Dominican Friars Media

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

Guestsplaining: Curtis Martin on Christ in the Eucharist | Fr. Gregory Pine & Patrick Briscoe

July 8, 2024 [embedded content] Fr. Gregory: This is Father Gregory Pine. Fr. Patrick: And this is Father Patrick Briscoe.  Fr. Gregory: And welcome to Godsplaining. Thanks to all those who support us. If you enjoy the show, please consider making a monthly donation on Patreon. Be sure to like and subscribe to Godsplaining wherever Read more…

America: Heading for Ruin?

It appears America is headed for ruin. Everywhere we look we see the cost of division. But America didn’t head for ruin all of a sudden, nor is this anything new.

Is the American Church the Best Church? | Fr. Patrick Briscoe & Fr. Gregory Pine

July 4, 2024 [embedded content] Fr. Patrick: This is Father Patrick Briscoe. Fr. Gregory: And this is Father Gregory Pine.  Fr. Patrick: Welcome to Godsplaining. Thanks to all those who support us. If you enjoy the show, please consider making a monthly donation on Patreon. Be sure to like and subscribe to Godsplaining wherever you Read more…

A Set List for the Exodus

2024 Summer Listening Recommendations:Marigold by The Hillbilly Thomists Bluegrass is prophetic. Like Isaiah, it’s the song of the man of sorrows. Like Moses, it brings us to the desert as wayfarers far from home. It’s the music of a wanderer driven forward by his woes. And yet its driving energy reminds us that through the […]

The Glory of God . . .

About five years ago, I came across a quote posted in the hallway of my college dorm—certainly an unlikely place to find words of wisdom. But this was Franciscan University of Steubenville, so perhaps it’s not all that surprising. These words are taken from Saint Irenaeus’s Against Heresies: The glory of God is man fully […]

Literature and Amor Towles | Fr. Jacob-Bertrand Janczyk & Fr. Patrick Briscoe

Literature and Amor Towles | Fr. Jacob-Bertrand Janczyk & Fr. Patrick Briscoe – Godsplaining Podcast June 27, 2024 [embedded content] Godsplaining is a production of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph © 2024. All rights reserved. This post was originally published on this site

Sacrificial Reading

What kind of response, though, is due to the Scriptures? The French philosopher Jean-Louis Chrétien’s Under the Gaze of the Bible is an attempt to help us respond fittingly to the Scriptures insofar as they are God’s words addressed personally to me and to you.

Guestsplaining: Dr. Dan Kuebler on Evolution & God | Fr. Gregory Pine & Fr. Patrick Briscoe

Guestsplaining: Dr. Dan Kuebler on Evolution & God | Fr. Gregory Pine & Fr. Patrick Briscoe – Godsplaining Podcast June 24, 2024 [embedded content] Godsplaining is a production of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph © 2024. All rights reserved. This post was originally published on this site

Do You Think That I Am Like You?

As Dominicans, we immerse ourselves in the Word. We pray the Liturgy of the Hours, reciting and chanting various psalms throughout each day. Frequently in the psalms, we make the prayers of the Old Testament our own. Often it seems routine or expected—but Psalm 50 shocks me. 

The Stoic Renaissance | Fr. Joseph-Anthony Kress & Fr. Bonaventure Chapman

June 20, 2024 [embedded content] Fr. Joseph-Anthony: Hi, I’m Father Joseph-Anthony Kress. Fr. Bonaventure: This is Father Bonaventure Chapman.  Fr. Joseph-Anthony: And welcome to Godsplaining. Thank you to all of those who support us. And if you enjoy this episode, please consider making a monthly donation on our Patreon. Be sure to like, subscribe, and Read more…

Saint in the City

2024 Summer Reading RecommendationsA Saint in Hyde Park: Memories of Father Vincent McNabb, O.P. by E. A. Siderman On the wall of my cell hangs a black and white photo of an old Dominican friar. The hood of his coarse woolen habit covers his large, bald pate, and wire spectacles frame his kind, wrinkly eyes as […]

Do You Believe in Weather Reports?

