In this video, he shares how we can pray like St. Francis of Assisi. At the end of his life, St. Francis dictated a document called “My Testament.” Fr. Mark-Mary explains that […]
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190 Episodes, 100K Subscribers, 1 Play Button

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Prevenient Love

What is it that captivates us about the great stories of romance? There seems to be a common thread that weaves throughout the tales across the ages, igniting them like a cascade of lightning. It is the all-or-nothing radicality of love, a love that seems to defy worldly prudence and challenge the very terrors of […]

A Little Holiday Spirit

When was the last time your cashier wished you a Happy Michaelmas? In this case, I think it’s safe to bet: never. It’s hard to even imagine that the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel was once popular enough to merit its own special name—alongside other such greats as Christmas, Candlemas, and Martinmas. Perhaps the […]

Approaches to Reality and Paradigms of Certainty

About the speaker: Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. is an adjunct professor of dogmatic theology at the Dominican House of Studies and an Assistant Director of the Thomistic Institute. He is the author of a few books including Prudence: Choose Confidently, Live Boldly. His writing also appears in Ascension’s Catholic Classics, Magnificat, and Aleteia. He is Read more…

The Primetime to Give Thanks

A few weeks ago, Deion Sanders made his head-coaching debut for the Colorado Buffaloes. Mr. Sanders, however, had already made quite an impact in the sports world from his time as a collegiate and professional athlete—as evidenced by his nickname: “Primetime.” As a professional football player, he played both offense and defense. He is the […]

10 Unforgettable St. Augustine Quotations

St. Augustine, also known as Augustine of Hippo, is one of the most influential figures in the history of Christianity and Western philosophy. His most famous work, The Confessions of St. Augustine, is a profoundly reflective autobiography that explores his spiritual journey. Discover 10 unforgettable quotations from Augustine that offer profound insights for personal growth, […]
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What is the relationship between soul and body in conjoined twins?

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Weathering the Storms of Life with Our Lady

For many of us, September is synonymous with the end of summer break and the beginning of a new school year. We are forced to get acclimated to a new schedule: going to bed at a reasonable hour, but also waking up at an unreasonable hour. Amusement parks, pools, and beaches close. Football games and […]

Moral Limbo in the Workplace

About the speaker: Fr. Thomas More Garrett, O.P., made solemn profession in the Order of Preachers in 2012 and was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, on May 22, 2015, in Washington, DC. Before entering the Dominicans he practiced law and worked as a Congressional staffer. In private practice, Read more…

How to Pray a Morning Offering from Saint Francis de Sales

The following excerpt is from pages 133-134 of Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales, Season 1 reading for the Catholic Classics podcast. Here, St. Francis shares 4 prayer exercises you should complete in the morning before leaving your bedroom. In addition to this full and complete mental prayer, along with the […]
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The Fourth Way: If You’re the Tallest, You’re Also a Cause!

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The Power in His Eyes

What was Veronica thinking when she stared into the eyes of Jesus as he made his way to the Crucifixion? Imagine the scene: Jesus has fallen for the first time. He is completely spent, walking beside Simon of Cyrene, his “voluntold” helper.  Mary, his mother, mournfully looks on, and all he can do is continue […]

Mother of Sorrows, Mother of Mercy

Suffering is such an interesting concept. It seems that even for faithful Catholics, many of our actions result from our subconscious trying to escape pain and discomfort.

Why Is the Church So Sad?

Many people, even many Christians, think Catholics are too focused on penance, suffering, and the cross. Are they right about this? Today, for example, the Church joyfully proclaims Alleluia! and only a few moments later we hear an old man’s seemingly morbid words to a new mother: “And you yourself a sword will pierce so […]

3 Ways to Practice Discipleship

Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right path in your spiritual journey? Being a faithful follower of Jesus involves more than attending Mass and believing the correct doctrines. Jesus is calling us to give more, love more, and surrender more. In this podcast, Dr. Edward Sri shares 3 ways to practice discipleship. 1. Imitation […]
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Blessed Are You, O Virgin Mary

While it is well known that May is “Mary’s month,” several other months carry a particular Marian character. September is one of them, dedicated to her Seven Sorrows, crowned by three feasts in rapid succession: the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Sep 8), the Most Holy Name of Mary (Sep 12), and Our Lady […]

St. Augustine on His Own Conversion

The following excerpt is from pages 218-219 of the second book of the Catholic Classics series, The Confessions of St. Augustine. An updated translation from Ascension makes this key work of Catholic tradition accessible to modern readers. Book 8 Thus I was speaking and weeping with utterly bitter contrition of heart when, behold, I heard […]
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The Shine from the Šiluva Shrine

If I were a betting man, I would guess you know next to nothing about Lithuania. Though she boasts surviving Russian and German occupation and was the first to leave the Soviet Union; though she restored her culture after Polonization and Russification and maintained her language (a living relic); though she has a weirdly good […]

The Service of the Emotions in the Moral Life

About the speaker:Prof. W. Scott Cleveland is Director of Catholic Studies and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Mary (Bismarck, ND). His research interests are in ethics, moral psychology, and philosophy of religion. He is especially interested in the study of the virtues and emotions, the relation between the two, and the role Read more…

A Biblical Reflection on the Hail Mary

The first thing to note about the “Hail Mary” is that it comes right out of Scripture.
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Why Does Truth Depend Upon Being in St. Thomas’ Fourth Way?

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Pray the Litany of Trust

Are you looking to build your faith in Jesus? The Litany of Trust is a beautiful prayer that teaches detachment and delivers us from fear. In this video, Fr. Mark-Mary prays this litany with its composer, Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, SV, and her fellow Sister of Life, Sr. Marie Veritas, SV. Watch the full video, […]
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Bonus tu et beneficus

Bonus tu et beneficus You are good and you do good  (Psalm 119:68) Our Holy Father Dominic wanted his order to be poor. He wanted us to live by the words of Christ, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor . . . Then come, follow […]

Sacred Study

About the speaker: Fr. James Dominic Brent, O.P. was born and raised in Michigan. He pursued his undergraduate and graduate studies in Philosophy, and completed his doctorate in Philosophy at Saint Louis University on the epistemic status of Christian beliefs according to Saint Thomas Aquinas. He has articles in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Read more…

Into the Heart of the Sea

When, as a lad, I’d look out my window at the sea, I wanted to know what was out there. Was it the boat-shaped bookcase in my room? The schooner-speckled waste-basket? The navy blue, well . . . everything? Whatever it was, the sea called.  Still, a ten year old cannot go to sea, so […]

The Ultimate Guide to Prayer from Fr. Mike Schmitz

Are you finding it difficult to focus on prayer? Are you easily distracted? Fr. Mike Schmitz has some solutions for you! This Ultimate Guide will improve your prayer life and help you rediscover your relationship with God. The Power of Prayer Do we need to pray? What exactly does prayer do? Fr. Mike lays down […]
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The Restless Heart

Everyone has experienced the desire for something just out of reach, to attain something he could not find; perhaps in a dream, perhaps in waking life. For some, this is a fleeting sensation. For others, their whole existence seems to be defined by seeking, by a sort of restless quest. They might be scientists pursuing […]

Journeying Through the Catechism: Our Calling

The truths that God has revealed to us are not a set of abstract teachings.  Rather, they convey the most concrete, fundamental of all realities—namely, the truth of who God is and who we are. 
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“I’ll tell you a story…”

2023 Summer Movie Recommendation:The Fall by Tarsem Singh One of life’s greatest pleasures is showing something beautiful to someone who has never seen it. There is of course a danger of vanity or pride. In the worst-case scenario, we share beautiful things purely to enhance our reputation in the eyes of others. We’ve all met […]

QUIZ: Women of the Old Testament

Do you consider yourself a true Bible scholar? Get ready to prove it in this quiz! What better way to prepare for the launch of The Bible Timeline Show than to test our knowledge of the most prominent women of the Old Testament? How did you do? To learn more about the Bible and to […]
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Knowing Sorrow, Expecting Joy

2023 Summer Reading Recommendations:The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day As I walk through Greenwich Village each morning I read chalked on the sidewalk the day’s manifesto: “It’s Just Love,” or “No Justice, No Peace.” By the next day the words have been hosed down, but what of the message remains? The would-be revolutionary’s words seek after a […]

Do Angels Have Free Will?

