Is Halloween a Pagan Festival?

It is a question that still arises in Catholic circles and among other Christians more generally, so I thought I would repost the answer as I had done on other venues in years past. The Short answer is No. Halloween is a thoroughly Christian and Catholic celebration whose date was set as an accident ofContinue reading “Is Halloween a Pagan Festival?”

Updated Third Way Translation and Flowchart

In my ongoing quest to finish a series of explanations and analyses on the Five Ways of proving the existence of God from Saint Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae I, q. 2, a. 3, I updated the translation of the Third Way which “is taken from the possible and the necessary” along with a graphical depictionContinue reading “Updated Third Way Translation and Flowchart”

Imagine Objective Morality

A few weeks ago, Bishop Robert Barron wrote an op/ed piece for the New York Post bemoaning the singing of John Lennon’s utopian manifesto pop song “Imagine” at the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics. Quoth His Grace: While its melody and arrangement are ­indeed beautiful, the lyrics are an invitation to moral and politicalContinue reading “Imagine Objective Morality”

New Explanation and Analysis of Aquinas’s Second Way

I have posted a new explanation and analysis of the Second Way for proving the existence of God from Summa Theologiae Ia, q. 2, a. 3, which Saint Thomas Aquinas rather cryptically says is based on the nature (ratio) of efficient causality. The greatest obstacle to understanding his Second Way, it has seemed to me,Continue reading “New Explanation and Analysis of Aquinas’s Second Way”

Why Jesus Died on the Cross

Every Good Friday, the question is raised again, “Why did Jesus have to die?” A common answer, though not really the Catholic answer, says that Jesus is a substitute victim, an innocent, and infinitely holy person, the Son of God, who suffers the punishment which sinners deserve in their place, and thereby frees them fromContinue reading “Why Jesus Died on the Cross”

Happy Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Today, January 28, is the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas. He is, of course, a great Doctor of the Church and perhaps her greatest theologian, certainly one her most influential thinkers. He is rightly commended for integrating natural reason (especially as exemplified in the thought of Aristotle) with the Christian faith, and so contemporary CatholicsContinue reading “Happy Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas”

Happy Feast of Saint Albert the Great

His Bellows Will Resound throughout the World Today, November 15, is the Feast of Saint Albert the Great, or Saint Albert of Regensburg. He was a towering figure in medieval philosophy and theology and had such encyclopedic knowledge and an incisive mind that, even in his lifetime, he was called “the Great.” Ulrich of StrasbourgContinue reading “Happy Feast of Saint Albert the Great”

Scientific Materialism Is No Alternative to Catholic Faith

What Else Is There? I previously quoted approvingly Walker Percy when he posed to himself the option of holding to some worldview besides the Catholic faith, and queried himself the answer “what else is there?” Though himself a convert, I as a Cradle Catholic felt he summed up my experience of considering the various alternativesContinue reading “Scientific Materialism Is No Alternative to Catholic Faith”

Happy Feast of St. Louis IX of France

That will settle the Manichees! There is an amusing story told about St. Thomas Aquinas I have always liked. Once, friar Thomas was invited to dine at the table of the King of France, Louis IX, who would eventually be canonized a saint, too. Brother Thomas, fell silent as the meal and conversation continued aroundContinue reading “Happy Feast of St. Louis IX of France”

Why Isn’t Everyone Catholic (part 2)?

Bad Catholics from the Past and Bad Philosophy In my previous post I related that when I began to investigate how I might explain and defend the Catholic faith, I found that sometimes I agreed with skeptical critiques of distinctively Protestant beliefs, yet I was very convinced of the inadequacy of physicalist explanations of natureContinue reading “Why Isn’t Everyone Catholic (part 2)?”