Planning outdoor events in the summer inevitably entails consulting weather reports. Did you hope to go to the beach for the day? Think again! Al Roker just told you there is a 90 percent chance of thunderstorms. While checking the forecast can be helpful, we often agonize over decisions because of weather reports: should you […]

Fides et Ratio at 25+ Years | Fr. Jacob-Bertrand Janczyk & Fr. Bonaventure Chapman

Fides et Ratio at 25+ Years | Fr. Jacob-Bertrand Janczyk & Fr. Bonaventure Chapman – Godsplaining Podcast June 13, 2024 [embedded content] Godsplaining is a production of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph © 2024. All rights reserved. This post was originally published on this site

Enter the Father’s House

Measured by words, the Catholic Faith is really, really, big. For two millennia, apostles, teachers, theologians, and ordinary people have tried to understand and explain the Gospel. Robust and readable accounts of the perennial Catholic truth are essential for every age. We need a teacher.

Guestsplaining: Francis X. Maier on the Heart of the American, Catholic Church

Guestsplaining: Francis X. Maier on the Heart of the American, Catholic Church – Godsplaining Podcast June 10, 2024 [embedded content] Godsplaining is a production of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph © 2024. All rights reserved. This post was originally published on this site

Little Devotion, Large Graces

Further, our Order observes more spiritual exercises in honor of the Blessed Virgin than many other Orders . . . the daily Office begins with her and ends with her, hence her Compline is said last . . . again her daily Office is always and everywhere said standing, while in the other Offices the […]

Am I a Morning Person? | Fr. Joseph-Anthony Kress & Fr. Gregory Pine

Am I a Morning Person? | Fr. Joseph-Anthony Kress & Fr. Gregory Pine – Godsplaining Podcast June 6, 2024 [embedded content] Godsplaining is a production of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph © 2024. All rights reserved. This post was originally published on this site

Choices

2024 Summer Reading Recommendations:The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson At first glance, stories about magical rings, lightsabers, and made-up worlds have nothing to do with real life. And in one sense this is true—I will never hold a real lightsaber or need to fight a dark lord. But this is to miss something important […]

Summer Blog Announcement

Dear Friends, Summer. Leisure. Relaxation. Halcyon tranquility. Arcadian landscapes. Summer brings with it both a bit of rest, with some hectic movement sprinkled in for variety. The brothers of the Dominican House of Studies have just been scattered to the four winds, and the five friars just ordained begin their priestly ministry across the Province […]

Responding to Pride Month | Fr. Jacob-Bertrand Janczyk & Fr. Patrick Briscoe

Responding to Pride Month | Fr. Jacob-Bertrand Janczyk & Fr. Patrick Briscoe – Godsplaining Podcast May 30, 2024 [embedded content] Godsplaining is a production of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph © 2024. All rights reserved. This post was originally published on this site

You’re Useless

It’s sometimes useful to feel useless. While the world rewards us based on usefulness, God does not. 

Guestsplaining: Dr. Kenneth Craycraft on, “Can a Catholic be an American?” | Fr. Patrick Brisoce & Fr. Bonaventure Chapman

Guestsplaining: Dr. Kenneth Craycraft on, “Can a Catholic be an American?” | Fr. Patrick Brisoce & Fr. Bonaventure Chapman – Godsplaining Podcast May 27, 2024 [embedded content] Godsplaining is a production of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph © 2024. All rights reserved. This post was originally published on this site

On the Eve of Ordination (Verse)

Editor’s Note: The following is a poem written by our brother Joseph Raymund Vivier, O.P., for Dominicana vol. 23, no. 2, on the occasion of the province’s ordinations in 1938. Please pray for the five men ordained tomorrow. — ON THE EVE OF ORDINATION RAYMUND VIVIER, O.P. No miser ever counted hoarded gold More eagerly than […]

The Master Has Need of It

What is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you care for him? (Ps 8:5) That Almighty God should take any particular interest in human affairs is a marvel that defies full comprehension. God has no needs. He is “perfectly blessed in himself” (CCC §1). Only “sheer goodness” could motivate such […]

Should I Give Money to Poor People? | Fr. Bonaventure Chapman & Fr. Gregory Pine

Should I Give Money to Poor People? | Fr. Bonaventure Chapman & Fr. Gregory Pine – Godsplaining Podcast May 23, 2024 [embedded content] Godsplaining is a production of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph © 2024. All rights reserved. This post was originally published on this site

The Most Joyful Man

You are looking at the most joyful man in all of history, undergoing his most joyful hour: Jesus Christ on his Cross. It’s an uncomfortable truth, but it’s the truth nonetheless. Jesus was most joyful during his earthly life when he underwent his Passion and Crucifixion. But how? How could Jesus be joyful in the […]

The Ties that Bind

A mother’s love is a special kind of love. It is a bond that transcends time and distance. No matter how much her children change as they grow up, they will always be her babies and she will always care for them. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mater Ecclesiae and she loves and cares for the Church as a most perfect mother. 