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Prayer and the Hunger for Meaning

About the speaker: Fr. O’Donnell grew up in Syracuse, New York. After two years as a student at Providence College, he entered the Order of Preachers in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1970. In 1971 he earned an MA in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and in 1980 earned an Read more…

Growing the Tree of Wisdom

2023 Summer Reading Recommendations:Noah’s Moral Ark by Hugh of St. Victor Mystics love images. They use images to elucidate the work of God in the soul. For example, St. Teresa of Avila famously wrote of seven mansions that mark the Christian’s progress in prayer, while St. Thérèse, with flowers and teacups and thimbles, exposited the […]

Can One Statement Be More True Than Another? How?

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Where in the World is the Blessed Virgin Mary?

As a child, I often found myself in the dismal lighting of the supermarket, yelling out that dreaded one word question that just as soon became a cry: “Mom? Mom! MOM!!” A lost child is not a fun sight (and usually not too pleasant to listen to either). The child longs to hold on to […]

How to Discern Your Vocation with Fr. Mike Schmitz

Are you in a time of discernment? While you work to determine what God has in store for your life, Fr. Mike reminds us in this video of the 3 senses of vocation we all have. Knowing these senses will help you form a practical path to holiness. Fr. Mike begins his advice by saying […]
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Preparing for Life in a Household: A Biblical and Thomistic Perspective

About the speaker: John A. Cuddeback, PhD, is professor of Philosophy at Christendom College, where he has taught for twenty-five years. He lectures widely on topics including virtue, fatherhood, friendship, and household, and his professional writings appear in various academic journals and books. His book True Friendship was republished by Ignatius Press. His blogging at Read more…

Journeying Through the Catechism: The Sacraments

Therefore, the sacraments are necessary for salvation, precisely because life in Christ as part of the Church is necessary for salvation.
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O You of Little Faith

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus poses a famous question to Saint Peter: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mt. 14:31). How is it that Peter, someone who was so close to the person of Jesus could have such weak faith? I wouldn’t rush to judgment—we see plenty of examples of weak faith […]

What is Our Hope? Heaven and the Kingdom of God

About the speaker: Professor Michael Root (Catholic University of America is an Ordinary Professor of Systematic Theology at The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. Root is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and studied at Dartmouth College (B.A.) and Yale University (Ph.D. in theology). He was received into the Catholic Church in August, 2010. His Read more…

Living On Mission: Finding Community Through Virtue and Holiness

Are you living “on mission”? Are you seeking community? The following excerpt is sourced from pages 71-72 of Ascension’s newest book by Andrew and Sarah Swafford: Gift and Grit: How Heroic Virtue Can Change Your Life and Relationships. After speaking, one of our favorite things to do is to meet people and talk with them […]
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Peace in Unprecedented Times

“Thank you for your patience during these unprecedented times.” Produce workers and grocery shoppers alike repeatedly heard this hackneyed phrase during the COVID-19 pandemic. This phrase, along with the equally ubiquitous “challenging times,” was used to capture the overwhelming anxiety felt by many during the pandemic. Although the National Emergency Declaration for COVID-19 ended three […]

Getting More out of Mass

2023 Summer Reading Recommendations:What Happens at Mass by Abbot Jeremy Driscoll It is a mark of God’s generosity that he allows us to benefit from certain things regardless of how well we understand their workings. In other words, God lets us drive his car even if we know nothing about automotive engineering. God can save […]

Why Would a Biologist Believe in the Soul?

Join Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. of Aquinas 101, Godsplaining, and Pints with Aquinas for an off-campus conversation with Dr. Jonathan Buttaci about his latest Thomistic Institute, “Why Would a Biologist Believe in the Soul?”. All episodes of Off-Campus Conversations with Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. can be found on our YouTube channel, as well as the Read more…

3 Tips for Building Healthy Relationships from Fr. Mike Schmitz

Relationships can be hard work. In this video, Fr. Mike commends his audience for discerning marriage while offering 3 pieces of wisdom for those looking to cultivate healthy relationships. 1. There are some things that only time can reveal  Fr. Mike says, “Time is absolutely essential for a relationship.” He explains that even if you […]
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“Josh and the Big Wall!” was one of my favorite episodes of VeggieTales. I was always frustrated with the beginning, however, when Bob the Tomato explained that the Israelites would have already gotten into the Promised Land if only they had listened to God.  When I was first learning these Biblical stories as a kid […]

Eight Steps of Courage: A New Look at Jesus’ Beatitudes

On our journey through “the valley of the shadow of death,” we desperately need endurance to fight for the good and to resist evil (Psalm 23). Life is not a sprint but a marathon. Christians understandably focus so much on restraining misdirected desires that, at times, we overlook the need to strengthen our spirits amid […]
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Resilience and Right Worship in Fujian

2023 Summer Reading Recommendations: Ancestors, Virgins, and Friars by Eugenio Menegon China’s Fujian Province has an honored place in the history of the Dominican Order and the Province of St. Joseph. Friars of our Province served in Fujian from 1923 until 1955, when our last three men there were released from Communist captivity. One of […]

The Ring Must Be Destroyed

Anyone who is familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings might wonder: what does world domination have to do with invisibility? These are the two abilities granted by the wearer of the One Ring, which drives the story’s conflict. Surprisingly, this question touches upon the fundamental connection of human nature, fellowship, and ultimate […]

Take Me Home

Today marks one hundred and sixty years since my native West Virginia, with approval from Congress and President Lincoln, was officially admitted to the Union, becoming America’s thirty-fifth state. When I first meet people and tell them I grew up in West Virginia, it is not uncommon for them to start singing “Take Me Home, […]

Celebrating the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus focuses on receiving this love of Christ and giving it back to him in thanksgiving.
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Sing a New Song to the Lord

2023 Summer Reading Recommendations: The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord by Anthony Esolen The human heart desires to sing. Enlivened by God, it seeks, at its most basic, to make a worthy return to the Lord in songs of praise and thanksgiving. Language can be beautiful. Order is peaceful and pleasing. The combination of the […]

Mary, Elizabeth, and Me

No one can predict the path his life will take. God has a plan for each one of us, but few of us get any idea of what it entails until late in life (and even then, only in a dim way). It can be hard to trust God without knowing all the contours of […]

What is Love?

2023 Summer Reading Recommendations:A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken There is a lot of talk this month about love. June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart and during this month we are called to reflect on the profundity of Christ’s loving heart. But there are those who celebrate a different sense of love this month, […]

The History of Corpus Christi

Catholic tradition has often referred to the Eucharist as “the bread of angels.” While true in a certain sense, the Eucharist may more appropriately be called “the bread of God.”
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St. Thomas’ Third Way: You Didn’t Have To Exist—But You Do!

