If Foolish Words Cut Our Lips: Welcome from the CEO of TAN Books

“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” —Matthew 12:36–37 How does one begin a blog by TAN Books? What if God were to read our blog? Would He care about the intent, the content, or the tone? How mighty a question; yet how foolish a question….

Why Beauty Matters

“The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb.” —Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Catholics have long found solace in the contemplation of beauty. In fact, it could be said we mortals are dependent on beauty for life….

The Sublime Image of Our Lady in Art

“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” -Archangel Gabriel (Luke 1:28) The thought and history of the Blessed Mother in art is a magnificent subject that has enraptured Christians for over twenty centuries. Art is inseparable from Mary and reflects the high place she holds in global world…

Piety is the Virtue of the Warrior

Visualization is a powerful tool. Whether an athlete envisions the shot he is about to take or the entrepreneur pictures his business in a future state, visualization of a desired outcome hones the mind in a way that no external stimulus can. Therefore, Loving Parent, visualize your child as a young man or woman before…

Why Gregorian Chant is Supreme (Part I of II)

“How I wept in hearing Thy hymns and canticles, touched to the quick by the voices of Thy well-beloved Church!  The voices flowed into my ears and Thy truth distilled into my heart, whence the affections of my devotion overflowed, and tears ran down, and happy was I therein.”  -St. Augustine (Confessions, IX) Sacred liturgy…

Humility: A Hidden Source of Strength

Humility is the virtue which is perhaps more easily misunderstood and underappreciated than any other. Our culture values personal confidence, self-belief and resolution, and rightly so. And we are acutely aware of the psychological dangers of low-self-esteem, with which so many people struggle today, especially the young. Yet true humility is not in opposition to…

Spiritual Heroes and the Threat of Sadness

“Don’t allow sadness to dwell in your soul, for sadness prevents the Holy Spirit from acting freely.” —Padre Pio In the present days of corruption in church and government, implosion of family life, progressive demoralization of schools and academic institutions, we honor spiritual heroes who live amidst us as mentors and exemplars. These are the…

Mary as the Special Patroness of the United States

“Nothing is more distinctly Catholic than devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it is largely because of this devotion that Catholics remain deeply convinced of the divinity of Christ, and vividly conscious of His humanity.” —Msgr. J. D. Conway Students of Church history know well the devotion expressed to Our Lady from the beginning…

Making Dystopia: The Rise of Ugly Modern Church Architecture

“What we have is given by God and to teach it to others is to return it to Him.” —Gian Lorenzo Bernini In the Catholic tradition, church architecture reflects the classical footprint. This is because classic architecture is unparalleled in its dignity, beauty, harmony, and intelligibility to the common man. It speaks of greatness, order,…

Matrimony as a Sacred Contract and Sacrament

“Love must be real, it must cost, it must hurt, it must empty us of self.” —Mother Theresa of Calcutta From the very beginning of the human race, Matrimony has been a natural contract between husband and wife.  For Catholics, it is also something more. A valid marriage is one of the seven sacraments, and…

The Fair Beginning of a Time: Brave Knights

“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.” —C. S. Lewis Let us go back to the days of chivalry, of brave knights and their lady loves, of bold adventure…

Preparing Your Child for Death

There is perhaps no more counterintuitive notion for a parent than this: you must prepare your child for death.[1] From the moment you learned of the child in the womb, you have directed all your God-given instincts, your energy, and passion into keeping that child alive. You would move mountains to keep your son healthy;…

Our Lord’s Hidden Wound

While working for the Little Sisters of the Poor at one of their nursing homes, I encountered many devout Catholics, whose joy, perseverance, and piety inspired me. Their strong Catholic Faith had guided them through the trials of raising many children, two World Wars, the sexual revolution, Vatican II, the sex abuse scandal, and ultimately…

God Wills You to Be Happy

He and he alone, whose will is perfectly united to God’s possesses “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). Happiness and conformity to the will of God work in tandem and have always been a common theme for Catholic theologians and spiritual writers on the subject of joy. Saint Thomas Aquinas, following…

St. Michael’s Help is Urgent for Today

You may have heard a recent report of an archdiocese in the United States forbidding the St. Michael’s prayer to be said after Mass. On the other hand, there are several other dioceses around the world that have encouraged priests to lead this prayer after Mass. Until 1965, this prayer was mandated at the end…

Tips to Cultivate the Interior Life in the Family

Nearly a century ago, English writer G. K. Chesterton remarked that the “coming peril” of civilization was “standardization by a low standard.” Today, we can see this pervasive influence, even in the prayer lives of many Catholic families. Beleaguered in a storm of secular influences, many Catholics choose not to pray together as a family. …

The Catholic Response to Moral and Religious Deterioration

“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” —Flannery O’Connor The Christian is called to heroism wherever and whenever he lives, at least what we would call heroism today. Its real name is simply Christian duty.  This duty calls for an active response to grace, a transformation of…

Parents as Primary Teachers

“In the work of education, the family forms man in the fullness of his personal dignity according to all his dimensions, including the social dimension. The family, in fact, constitutes ‘a community of love and solidarity, which is uniquely suited to teach and transmit cultural, ethical, social, spiritual and religious values, essential for the development…

From Mother’s Heart to Your Home…

Beloved, this is my first column to you within the wonderful and God-blessed family of TAN. I am honored to be invited to write this monthly column and am especially grateful that we can, in this way, support one another as the enemy continues his battle for the destruction of the family. I say that…

Look Upon Your Child as An Immortal Creature

Look at your little child. See the little smile, the little nose; see the little arms and legs; hear the sweet little voice that calls your name in joy and sorrow. If you could, you would imitate God and number the hairs upon your little one’s head (Mt 10:30), treasuring each one, “for where your…

The Clash of Angels (Part II)

As tradition holds, O Lord, the radical idea of Your incarnation became known to the angels. Your greatest of angels of the highest choir, Lucifer the seraphim, could not bear the thought. He, the greatest of all creation, would be called to bow down to flesh and bone, artery and vein, synapse and sinew. He…