Loved from All Eternity

One week from tomorrow, on May 25th, my classmates and I will be ordained priests of Jesus Christ. It is the culmination of a formation journey that began six years and ten months earlier when we first set out to answer the Lord’s call.

Blessed Stanley Rother: First U.S. Born Martyr | Fr. Patrick Briscoe & Fr. Joseph-Anthony Kress

May 16, 2024 [embedded content] Fr. Patrick: This is Father Patrick Briscoe.  Fr. Joseph-Anthony: This is Father Joseph-Anthony Kress.  Fr. Patrick: Welcome to Godsplaining. Thanks to all who support us. If you enjoy the show, please consider making a monthly donation on Patreon. Be sure to like and subscribe to Godsplaining wherever you listen to Read more…

May Another Take His Place

Christ reigns forever, yet there’s been a high level of turnover in the service to his kingdom. Jesus chose the Twelve to be his apostles, the foundation stones for the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:9-14). These men would have an office, an official responsibility in preaching the Kingdom—but only for a time.

Guestsplaining: Dr. Haim & Marcella Burke on Transgender Ideology | Fr. Gregory Pine & Fr. Patrick Briscoe

Guestsplaining: Dr. Haim & Marcella Burke on Transgender Ideology | Fr. Gregory Pine & Fr. Patrick Briscoe – Godsplaining Podcast May 13, 2024 [embedded content] Godsplaining is a production of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph © 2024. All rights reserved. This post was originally published on this site

Lectio Divina: A Time-Tested Plan for What to Read When

Lectio Divina: A Meditation on the Gospel With the Gospel reading from the upcoming Sunday Mass as its principal source-text, each Lectio Divina (“Sacred Reading”) essay offers a prayerful meditation of the Sacred Scriptures—one which draws from the wealth of biblical literature, as well as the prayer life of the individual author. This Lectio Divina essay, […]

“Water’s Fine.”

“Water’s fine.” How many times have we said that to the restaurant waiter? Perhaps we were indecisive about which soda we wanted to order, or unsure if this was one of those lunches where we were all getting a beer, so we panicked and ordered water so as not to be that guy. In our […]

Just Don’t Expect it Tomorrow

I planted an acorn last October, and the sprout is now about three inches tall. Every day it grows just a little bit—not in quick, dramatic spurts but in slow, steady motion.

Contemporary Spirituality: Abandonment to Divine Providence | Fr. Bonaventure & Fr. Patrick Briscoe

May 2, 2024 [embedded content] Fr. Patrick: This is Father Patrick Briscoe.  Fr. Bonaventure: This is Father Bonaventure Chapman.  Fr. Patrick: Welcome to Godsplaining. Thanks to all those who support us. If you enjoy the show, please consider making a monthly donation on Patreon. Be sure to like and subscribe to Godsplaining wherever you listen Read more…

Left-Handed Catholicism?

Today is both May Day and the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. When Pope Pius XII instituted this feast was he just conceding to the Communists? Is there really such a big difference between the Church’s defense of  the dignity of the worker and Marx’s worker’s paradise?
Are our ideals all that different?

One Last Post on Trees

Over the last 6 years, as I have prepared for the priesthood, I have planted many trees, and cut down more than a few that were dying.
But all these trees that I planted are nothing but dead wood if I lack one thing.

Christ the Carpenter

Our chapel has become a workshop. The scaffolds and smells of restoration work fill the nave and sanctuary. The high altar, veiled beneath a plastic sheet, is a patchwork of half-stripped varnish. Yet in the middle of all this, I imagine our Lord feels quite at home—Christ, after all, was a carpenter. 

The Flowers of the Field

If you asked me, “What do you see differently since becoming a religious brother,” you might be surprised to hear, “Flowers.” It may seem odd to connect an appreciation of flowers with religious sentiment, but flowers proclaim in a unique way the greatness of God. Their effortless elegance and subtle intensity show how “not even […]

Top 5 Miracles in the Bible (According to You)

If you could witness any miracle from the Bible, which one would it be? We asked Catholics this question, and their answers may surprise you! After sifting through nearly 1,000 responses, here are the Top 5 Miracles in the Bible with a few honorable mentions. For Catholics, the Resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith. It […]
The post Top 5 Miracles in the Bible (According to You) appeared first on Ascension Press Media.