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Progressive Solemnity

June may be the greatest month of the year. School is getting out, temperatures are going up, and the Church celebrates a whopping five solemnities. That’s right, five of the holiest days of the year happen in June: Holy Trinity, Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, the Nativity of John the Baptist, and Saints Peter and Paul. […]

The Ethics of Friendship

2023 Summer Reading RecommendationsTrue Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness by John Cuddeback Moral philosophy, the orderly search for wisdom about human actions, must start somewhere. A good moral philosopher starts from true principles. Beginning with these principles greatly improves the odds of ending with true conclusions. Beyond knowing the principles, however, the good teacher must […]

What Natural Rights Do I Have?

About the speaker: V. Bradley Lewis is associate professor in the School of Philosophy in the Catholic University of America. He specializes in political and legal philosophy, especially that of the classical Greeks and in the Thomistic tradition, and is currently working on a book on the idea of the common good. In addition to Read more…

Summer Schedule Announcement

Dear Friends, Summer always brings exciting new beginnings for our men in formation. We give thanks to God for the ordination of nine of our brothers this past May, including several contributors to this blog. They and the other student brothers have been sent throughout the province to begin their summer assignments. This change of […]

Journeying Through the Catechism: The Mysteries of Salvation

This divine treasure of the sacraments is surrounded by a beautiful golden garland—the sacred liturgy. The liturgy is the “work” of the Church, the mystical body of Christ.
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How OLD Will We Be in Heaven?

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Doing the Will of the One Who Sent Me

“Just another nasty woman doing bad things” hailed the graffiti in front of the statue of the Maid of Orleans. “She would have killed them for writing that in English,” quipped my novice brother.  A saint is a powerful icon. One that projects courage, fortitude, and moral authority. Recognizing this, activist movements have readily commandeered […]

And There is God

The Christian life is a pilgrimage. It begins with the ascent of Mt. Sinai, that first moment when we come to an awareness of the voice of God—grand, humbling, consoling.  But even with this consoling grandeur, God does not yet reveal his face (Ex 33:20). As we progress in the Christian life, consolations often fade, and […]

Journeying Through the Catechism: The Last Things

With the coming of Jesus Christ, the end of time has already begun.  His life, death, resurrection, and ascension mark the “fullness of time.”  The ultimate meaning of human history is found in Jesus, through whom and for whom all things were created.
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Woe is Me!

Self-Pity is a wonderful companion. She understands you. She comforts you. She fixes you a stiff drink and reassures you that you’ve been wronged. After all, you have been wronged, haven’t you? She knows the real story. To her, you are perfect.  When we pity ourselves, we think we are responding rightly to an injustice. […]

How St. Thomas Proves God’s Existence Through Efficient Causality

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How Does Christ Save Us?

About the speaker:Ross McCullough joined George Fox University as an assistant professor of theology and faculty fellow in the George Fox University Honors Program in 2018. He studied patristic theology at the University of Notre Dame before doing a doctorate at Yale University at the intersection of systematic theology and analytic philosophy of religion. Dr. Read more…


“Class, do not be drawn in by the myth of closure. That our life has finality is a complete lie.” This strange aside from my twelfth-grade English teacher turned all my dreams for life into embarrassments. And as my life has gone on, it seems he has been proven right. Perhaps we all can attest […]

How to Celebrate the Ascension

During the first three centuries, the Ascension of the Lord was commemorated with the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. In the mid-fourth century, it arises as a separate feast day and achieves nearly universal spread by the fifth century. This solemnity is mentioned among the important feasts and mysteries of the Lord by […]
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What Is Baptism?

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Can You See That You Are a Prophet?

When we think of the Prophets, we think of Elijah and Elisha performing miracles, of the words and oracles of Isaiah or Jeremiah, and ultimately of Christ, who is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Prophets. The woman at the well says to Jesus, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet” (John 4:19) […]

The Cross, Again?

Why do we talk about the Cross outside of Lent? Hasn’t Jesus won the victory over death and sin already? Can’t we just sing our alleluias and eat Peeps? The Church continues to talk about the Cross, especially during the Easter season, to remind us that the Resurrection shows us the true meaning of the […]

The Tree of Prayer

One day at lunch, one of the priests with whom I live asked me a question I never expected near the end of my formation at the Dominican House of Studies: “Which tree are you most proud of?”  Now, it was reasonable that he did ask, seeing as I have planted about 50 trees around […]

Give It Up for God

What is the most important thing in your life? What would you do if God asked you to give it up? For some it might mean surrendering a talent: a beautiful voice or the world’s most accurate free-throw. For others it might be a loved one. For still others it might be their freedom. Imagine […]

Action and Procession

Is there a point to bringing the bread and wine to the priest during the Mass? Why not just keep them near the altar and save someone the trouble? The Acts of the Apostles actually has quite a bit to say about this. The book presents us with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in […]

Journeying Through the Catechism: The Church

The Catholic Church is the visible means for God’s activity in the world.  Every grace received is ultimately directed toward communion in the Church. 
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Engulfed in Fire and Blood

Many of us begin emails with generic phrases like “I hope you are doing well.” Saint Catherine of Siena began her letters with greetings like “I long to see you engulfed and drowned in the sweet blood of God’s Son, which is permeated with the fire of his blazing charity.” Saint Catherine wrote thirty-seven of […]

St. Mark’s Monopolized Parable

A few years ago Google reported a dramatic increase in searches containing the phrase “open now” and a corresponding drop-off in searches for “store hours.” The same report also noted that “53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load.” This data indicates something we already know: we […]

How Do You Believe in Jesus?

Wouldn’t it be great if Jesus came and stood in our midst? Wouldn’t it be incredible if he showed us his resurrected body with its nail marks and pierced side? He did that for the Apostles; why not for us? Thoughts like these can be tempting during the Easter season. We hear various Gospel accounts […]

Time to Pay Up

Easter Sunday was over a week ago now. Although the Church proclaims that it is still Easter and we will continue to see white vestments for more than a month, it’s hard to escape the feeling that life is back to business as usual. This can feel especially so today. After all, what could be […]

What is Efficient Causality?

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Taylor Swift, Thomas Aquinas, and Divine Mercy

Taylor Swift might seem an unlikely commentator on the works of Saint Thomas Aquinas, particularly his teaching on divine mercy. But a commentator she nonetheless is, albeit unintentionally and at times inconsistently. Ms. Swift’s commentary lies in the tension between two hit songs, “Karma” and “Anti-Hero,” from her most recent studio album, Midnights.  The former—a […]

Journeying Through the Catechism: The Holy Spirit

All Catholic morality and prayer is rooted in the Church’s dogmatic teaching on the Trinity. This becomes obvious when we think about the role of the Spirit in making us new through baptism.
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A Holy and Living Sacrifice

At the beginning of the Easter season, it is worth considering that the Body of Christ present at the Mass is the Body of the living Jesus Christ, not a corpse. And the Blood we receive is the very blood that, even now, flows through the veins of Christ. This blood is no longer spilled […]

Nail Me to the Wood, Lord

Wood is an unforgiving substance. Think about the last time you stubbed your toe on that wooden door or chair or received a splinter from grabbing a loose board. But the hardness and stiffness of wood also makes it stable and permanent. A good piece of wood can be made into many things—including a cross. […]

Come Closer

  How close can a work of art get us to God? In the case of Benvenuto di Giovanni’s Christ in Limbo, the answer is pressingly close. The central drama of this medieval depiction of Christ’s descent to the dead involves two antithetical forms of closeness: one being the undesired, uncomfortable congestion of the souls in Sheol, and the other Read more…

St. Thomas’s Five Ways: How to Prove God Exists

About the speaker:Edward Feser is Professor of Philosophy at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California. He has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy Read more…

By His Wounds You Are Healed

Holy Week already happened. The events of Holy Week—the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus—transpired thousands of years ago on a distant continent. There is little left of the first Holy Week. The city of Jerusalem has been burnt and rebuilt several times. Churches have been erected over the notable locations, and the eyewitnesses are […]

Where is Baptism in the Bible?

