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…

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…

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…

TAN Academy as the Living Order of Creation

“The meaning of human life is to serve God in this life and to enjoy Him forever in the next.” —Dr. Alice von Hildebrand In an age of secularism, relativism, and nihilism, it is more important than ever for Catholic youth to be preserved in their innocence and prepared for adulthood while being brought up…

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…

On Discerning the Treasury of Sacred Music

“Cantare amantis est (singing belongs to one who loves).” —St. Augustine It is a matter of fact that in the vast majority of Catholic parishes the liturgical music is abysmal. This is a decades-old dilemma that is still menacing the Church across the globe, the aftermath of the 1960s modernist purge that announced itself as…

The Last of the Martyrs of the Coliseum

“The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.” —Tertullian There is an old story told in Rome of a fifth-century monk named Telemachus, whose name has been written in the annals of Roman history. On a memorable day in the year 404, it is recorded he entered the Coliseum in Rome, the largest ancient…

Parents as Spiritual Guides

“The family is the foundation unit of the human race.  God Himself solemnized and witnessed the first marriage and ordained that through marriage the race should increase and multiply.  The continuance of marriage and the family throughout time was therefore the plan of God. Christ, moreover, when on earth, concerned Himself with the nature of…

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…

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. …

On the Impressive Ceremonies of the Latin Mass

“It is known, in fact, that the Latin liturgy of the Church in its various forms, in each century of the Christian era, has been a spur to the spiritual life of many saints, has reinforced many peoples in the virtue of religion and fecundated their piety.” —Pope Benedict XVI Mass is the highest act…