Easter People, Pilgrim People

In April of 2022, a few months before taking the Dominican habit, I walked around the Notre Dame campus with a Dominican friar. A question had been on my mind for some time. “Father,” I said, “I don’t think I understand Easter.”

Karl and the Cloister

There’s something satisfying about sweeping, pithy indictments of all human thought. Take the following claim by Karl Marx, the father of Marxism: “Philosophers have only interpreted the world differently, the point is to transform it.”

The Spirit Acts

“A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles . . . A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles . . . .” Yep, this will continue all Easter long. If we are an Easter people, and if Alleluia is our song, then the Acts of the Apostles is our book.

Stop and Stare

“Mr. Kowalkowski, put your name on the disruptor’s board,” said my third grade teacher. Sheepishly and with great frustration, I walked to the black board and wrote my name in chalk. It meant I had to sit at my desk for five minutes before being excused for morning recess. While it wasn’t the end of […]

Divine Identity

A year ago, when I was in the Novitiate, I went out with one of the elderly priests to help him get some things he needed. In the course of our errands, we stopped at a watch store. The man who worked there came up to us and asked us if we needed help, to […]

Hail Thee Festival Day

Poets, composers, painters, and other artists have long sought to capture the beauty of salvation in their creative endeavors. The Salve Festa Dies accomplishes something unique.

Easter Joy

Christ has opened the gates of heaven, destroyed death, and welcomed souls into the joy of eternal life. Yet we’re not quite there; Earth is still our home. And so, we might understandably ask just how Christ’s death and resurrection affect us “here are now”. How does the resurrection change our day-to-day lives?

Running on Easter is Awful

When Mary Magdalene saw that Christ’s tomb was empty, she couldn’t wait to tell Peter and John, so she ran (John 20:2). When these two heard about what Mary Magdalene had seen, they ran (John 20:4).

Awake, O Sleeper!

Editor’s Note: The following is based on a precious text of the Triduum, read as the second reading in the Office of Readings for Holy Saturday: an ancient homily for Holy Saturday (which we strongly recommend reading), recounting the Lord’s descent into hell. While the King still sleeps, may this piece help you to contemplate […]

Come, Let Us Adore

“We do what!?” I thought. “Isn’t this idolatry!” But there it was “All, after genuflecting to the Cross, depart in silence.”

The Mystery From All Ages

In the ancient days of Adam,       the hands of the first man fashioned a cup,       for the Edenic liturgy of Divine Love (Gen 2:15). Whether made from the heart of the first tree,       Or carved from the bones of the earth,           […]

The Church’s One Anti-Feast

The antagonists in the story of salvation history rarely receive recognition in the Christian calendar. No holy day is named for Cain or Jezebel, Herod or Diocletian, Topcliffe or Calles. Judas, however, is the exception.

Enter In Like Children

Why is this night different from every other night? Every year, I recited this question as the youngest child at our family’s Passover Seder. This privileged role was a blessing for me when the Jewish side of the family gathered for the holidays. This question is the first in a short litany of questions that […]

Priestly Expectations

It was the morning of Holy Thursday. I had expectations for how the day was going to unfold. The altar boys had gathered at the Church to rehearse for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper later that evening. But, as rehearsal began, I was soon distracted by a thought: I still haven’t finished my homily for the evening.

In With a Bang, Out With a Whimper

What if Jesus were to win? What if Pilate were to be convinced, wash his hands of the crowd, and release Christ to complete his kingly mission? Even with the Resurrection a week away, I find the prospect tempting. Two thousand years later, John’s Gospel has us on the edge of our seats. Just 20 minutes ago, we were standing in the crowd, crying Hosanna. Surely we will not crucify our king.

“Lord, Please Help Me Get One More”

Doss remained on the battlefield through the night, surrounded by Japanese troops, stealthily saving any wounded man he could find. Every second he spent on the Ridge was mortal danger. And there, on the battlefield, was a simple prayer: “Lord, Please Help Me Get One More”

The Just Man at Our Deathbed

Editor’s Note: The following are excerpts taken from and article in Dominicana vol. 1, no. 5, published at the House of Studies in March of 1917. Written by James Dalmatius Enright, O.P. (1895–1970), the article is, by our accounts, the first full-length piece in Dominicana to treat Saint Joseph. Today, on the Solemnity of the […]