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Looking for Jesus

Like any mother who has lost track of her child, Mary spoke tenderly to her son: “Your father and I have been looking for you anxiously” (Lk 2:48). Her sweet words echo throughout the ages because she speaks for you and for me. Every human person is on the hunt for Jesus. All my life […]

#AskAFriar: How To Have Hope in Times of Darkness

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No Time for the Pastime

“Happy Opening Day!” Baseball fans will exchange this happy greeting in two days, when the 2023 MLB season officially begins. Sadly, this greeting will often receive the perplexed response:  “Opening day for what?” Critics of baseball point to a troublesome decline in attendance and a lack of in-game excitement as evidence that baseball is losing […]

The God of the Bible and the God of the Philosophers

About the speaker:Eleonore Stump is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, where she has taught since 1992. She is also Honorary Professor at Wuhan University and at the Logos Institute, St.Andrews, and she is a Professorial Fellow at Australian Catholic University. She has published extensively in philosophy of religion, contemporary Read more…

An Oasis of Joy in the Desert of Lent

How does the Christian prepare for a great feast? Our Lord tells the Pharisees, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast” (Matt 9:15). The archetypal example of a fast as preparation for […]

Adam and Eve after the Pill, Revisited

What is the legacy of the sexual revolution? Who are the winners and losers? What are its effects on the family and society at large? Join Fr. Gregory Pine and Mary Eberstadt in this episode of “Off-Campus Conversations”, where they discuss the effects of the sexual revolution, the current psychological crisis among young people, competing Read more…

Lenten Joy

We find ourselves this Lenten week surrounded by a trifecta of celebratory days—this is odd. Shouldn’t we be dour? Shouldn’t we be occupied with doing penance and mourning for our sins? Were not those ashes to set us on a path of dismal gloom until the great Easter Proclamation brings it to a happy end? […]

God’s Suffering Shepherds

It does not take a genius to figure out that God has a thing for shepherds. From Abel to Jacob, Moses to David, and Amos to the shepherds of Bethlehem, the Lord has seen fit to select those who tend flocks as recipients of his favor. Often, these men of the fold were selected for […]

Are Catholic Sacraments Biblical?

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Humanity’s Original State

About the speaker:Dr. Reinhard Huetter is Ordinary Professor of Fundamental Theology at the School of Theology and Religious Studies of The Catholic University. Professor Huetter is a native of Lichtenfels, Germany. He received his Dr. theol. (summa cum laude) in 1990, and his Habilitation in 1995, both from the University of Erlangen. He taught for Read more…

If I Forget You, Jerusalem

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem.” Eighty-five years ago today, Marie-Joseph Lagrange passed into eternity with these words on his lips. The Dominican friar who did perhaps the most of any Catholic in the twentieth century to further biblical studies died March 10, 1938 in his native France. Though a Frenchman by birth, his last words reveal where his […]

Journeying Through the Catechism: The Son

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Does Tradition ‘Develop’ Over Time?

About the speaker:About the speaker:Lewis Ayres is Professor of Catholic and Historical Theology at Durham University in the United Kingdom. He specializes in the study of early Christian theology, especially the history of Trinitarian theology and early Christian exegesis. He is also deeply interested in the relationship between the shape of early Christian modes of Read more…

The Last Act of Greatness

“The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness!” Attributed to Pope Benedict XVI of blessed memory, this quote begs us to consider: what is greatness? The modern world answers with wealth or prestige or the fleeting clout of social media checkmarks. But the Christian too can […]

What’s Wrong With St. Thomas’ First Proof for the Existence of God?

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This Sunday, we will hear the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ on Mount Tabor. Jesus will take Peter, James, and John up the mountain where he will become radiant in divine glory—flanked by Moses and Elijah—before their very eyes. We, too, will ascend Tabor with Jesus. On this second Sunday of Lent, he […]

True Sacrifice: What We Do in the Mass | Prof. Bruce Marshall

Prof. Marshall’s handout can be found here: This lecture was given on January 14, 2023, at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., as part of the intellectual retreat entitled, “The Mystery of the Liturgy.” All Thomistic Institute Livestream lectures can be found on the principal podcasting apps and on our YouTube channel:This Read more…

#AskAFriar: Can Something Be Evil But Not Sinful?

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Inside the Walls

The “Imagineers” at the Walt Disney Company know exactly what they are doing. At each Disney theme park, small nozzles across the site waft sweet and immersive scents into the air. Litter is picked up as soon as it touches the ground, keeping the idyllic streets of Downtown Disney impeccable. The vast series of underground Read more…

Inside the Walls

The “Imagineers” at the Walt Disney Company know exactly what they are doing. At each Disney theme park, small nozzles across the site waft sweet and immersive scents into the air. Litter is picked up as soon as it touches the ground, keeping the idyllic streets of Downtown Disney impeccable. The vast series of underground […]

Journeying Through the Catechism: Creation and the Fall

This is the fourth part of a series that follows The Catechism in a Year podcast. Dr. Matthew Minerd journeys with us and presents a “travel guide” through the major themes of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Need to catch up? You can find the other parts of the series here: The Catechism: A Guide for the Christian Life, […]
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Why It’s Worth Praying

In Matthew 7:7-11, Jesus teaches us about praying. In the first few lines of that passage, he describes what our experience of prayer is like—what we imagine prayer to consist of: “Ask, and it will be given you, Seek, and you will find, Knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt 7:7). This is […]

Does Neuroscience Disprove Free Will?

About the speaker:Prof. James Madden is Professor of Philosophy at Benedictine College. He lives in Atchison, Kansas with his wife (Jennifer) and their six children; William, Martha, J. Patrick, Brendan, Jack, and Cormac. He is originally from Wisconsin, where he received a B.A. from St. Norbert College, and did his graduate work at Kent State Read more…

Rend Your Heart, and Your Hashtags

A few years ago a new trend popped up on social media for Ash Wednesday: the Ashtag. An enthusiastic church-goer would post a selfie displaying a forehead newly minted with ashes. These posts may have been made with the fine intention of encouraging people to begin Lent by going to Mass or as a witness […]

The Ultimate Guide to Lent from Fr. Mike Schmitz

Are you ready for Lent? These 40 days tend to sneak up on us. As you prepare for this season, Fr. Mike has some valuable advice and information for you before the journey begins.  Preparing for Lent What is still in your life that can’t be in your life if you want to follow Jesus? […]
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Can Sinners Administer the Sacraments? Can Angels?