The Days Are Fast Approaching

It is approaching, whether or not you’re ready. There is no hiding from it. The weeks have rolled on with gathering speed. The statues and images now sit under veils of violet, and all seems quieter in expectation. Next week is Holy Week. The student brothers of the Province of St. Joseph are praying for […]

A Single-Minded Saint

Few people want to be described as “narrow-minded.” Narrow-minded people, neglecting key information, can miss the bigger picture and make rash judgments. “Narrow-mindedness”, however, shouldn’t be confused for “single-mindedness.” A “single-minded” person is admired for his focus and determination; it’s a trait that never fails to captivate. A young child determinedly constructing his block tower […]

Passionate Music

It is evident that the human soul is moved in various ways according to various melodies of sound . . . Hence the use of music in the divine praises is a salutary institution, that the souls of the faint-hearted may be the more incited to devotion. (St. Thomas Aquinas ST IIa-IIae q. 91, a. […]

Barbie, Billie, and Thomas Aquinas on What We’re Made For

Saint Thomas is never far. In our age, his wisdom can help us ponder where we least expect it. On stage, on a magazine cover, or even on the big screen. It will always be where we need it most. This post is one of a series of essays broadly named, “Thomism and Pop Culture.” […]

Uncool Martyrdom

Many Christians dream of becoming a martyr. The word martyr comes from a Greek word meaning “to witness.” There is something quite attractive about offering one’s life as a witness to Jesus Christ through the shedding of blood.

What Are You Looking For?

Why is it that our all-knowing God asks questions? In the beginning, when our first parents ate the forbidden fruit, God asked them, “Where are you?” (Gen 3:9). This is God’s very first question in Scripture, and it sets the stage for the rest.

The Banner of Trust: The Holy Land

To leave home and travel to the end of the world—that was trust. To leave all that was familiar in Europe and begin the long journey to a place you knew so much about, yet had never seen; all of Christendom together, both low and high, rich and poor alike (Ps 49:2), streaming toward a land which, though far in distance, was near in heart. For nearly two thousand years, the pilgrimage to the Holy Land has been the pinnacle of Christian religious experience and a byword for trust in divine providence.

Just Being Real

Quite possibly the hardest thing any human can do is to be his or herself. Our whole life, all of us have, in different ways, built up personas, pretenses, or “shticks” through which we present ourselves to the world. These facades run deep. And they take a lifetime to cure. This pursuit of authenticity, of […]

What a Shame!

Shame. That gut-wrenching, wincing feeling we have in reaction to our own failures and mistakes. It’s more than mere embarrassment from an awkward social situation. It may or may not reflect any real fault of ours. Shame is the pain that we feel when we are face to face with failures that we are responsible […]

Zealous Intercessors: Quebec City

This is part of a series entitled, “Pilgrimages: Paths We Tread.” Read the series introduction here. To see other posts in the series, click here. Quebec City is more often thought of as a tourist destination than a pilgrimage site. Unlike Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré half an hour to the northeast or St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Quebec City itself […]

Cardio for the Soul

Why do we engage in devotional practices such as the rosary? We know that a healthy body needs a healthy heart. What about the spirit?

Dialoguing with DINKs

There is a not-so-new phenomenon making the rounds on the internet right now. People are posting videos promoting the “DINK” lifestyle. With all the acidic mud-slinging, I suggest we follow charity and wisdom.

On the Way to the Tavern: el Camino de Santiago

Christian pilgrimage is a dynamic reality–it is both private and public, a reflection of the Gospel message itself. It is the journey of an individual, transformed by grace, that witnesses to the crucified and risen Lord.

Ponderings Pertaining to Penances

Several years ago I took up running for exercise. I have never been much of an athlete myself and I was not familiar with physical training in any official capacity.  When I arrived at the novitiate, one of the brothers who arrived with me was an athlete. He taught me how to pace myself. Before, […]

A Dominican Valentine

The shores of the Gulf of Tonkin in northern Vietnam contain the sites of martyrdom of 22 canonized Dominican friars who laid down their lives between 1745 and 1861. These men—11 from Spain and 11 from Vietnam—are among the most recent of the Order’s canonized saints to have lived and died. One of the youngest […]

Mary, Maker of Saints: Guadalupe

This is part of a series entitled, “Pilgrimages: Paths We Tread.” Read the series introduction here. To see other posts in the series, click here. Our Lady of Guadalupe is integral to Mexican identity, to the point that sometimes the name guadalupano can be a substitute for mexicano. She is a cause of great joy for everyone […]

Mystic, Comic, Everything

Each saint’s life illuminates in a specific time and place something beautiful about the life of our Lord Jesus. As God shined his light upon his holy daughter from Lisieux, I saw that this light was coming from the face of his Beloved Son from Nazareth, the Light of the World.

Five Lessons from the Desert

 Nearly two thousand years ago, a young man wandered off into the Egyptian desert. Some thought he was crazy. But many others would soon follow in his stead.

Announcing Dominicana 66: The Eucharist

Editor’s Note: Today we are delighted to release the online edition of Dominicana 66 (2023), which is distinct from the content published regularly on the blog. This year’s edition of Dominicana considers the place of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.   Please find below the introductory editorial, along with a PDF preview of […]

England’s Nazareth: Walsingham

Amid the vibrantly green and rolling hills of Norfolk, in the most easterly part of England, vestiges of an ancient pastime emerge along a pilgrimage route. The path that led to “England’s Nazareth,” the house would become the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

You’re Going to Burn

Candles burn. It’s what they are made for. If a candle should sit unburned, forever, we would say that it never achieved its end. You, too, are made to burn. Not in the same physical way as the candle, but in a way that lets the candle act as a sacramental. Like the candle, we […]

The Lord is Laughing

“He who sits in the heavens laughs. The Lord is laughing them to scorn.” (Ps 2:4) Laughter arises when we take notice of absurdity. We are rational creatures, capable of knowing things about the world, other people, and ourselves. Our rationality also means that we develop expectations. We have ideas about reality that can be […]

Westward Leading

This is part of a series entitled, “Pilgrimages: Paths We Tread.” Read the series introduction here. To see other posts in the series, click here. While a pilgrimage need not be long and arduous, a shorter journey can seem somewhat diminished in comparison. The thought of a pilgrim (derived from peregrinatio, “foreign travel”) crossing deserts […]

Come and See

The life of total surrender to Christ leaves one radically dependent on the Lord for every next step. “I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From whence shall come my help? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth” (Ps 121:1–2). And so the young man, the new friar, begins to grow.

Pilgrimages: Paths We Tread (New Series)

The Christian treads a strange path. As the saying goes, we are mere pilgrims on this earth. God became man, took up a place, took on flesh, and yet we are passing guests. Our very word for pilgrim comes from the Latin for “foreigner.” The whole Christian life unfolds as a journey of restless ascent—of […]

Our Lady, Tier of Knots

We do well to ask our Blessed Mother for help untying the problems in our lives. And yet we may consider an entirely different kind of knot, one that we should do well to have more of in our lives—commitment. 

#WhyWeMarch

Have you ever realized just how small we are? I typically have this realization when I fly. As the plane climbs up into the air, I gaze in wonder at the landscape below. Mighty rivers winding and weaving in between hills seem like small streams. The bustling cityscape grinds along: babies being born, elderly dying, […]

David and the Power of Anointing

Christians, the saying goes, are to be other Christs. By grace, Christians become more and more like Jesus. Yet Christians can be other Christs in a different (yet related!) respect as well. “Christ” is Greek for “anointed” (“Messiah” means the same in Hebrew), and Christians are anointed in rituals like Confirmation. Anointing has an Old […]

The Nativity of the Cross

“The Cross is good because it is an abundant source of all kinds of delight and consolation. It brings joy, peace, and grace to the soul.” -St. Louis de Montfort (The Love of Eternal Wisdom, 95-96) Joy, peace, and grace. I do not associate joy and peace with the Cross. To find joy, peace, and […]

Embracing the Ordinary

Christmas is over. The dramatic swing from eager anticipation of the most wonderful time of the year back to mundane reality can feel like whiplash. The lonely graveyard of discarded wrapping paper is simultaneously the fruit of a festive morning and a sharp contrast to the happy memories now in the past. This bleak reality […]

Are You a Eucharistic Soul?