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How St. Thomas Aquinas’ Second Way for Proving the Existence of God Works

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40 Podcasts for 40 Days

Whether you’ve been praying and preparing for Lent since the Epiphany or you just realized you have less than a week to rid your house of chocolate, ready or not, the time is here.  Never fear. Ascension always has your back. We put together a playlist of Ascension podcasts for your Lenten journey and titled […]
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Consuming Beauty

What’s the point of art? Why do we decorate our homes and adorn our public places with paintings and statues? Why do we furnish our schools, our workplaces, and our churches with frescoes, statues, mosaics and more? It can’t just be that they look nice. Of course, that is true; the beauty of visual art […]

The Greatest Friendship

“Love desires immortality… mortal nature seeks so far as possible to live forever and be immortal. And this is possible in one way only: by reproduction, because it always leaves behind a new young one in place of the old” (Symposium, 207a, d).  These words, attributed by Plato to the wise woman Diotima, poetically capture […]

Journeying Through the Catechism: A God Who Reveals Himself

This is the third part of a series that follows The Catechism in a Year podcast. Dr. Matthew Minerd journeys with us and presents a “travel guide” through the major themes of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Need to catch up? You can find the other parts of the series here: The Catechism: A Guide for the Christian Life […]
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St. Thomas’ Favorite Argument for the Existence of God

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The Myth of Dante’s Thomism? Reading Aquinas and Dante with the Dominicans

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Can Philosophy Prepare You For Death?

About the speaker:Sister Elinor Gardner is a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. Before arriving at University of Dallas, she taught at Aquinas College in Nashville, TN and at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Her doctoral work (Boston College) was on the ethics of Thomas Aquinas (“St Thomas Aquinas on Read more…

The Theology of Jordan Peterson

The controversial Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson has a notoriously complicated relationship with the question “Do you believe in God?” He famously claims that “I act as if God exists,” while treating God as such a transcendentally obscure concept that merely affirming or negating his existence would be crass. This troubles religious people and atheists alike, […]

From Vices to Virtues to Gifts: Thomas and Dante on Sanctification

About the speaker:Fr. Albert Trudel, O.P. (Dominican House of Studies) specializes in the intersection between theology and literature in the Middle Ages, and has lately commented on Dante’s Purgatorio and the Middle English Pearl for various Thomistic Institute projects. He completed his Master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Toronto, his doctoral work Read more…

The Fire on the Altar

The eighth chapter of the Book of Leviticus brings us to the Israelites’ encampment at the foot of Mount Sinai, after their march through the scorching desert. Here we find the entire community assembled at the entrance of the tabernacle, before Aaron and his sons disappear inside for seven days to be ordained as priests […]

The Elements of a Sacrament: Form and Matter

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Love as Strong as Death

Tomorrow, three of my brothers will make a promise that many deem impossible. Five years ago, in their Mass of Simple Profession, I watched them “make profession and promise obedience.” They offered themselves unconditionally to God as Dominican friars. Tomorrow, in their Mass of Solemn Profession, these friars will renew that self-oblation and extend it […]

#AskAFriar: Does Jesus Know What Pizza Tastes Like?

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Christian Enchantment

The Prophet Isaiah proclaims “The grass withers, the flower fades,” yet, in the same breath, he assures us that the word of God stands forever, (Isa 40:8) a word that brings joy to all people (Lk 2:10). Here we are faced with a paradox of the Christian life: we are called to live joyfully in […]

God at Rock Bottom

Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, wrote that “few people will sincerely try to practice the A.A. program unless they have hit bottom.” He found that utter desolation—rock bottom, as we call it—often incited alcoholics to admit their helplessness and surrender to a higher power. So, then, is rock bottom a good or a bad […]

Is It Possible to Have Productive Conversations About Abortion?

Join Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. of Aquinas 101, Godsplaining, and Pints with Aquinas for an off-campus conversation with Dr. Angela Knobel about her latest Thomistic Institute, “The Philosophy of the Abortion Debate.” All episodes of Off-Campus Conversations with Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. can be found on our YouTube channel, as well as the principal podcasting Read more…

Join the 2023 Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage

Man is a pilgrim animal. Planted upon earth but destined for heaven, he must chart a path of peace through a perilous world. Classic Catholic devotion has long provided for man’s pilgrim needs by means of pilgrimage itself. What better way, really, to remind ourselves that we are pilgrims—to wrest ourselves free of contemporary comforts […]

Everything Pertains to Love

The word “love” is cheap. Rather, it has been made cheap by a confused world that struggles to acknowledge the true desire of our hearts. In one moment, people declare love for their spouse or children, and in the very next moment express love for something like food, clothes, and the passing pleasures of this […]

What Would It Mean to ‘Prove’ God Exists?

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Virtue in a Modern World

Meet Andrew Whitmore, a theology professor, husband, father, and author of Ascension’s Saintly Habits: Aquinas’ 7 Simple Strategies You Can Use to Grow in Virtue. In this blog, Andrew shares his perspective on virtue, why living a virtuous life is worth pursuing, and how to be virtuous in a sinful world. Q: What is virtue […]
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Remedy for a Common Evil

Abortion remains the most contentious moral debate of our time, yet the logic against abortion is astonishingly simple. It is always wrong to kill an innocent human being. Abortion kills an innocent human being. Therefore, abortion is always wrong.  Justice demands that abortion be abolished.

How Do Sacraments Cause Grace?

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“Lord, I love you.”

In Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson’s dystopian novel, Lord of the World, the Church is finally being defeated. The protagonist, Fr. Percy Franklin, after the destruction of Rome, is elected pope by the last few surviving cardinals. He chooses the name Silvester, “the last saint in the procession of the Christian year.” While left unstated, the […]

The Kiss of Affliction

When the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 2020, CEO Clark Hunt exclaimed, “I want to thank the Lord for blessing us with all these incredible people to bring this trophy home.” He gave credit and thanks to God for their triumph.

Catholic Political Thought w/ Dr. Russell Hittinger

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The Catechism: Divine Revelation

This is the second part of a series that follows The Catechism in a Year podcast. Dr. Matthew Minerd journeys with us and presents a “travel guide” through the major themes of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Need to catch up? You can find the other parts of the series here: The Catechism: A Guide for the Christian Life. […]
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All Time Belongs to Him

The ordinariness of Ordinary Time is setting in—not just liturgically, but even culturally. The wreaths are gone, the crèches are put away, and the Christmas trees have been disposed of. As we return to the Ordinary Time of the liturgy, we return also to the ordinary time of our daily lives.

Dim, the Gold

The feast of the Epiphany was traditionally always celebrated on January 6, twelve days after Christmas. The poem offered here is a reflection on the humility that man is faced with—that even kings were faced with—on approaching the manger of the Lord.

The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

Editor’s note: On the day that he is laid to rest at the Vatican, we join with the universal Church in praying for the repose of the soul of Pope Benedict XVI, who loved the Lord with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength. Do you remember where you […]
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Peace and Patience from the Manger

Christmas re-focuses our attention on the Christ Child. At the crèche, our thoughts linger on the divine infant in the manger. We marvel that our almighty God became a tender baby to save us. Our hearts soften to make room for him, and we forget our selfish preoccupations.

(Holy) Family Matters

With finals over and Christmas Day sufficiently celebrated, the student brothers of the Dominican House of Studies have been set loose upon their families for eight days. For most of us, it is the first time we have seen our family since our summer home-visits.

The Apostle of Christ’s Sacred Humanity

Have you ever pondered the fact that, one day, you will see Jesus with your own eyes? Our eternal bliss will consist in the immediate vision of the Blessed Trinity, and it will also include the vision of the Sacred Humanity of the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ.

Season’s Greeting

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Everyone has already begun making preparations for Christmas. Folks have been out shopping for presents. You probably bought a tree weeks ago. A mother is out there anxiously planning the perfect Christmas dinner—when she needs to put the ham in the oven

Christ in the O Antiphons

About the speaker:Father Andrew Hofer, O.P., grew up as the youngest of ten children on a Kansas farm. He entered the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in 1995 and professed simple vows the following year. He made his profession of solemn vows in the Great Jubilee Year of 2000, and was ordained a deacon in Read more…

Announcing Dominicana 65: Recreation, Play, and the Christian Life

Editor’s Note: It is with great joy that we release today Dominicana 65 (2022), the print edition of Dominicana, which is distinct from the content published biweekly on the blog. This year’s print volume considers the place of recreation and play in the Christian life—a theme that we hope offers a little something fun for […]

Cloister Chronicle

On February 5, 2022, Brothers Zachary Sexton, Nicholas Hartman, Dominic Mary Koester, Raymond Maria La Grange, Charles Marie Rooney, Vincent Ferrer Maria Bernhard, and Cyril Stola professed solemn vows into the hands of the Prior Provincial, the Very Reverend Kenneth Letoile.

Virtue and Vice on Vellum: Marginalia in Medieval Manuscripts

For any student, doodling in notebooks can be tempting. A semester’s notes sometimes reveal a plethora of thoughtless scribblings and half-completed caricatures. One only hopes the professor was not paying attention. For the scribe in the medieval scriptorium, however, the margins of the page were no dumping ground for the wandering mind. “Marginalia,” those illustrations […]

In Pursuit of the Heights of Glory

Mark Synnott. The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life. New York: Dutton Books, 2019. 416 pp. Dare devils, risk-takers, adrenaline junkies—these are some of the epithets assigned by outsiders to the elite climbers who live on and push the edge. But up close, things are more complicated and profound. Part memoir, […]

Teaching Prudence with Wisdom

Gregory Pine, O.P. Prudence: Choose Confidently, Live Boldly.Indianapolis: Our Sunday Visitor Press, 2022. 164 pp. Is there a hierarchy among the virtues? Look nearly anywhere in society today, and one virtue seems to rule supreme: justice. The libertarian arguing for individual rights heralds commutative justice, which governs the relationships and contracts that individual people establish

Death and Leisure

Columba Thomas, O.P. The Art of Dying: A New Annotated Translation. Broomall: The National Catholic Bioethics Center, 2021. 158 pp. Death and leisure have more to do with each other than one might expect. Through death we pass from this world to the next, where, by the grace of God, we experience the ultimate rest […]

Ecstatic Loving: Moving toward the Divine

Peter Kwasniewski. The Ecstasy of Love in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas. Steubenville: Emmaus Academic, 2021. 432 pp. What does it mean to experience a moment of ecstasy of love? Ask someone this question, and you will receive a spectrum of vivid answers ranging from levitating mystics to out-of-body experiences. Perhaps a moment of passionate […]

This Land Is God’s Land

Hillbilly Thomists. Holy Ghost Power. Washington: Dominicana Records, 2022. 59 mins. Is there a cure for wanderlust? How many trips do we need to take before we return home with more than just a few photos and nostalgic memories? On their new album, Holy Ghost Power, the Hillbilly Thomists invite the listener to join them […]

How to Live with Reason and Rest: An Interview with Father Thomas Joseph White, O.P.

Father Thomas Joseph White, O.P., is Rector Magnificus of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome. Since his priestly ordination in the Dominican Province of Saint Joseph in 2008, he has held a number of academic and ecclesiastical positions. He was a professor at the Dominican House of Studies for ten years, a […]

Christian Modesty and Worldly Entertainment

Gesta Doctrinamque Let the brothers reflect on and make known the teachings and achievements (gesta doctrinamque) of those in the family of St. Dominic who have gone before them, while not forgetting to pray for them. – Book of Constitutions and Ordinations, no. 16 Translator’s Introduction Father Marie-Albert Janvier, O.P. (1860–1939), was born in the […]

Sports as a School of Virtue: An Interview with Father Chase Hilgenbrinck

Father Chase Hilgenbrinck is the vocations director for the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois. Raised in Bloomington, Illinois, Fr. Hilgenbrinck played soccer for the United States Under-17 National Team before attending Clemson University, where he played Division One soccer for four years. After graduating from Clemson, he played professionally for four seasons in Chile, where he […]


Everyone loves to laugh, but no one lives for laughter. Rather, the human person lives to know and to love, and so he delights above all in knowing and loving the highest, most enduring things of reality, which transcend all laughing: the ultimate meaning of life, the true nature of love, the existence and inner […]

The Child of God Must Play

An Analogy of Play Proposed Does God have a sense of humor? Could he be playful, even eutrapelic? Sacred Scripture seems to gesture in the affirmative. The Book of Proverbs playfully personifies God’s Wisdom, who tells of how, when God first created the world, “then was I beside him as artisan; I was his delight

Muscular Christianity Re-Examined

From the mid-19th to the early 20th century, British and American advocates of “Muscular Christianity” promoted sporting play as essential to Christian life and education, often in express opposition to Catholic models of sanctity. Given the lasting impact of the Muscular Christian worldview on our culture, American Catholics would benefit from re-examining the movement’s weak […]

The Playfulness of Sacred Scripture

God Reveals Himself Central to the Christian faith is the mystery of divine revelation. God, the heavenly Father, lovingly pursues his children and converses with them. One way that this divine encounter takes place is through the Sacred Scriptures (see, e.g., Dei Verbum). In these writings, God communicates himself through propositions—through statements like “The Lord

Recreation and Re-Creation: A Thomistic Take on the Analogy between Liturgy and Play

What does play have to do with liturgy? At first glance, the two activities seem diametrically opposed. Liturgy is a solemn act in which we pray to and worship the one true God, while play is meant to be silly and entertaining, the activity of children or the recreation of adults. Against the backdrop of […]

Finding Time for Fun with the Virtue of Eutrapelia

Rest is hard work. Getting the right amount in the right way is easier said than done. The workaholic has a hard time resting because he cannot put aside his preoccupation with productivity, and so he takes as his rule of life a prohibition of respite.

#AskAFriar: Christmas Special: Q&A w/ University Students

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The Stillness of the Night

So much of the mystery of the Incarnation is present to us as we gaze upon a manger scene. Whether it is the one on our mantel-top or the big light-up one in the center of town, each depicts the familiar scene of the Holy Family, for whom there was no room at the inn. […]

The Catechism: A Guide for the Christian Life

In these articles that are intended to accompany The Catechism in a Year podcast, we will present a “travel guide” through the major themes of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Each of these short essays will provide you with an overview of a subsection of the teachings of the Catholic Faith.  Think of them […]
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Now That’s What I Call Advent

Do you hear what I hear? The streets outside permit no escape from this sound. Any refuge at home is invaded by a TV ad. Even the inner confines of your mind find no protection from that same string of notes playing over and over again.

Catholicism and Evolution

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Can a Sacrament Cause Grace?

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Learning to Say Mass

In 1989, Cardinal Ratzinger concluded his remarks at the quadricentennial celebration of a German seminary by recalling how in his youth there was still a notion among some rural people that studying to be a priest was simply a matter of learning to say Mass.

World Cup Glory

As a child (but perhaps still now), I had my World Cup-winning goal perfectly choreographed. In the dying moments, with the ball crossed in from the left corner, I would almost be arriving on a late run. The cross would have floated over our forward—the chance seemingly lost.