Diversity is baked into reality. Rocks, plants, and animals adorn the world in a vast array of species. The existence of many things and many kinds of things displays the manifold and infinite perfections of the Creator. Just as this diversity exists in nature, so it exists in the order of the supernatural, that is, […]

The Purpose of Good Christian Mourning

The redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross gives us the hope of eternal life with God and the final resurrection—the hope of fully enjoying God’s presence forever. In light of this wondrous hope, we Christians can find ourselves feeling guilty for our sadness. Instead of mourning the loss of a loved one, we […]

New Year, New Nee

My last name, “Nee,” is quite odd—terribly short and simple and, yet, somehow often mispronounced (it’s just like “knee,” by the way, and should be distinguished from its heteronym). I’m stuck with it, but that’s okay. It ties me to my roots: my family background, my heritage, and the people who have known me by […]

On the Feast of Stephen

If today English-speakers still hear about “the feast of Stephen,” we can probably thank one man: John Mason Neale.This nineteenth-century English churchman and poet once chanced upon the felicitous rhyming of the name “Stephen” and the adjective “even.” Thus, we presume, was born “Good King Wenceslas,” the lively Christmas carol. Thus also was commemorated the […]

Pondering Christ’s Nativity

What would it have been like to visit Bethlehem during the first week of Christ’s life? This is a question that, perhaps, has entered our mind when looking at a nativity scene or reading the infancy narratives. Even Christmas carols address this question—Christina Rossetti’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” ponders, If I were a Shepherd, I […]

The Morning Breaks

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” (Isa 9:2). Seven hundred years before the first Christmas, God gave these words through the prophet Isaiah. Many centuries passed until, just three months before this long awaited Christmas day, […]

Praying with Scripture During the Last Days of Advent

On December 17 the Church begins the second part of Advent, in which she focuses more intensely on the immediate preparation for the Feast of Christmas and the Lord’s Nativity.
The post Praying with Scripture During the Last Days of Advent appeared first on Ascension Press Media.

Loving Mother of the Redeemer

It is ten days before Christmas. Decorations, lights, Christmas trees, and gift wrapping are all on our minds. Yet we often don’t spiritually prepare ourselves for the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ. One way we can prepare is through the sacred music of the Church. We all know the classic “O Come, O Come […]

Our Lady’s in the Details

Inescapable casualness. Perhaps I could even say carelessness. It’s a mark of our time. If you’ve graduated college in the last ten years, or even visited a college in the last ten years, you know what I mean. Furry flip flops. Cabin socks. Perhaps even a Comfy—for all the world to see. But for those […]

The Relationship Between St. Thomas’ Fifth Way and Modern Science

This post was originally published on this site

New Wine, Old Skins: Donna Tartt

This is part of a series on American Catholic authors. Read the series introduction here. Modern man is shackled in his own skin. He wants total unbridled freedom of choice, and yet his poor decisions and sins are exactly what keep him locked up. Here’s the worst part: he doesn’t even have himself for consolation. In […]

Holiness at Dawn

Before dawn on a crisp November morning several years ago, I woke up, quickly got dressed, and headed outside. My Dad and I drove a short distance to a nearby field and got out of the car. He told me to walk slowly and quietly through the marsh until we arrived at our destination. We […]

How to Survive Irritating Relatives This Christmas: A Guide from Saint Nicholas and Hillaire Belloc

Christmas is around the corner: lights, sales, candy canes and inflatable reindeer are already all around us. These Christmas accoutrements have become just as traditional as a family gathering in the living room. Every year these trappings show up, and every year the same people show up, whether we are happy or less than happy […]

The Trinity and Baptism

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Acquainted with Time and Eternity: Edwin O’Connor

The world was never the same after 1968. It was a tumultuous year marked by global civil unrest, including protests in the U.S. spurred by racial tensions and opposition to the Vietnam War. Among its most memorable and tragic events, of course, were the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. However, […]

Christ the Divider

I found Steve staring at Saint Maximilian Kolbe. In a hallway at St. Anthony’s Shelter—the homeless shelter where Steve was staying—hung an enormous portrait of Kolbe, right by Steve’s room. Next to the painting was a tiny plaque describing the heroic life of the Franciscan Martyr. Steve took in that short description of St. Maximilian’s […]

Veneration of the Eucharist

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…

Disc Golf and Discipleship

If you ever have the joy of taking a drive through the Piney Woods of East Texas you’ll find three things: pine trees, churches, and disc golf courses. The game of disc golf, for those who have no idea what it is, is similar to golf. Just replace the clubs and balls with frisbees and […]

Not Quite a Prophet: Walker Percy

This is part of a series on American Catholic authors. Read the series introduction here. Where are our prophets—those strange men, fed on locusts and honey, called away from society to speak on behalf of God? These signs of contradiction are sent in seasons of complacency, and ours is a time in need of revival. As […]

What Would You Say?