Only God Can Establish Sacraments

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Christmas in Middle-Earth

During the season of Advent, we prepare for the unfathomable wonder of the Nativity: God sharing our humanity and humility so that we can share his divinity and dignity. Yet even the incomprehensible wonder of the Incarnation runs the risk of being taken for granted.

Made for Another: John Paul II’s Theology of the Body & Thomas Aquinas

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Acedia II: Human Sorrow, Divine Mercy: An Exploration in Catholic Art | Prof. Thomas Hibbs

About the speaker:Thomas Hibbs is currently President of the University of Dallas, his alma mater. With degrees from the University of Dallas and the University of Notre Dame, Hibbs taught at Boston College (BC) for 13 years, where he was full professor and department chair in philosophy. At BC, he also served on the Steering Read more…

Jesus Christ, Our Light in the Darkness

If you are like me, one of the hardest parts of this time of year is how early the sun sets. When I walk into our chapel at the House of Studies in the evening before Compline, I feel almost paralyzed by the darkness.

Renewing Trinitarian Theology

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Guided by the Star

At the special Mass for the opening of our academic year, Fr. Thomas Petri, O.P., remarked, “Man has always looked up”—in his aspirations, in his quest for knowledge, in his search for God. Sailors throughout the centuries have relied on the constellations as celestial beacons to guide them to their destination.

I, The Lord, Do Not Change

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Let Us Not Go Faster Than God

The baptized Christian finds himself a traveler on the way to an eternal destiny. Hiking up the mountain, every so often the brush clears and the traveler can catch a glimpse of the grandeur that surrounds him. He might pause to enjoy the wilderness and rest a while, but eventually continues his ascent.

Top 25 Catholic Gifts of 2022: Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Looking for the perfect gift for the Catholics on your Christmas list? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a guide to the best gifts of 2022, all available from Ascension.
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#AskAFriar: Can faith ever be wrong?

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“I think you should just start over”

After spending hours trying to create the assigned airplane landing gear mechanism, the engineering student believes that his Computer Aided-Design model is nearly complete, save for some finishing touches. He heads into class fairly confident—until his attempt to make one of the final connections between parts fails.

Come, Lord Jesus: Flood Our Hearts with Peace This Advent Season

The annual commemoration of Christ’s birth begins the Christmas cycle of the liturgical year. Advent is a season of preparation during which many Christians make themselves ready for the nativity of Jesus at Christmas.   “Advent invites us to a commitment to vigilance, looking beyond ourselves, expanding our mind and heart in order to open ourselves […]
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Studying the Trinity Can Save Your Soul

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Does God Exist?

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Our Kingship in Christ

A few months ago, the death of Queen Elizabeth II captivated the entire world with the remembrance and celebration of her life. Even people who might never have thought about the British Monarchy were tuning into the services online. What is it about royalty that so attracts and excites us? 

Faith to Prove Mountains

On the back of most Jeeps you will find written “the mountains are calling and I must go.” John Muir’s famous words call us to flee to the mountains to encounter something beautiful, something true.

“Not As I Will”: John Damascene and Aquinas

Aquinas and the Fathers: John Damascene This post is part of a series on Saint Thomas Aquinas’s reception of the wisdom of the ancient Church.

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

They are almost all gone: the boys who stormed the beaches of Normandy, the boys who saw hell rained down on them at Midway, the living remnant. With each Veterans Day parade, we see fewer and fewer of our veterans of the Second World War.

Rules or Reality?

What is Catholicism? If you conducted a random poll of people in America you would likely get an answer that had something to do with a set of moral rules.

Justice and the Common Good According to St. Thomas Aquinas

About the speaker:A native of Louisiana, Fr. Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P. entered the Province of St. Joseph in 2005. After several years of pastoral work in New York City, Fr. Guilbeau began doctoral studies in moral theology at the University of Fribourg, where he completed a dissertation in moral theology. His topic was Charles De Koninck’s Read more…

Are There Sacraments in the Old Testament?

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How Thomas Aquinas Made Sure a Heresy Stayed Dead

Aquinas and the Fathers: The Ecumenical Councils This is the first post in a series on Saint Thomas Aquinas’s reception of the wisdom of the ancient Church.

How To Be Happy

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Altogether Ooky

“They’re creepy and they’re kooky They’re scary and they’re spooky They’re altogether ooky The Addams family!” Halloween has passed, but before we rush from “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” to “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on that most ghoulish of American families: the Addamses.

#AskAFriar: Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?

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Christ in Full Stature

A surprising proportion of scripture describes architecture. Such passages usually describe Israel’s Tabernacle and, later, Temple—the places where God made himself present to Israel.

Aquinas and the Fathers: A New Series

Saint Thomas Aquinas revered the Fathers of the Church, that class of ecclesiastical luminaries that includes such giants as St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. Jerome, and St. John Damascene. Aquinas knew these early theologians and their writings thoroughly: his Catena Aurea, a commentary on the Four Gospels composed entirely of quotations from the Fathers

Classical and Christian Perspectives on Love and Friendship

About the speaker:Joshua Hochschild is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Mount St. Mary’s University, where he also served six years as the inaugural Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. His primary research is in medieval logic, metaphysics, and ethics, with broad interest in liberal education and the continuing Read more…

Jesus Is Waiting

At the end of Eucharistic Adoration, the presider prays, “O God, who in this wonderful sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may constantly experience within our lives the fruits of your redemption, who live and

Why Sacraments are Signs

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God Was a Humble Carpenter

Jesus was a carpenter and he worked with a saw and a hammer And his hands could form a table true enough to stand forever

Livestream of Special Mass for the Feast of St. John Paul II

Join the Dominican Friars on Saturday, October 22 at 12:00 noon, Eastern time as we celebrate a special Mass for the Feast of Saint John Paul II.  All are invited to join us in person at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10065. For those who cannot attend the Mass, Read more…

The Dominican Mind of John Paul II

Pope Saint John Paul II had a Dominican mind. This is not simply because he studied the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas under the great Dominican master Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, or because he heavily invoked the Common Doctor in his two most important encyclicals, Veritatis Splendor and Fides et Ratio. Far more profoundly, the principal […]

Bioethics and End of Life Decisions

Are quality of life judgments ethical? Join Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. of Aquinas 101, Godsplaining, and Pints with Aquinas for an off-campus conversation with bioethicist Prof. Gina Noia about her latest Thomistic Institute lecture, “Are Quality of Life Judgments Ethical?” All episodes of Off-Campus Conversations with Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. can be found on our Read more…

4 Ways to Avoid Being a Cringey Catholic

Cringe is that inner embarrassment and turmoil you feel from something someone else says or does. This makes you pity them and want to flee their presence. People in the 21st century are hypersensitive to cringe. Part of this is fueled by the excessive sense of irony that many millennials and Gen Zers aim at […]
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Video: Godsplaining Podcast | Angels, Demons, and You

Fr. Jacob Bertrand Janczyk, O.P. and Fr. Joseph-Anthony Kress, O.P., discuss what angels and demons can and cannot do.

Video: Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. on the Sacraments | Aquinas 101

Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., explains why the Sacraments matter in the worship of God.

Glory and Elevation

​​Our ultimate goal is glory. The glory I am referring to is not earthly fame or honor; it is the beatific vision of the saints, who see God face to face and share in God’s own joy. This is the goal of the spiritual life. Why do we practice the faith? Why have we been […]

Learn to Pray like St. Francis de Sales

We are called to pray each and every day, to enter into conversation with God but sometimes it can seem difficult to know what to say. How does one enter into prayer? Is it really as complicated as it seems? Today Fr. Gregory Pine O.P., offers us some simple instructions from the wisdom of St. Francis De Sales for lifting our heart and mind to the Lord and entering into that most necessary and important dialogue with our beloved.

An Autumnal Fascination with Satan

’Tis the season for cardigans and jack-o-lanterns, orange leaves and autumnal foods. As we enjoy cool weather and pumpkin spice lattes, we are reminded why fall is objectively the best season of the year. But this season also has a spookier side that begins to appear as we approach the cultural feast day of Halloween. […]

The Image and the Idol: A Theological Reflection on AI Bias

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Sanctuary Lamp

Signs are everywhere in our daily life. We look to signs as a way of navigating our daily lives. Oftentimes a sign seems to go unnoticed until it disappears, malfunctions, or is disobeyed. Consider a traffic light. It serves an important function in navigating city streets; without it chaos would ensue. Despite its role it Read more…

Are the Sacraments Necessary for Salvation?

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What is Truth?

About the speaker: Paul Gondreau earned his doctorate in sacred theology from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, writing under the renowned Thomist scholar Rev. Jean-Pierre Torrell, O.P. He is professor of theology at Providence College in Rhode Island, where he teaches/has taught courses on marriage, Christology, the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the Church, the Eucharist, Read more…

A Reliable Aid in Every Age

Imagine a religiously uninformed millennial stopped in traffic behind a car with a bumper sticker that says, HELP AMERICAPRAY THE ROSARY (Anyone who has spent time in a Catholic church’s parking lot knows this sticker—the wind-blown American flag in the background, the fragile-looking chain-link rosary to the left.) Now, suppose this irreligious driver has never Read more…

Temptation or Sin? How You Can Tell the Difference

There’s a difference between temptation and sin. Simply put, temptation is an invitation to sin, and sin is the acceptance of that invitation. To help tell the difference, St. Francis de Sales offers a helpful illustration of a woman who is extended an indecent proposal. The woman is unable to control the fact of the … Continued
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God the Chess Master?

  Imagine if God’s will for you unfolded like a chess game. God is the grandmaster, and you are the amateur who desires to perfect your long game. God anticipates every move you make and responds in a way based on your choice. He wants you to win the game so he sets up the Read more…

What is a Sacrament?

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To Scripture, Through the Rosary

You have likely heard that famous line from Saint Jerome’s commentary on Isaiah: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” (CCC 133). It’s a bold claim and can be especially startling when we first hear it, but St. Jerome is hitting something right on the head: the truths we learn from Scripture really put us Read more…

What is a Woman?

Recently, there was an eye-opening documentary released entitled “What is a Woman” which explored the differing meanings of woman in our secular culture today. Though it was not intended to enter into the richness of womanhood through a Catholic lens, I think that the movie itself can act as a springboard for further conversation about […]
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You Will See Angels

There is something remarkable about the angels. Since everything we naturally know comes to us through our senses, these beings that we cannot see, hear, touch, taste or smell are mysterious. We cannot form an image of an angel or a demon in our mind, and neither renaissance artists nor Hollywood actors have ever truly Read more…

What to Do About Feeling Far from God (Desolation) (feat. Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P.)

We think feeling far from God (desolation) is bad, and feeling close to God (consolation) is good, but St. Francis de Sales has a different take. Even if desolation doesn’t go away, and consolation doesn’t last forever, God allows these periods to draw us closer to Him. How? Periods of desolation can be opportunities to … Continued
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Eucharistic Concomitance and the Resurrection

When we speak about Jesus, the “Lord of glory” who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (1 Cor 2:8; John 1:14), we often use rare words or phrases specially crafted to express the mystery of his being. Hypostatic union is one of them: the two natures of Christ are united in his one person. Consubstantial Read more…

The Chastity “Cheat-Sheet”

These days, chastity seems to be so misunderstood! For one thing, that word is all-too-often used when people are talking about abstinence and or celibacy. However, that is a problem because without being able to clearly and accurately articulate what chastity truly is and what it means, we will impair people’s understanding of it, and […]
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Lo, Have I Left Everything?

“He went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions” (Mt 19:22). The sorrow of the rich young man in response to Jesus’ call has long been countered by the joy of a vocation to the religious life. To guide me on to the way to joy rather than sorrow, my acceptance letter to the Dominican Read more…

Giving the Gift of the Plenary Indulgence

Have you ever given a gift that was meaningless to you? Does giving a meaningless gift give you more or less joy than giving a meaningful gift? Have you ever found yourself giving gifts to others while neglecting to give gifts to yourself? I open with these three questions because there seems to be a […]
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The Thing That Matters

The world seems to be coming down around our ears. Each day we read in the papers and hear on TV news of wars, famines, disasters, and diseases that threaten the fragile harmony humanity has built. More disturbing can be the tensions we hear of within the Church and the resulting quarrels splashed across Twitter Read more…

What is a Soul?

About the speaker:Marie George has been a member of the St. John’s University Philosophy Department since 1988. Professor George is an Aristotelian-Thomist whose interests lie primarily in the areas of philosophy of nature and philosophy of science. She has received several awards from the John Templeton foundation for her work in science and religion, and Read more…

Focus on These Virtues If You Want to Grow Closer to Christ (feat. Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P.)

Can you guess what 3 virtues are needed to grow close to God? In his book, “Introduction to the Devout Life”, St. Francis de Sales lists patience, humility, and meekness as the most essential virtues to live holy lives devoted to God. What makes these so important? Patience gives us the ability to endure trials … Continued
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The Meaning of Life

No, it’s not 42. Regardless of whether one gets the reference, it should be obvious that such an absurd answer to the question of life’s meaning was meant as a joke. Yet, the fact that this joke has enjoyed such wide appeal reveals an unhappy state of affairs: most people actually don’t know the meaning Read more…

The Healing of the Nations

The book of Revelation ends with a vision: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its Read more…

Thomistic Underpinnings of the Theology of the Body

This talk was given on September 8, 2022 at The University of Texas at Austin. For more information please visit All Thomistic Institute Livestream lectures can be found on the principal podcasting apps and on our YouTube channel:This post was originally published on this site

Fr. Mike Schmitz in The New York Times Reminds Us to Respond to Others with Christ’s Love

Wait, Fr. Mike is in the New York Times? On August 28th, The New York Times Magazine published an interview with Fr. Mike Schmitz titled “A Catholic Podcasting Star Says Theocracy Is Not the Way”.  If you are anything like me, I was so excited to read the article and hear the interview with one […]
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A Piazza and an Apartment

Autumn 2016. St. Peter’s Square is lined with tens of thousands of chairs, all of them in use. Chatter permeates the air, and the crowd, armed with umbrellas and folding fans, combats the harsh Roman sun. The congregation is diverse, indicated by the wealth of languages spoken by priests, sisters, and laypeople alike. A brass Read more…

A Consuming Fire

In the early morning before the liturgy, a sacristan makes his way around the chapel. He walks a few feet, stops momentarily, walks a few more feet, and stops momentarily, making his way through the darkness to light the candles throughout the chapel. When he finishes his work, the whole chapel is pervaded by the Read more…

Four Kinds of Happiness & Four Kinds of Friendship

About the speaker:Dr. Christopher Kaczor (rhymes with razor) is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University and a member of the James Madison Society of Princeton University. In 2015, he was appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life of Vatican City, and he serves as a Consultor to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Read more…

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