If you could share a message with the entire world, what would you say? I have often thought about this question, and have asked many people for an answer. Most of the people I asked were Catholic, and while you might think a shared belief would produce a shared answer, the surprising thing is that […]

Faith Without Flash

What would your life be like if you were always told the best option? Imagine if you were simply told what was true or good in every matter, from the best way to get around rush hour, to the most challenging matters of faith. Would you even have faith?  Say it’s the early afternoon. You […]

Top 25 Catholic Christmas Gifts of 2023: Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Are you 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 2023, all available from Ascension.
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Can Catholics believe in astrology?

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Concerned with The Conduct of Life Itself: Caroline Gordon

This is part of a series on American Catholic Authors. Read the series introduction here. Caroline Gordon may be the most influential Catholic author you have never heard of. She was the wife of the poet Allen Tate, the literary mentor of Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, and helped found the creative writing department at the […]

A Thanksgiving to Remember

“Remember the marvels he has done” (Ps 105:5). Remember. Last year, when I was a novice, the novice master had us do an exercise he called “singular moments of grace.” The point of the exercise was to compose a list of moments in your life in which God was at work. It was a beautiful […]

Aquinas on Faith and Reason

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What is God’s Role in Ordering the Physical World?

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Rhetoricians and Statesmen

We have almost made it halfway through the month of November, yet the odor of sanctity from All Saints Day remains potent. It was only a couple of weeks ago that we celebrated that cloud of witnesses and intercessors who continually cheer us on, ourselves the runners moving toward the heavenly city. While the cloud […]

The Happy Moth That Flew Into the Sun: Joyce Kilmer

This is part of a series on American Catholic Authors. Read the series introduction here. Some men die too early, some are born too late. For Joyce Kilmer, sadly, it was both. The simple beauty and purity of his poetry belonged to a world already fading beneath the impatient roar of the modern age. On […]

The Good News of Divine Wrath

Divine wrath is good news. The Gospel is good news, after all, and the Gospel declares divine wrath over and over again. Indeed, the Gospel of Matthew records five long teaching discourses of Jesus, and at the end of each of them, Jesus speaks of the righteous earning an eternal reward and the wicked going […]

Do You Need to Be Baptized to Be Saved?

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Heaven’s Holy Hounds

All Saints Day is proof positive that the Christian life works. God has in fact saved real, concrete people, and untold numbers at that. Which means the halls of heaven are teeming, not only with spiritual stars—the martyrs and mystics, popes and doctors—but also everyday, ordinary Catholics: mothers and fathers, siblings and neighbors, church ladies […]

Rome Sweet Home: Orestes Brownson

This is part of a series on American Catholic Authors. Read the series introduction here. Americans have always looked for a home. The Pilgrims, the pioneers, and the homesteaders all wanted a place to call their own. Orestes Brownson was no different.  Born in Stockbridge, Vermont, in 1803, Orestes Augustus Brownson entered into a world […]

The Difference Between Personal Style and Fashion

The following excerpt is from pages 15-18 of Theology of Style: Expressing the Unique and Unrepeatable You by Lillian Fallon. Lillian shares the difference between personal style and fashion and explains how she discovered her own style. The words “fashion” and “style” are almost always used synonymously, and the muddling of these terms confused my own understanding […]
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The Whale Above

There is a whale hidden in our chapel. Often when people walk into the chapel at the Dominican House of Studies, they are struck by the stained glass windows, the beautiful mural in the sanctuary, or the imposing organ pipes. But the part of the chapel that has captured my gaze more than any of […]

Announcing: Dominicana 66: The Eucharist

The student brothers of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph are pleased to announce Volume 66 of Dominicana, which is centered around the Eucharist. This year’s journal features several articles by the brothers, interviews with those on the frontlines of the Eucharistic Revival, and many other reflections that we hope will contribute to a greater appreciation […]

Playing Dress Up

This evening, a substantial part of our country will put on costumes and pretend to be someone else. There are good reasons to be skeptical about much of what surrounds the American celebration of Halloween. Many prefer to dress up as saints, or even superheroes, rather than ghosts and ghoulies (or certainly devils!). But the […]

4 Myths About Being a Single Catholic

There are many harmful myths about what it means to be single and Catholic. As you watch your peers and friends get married, it can be easy to think something is wrong with you for not also getting married. In this video, Lillian Fallon (a single Catholic woman) addresses 4 myths about being single and […]
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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 […]

What’s the difference between the Bible and the Catechism?

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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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Forgetfulness

“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…

Closure

“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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Endurance

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: tinyurl.com/bdh86t7v 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 […]

Argument

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…