Another Misrepresentation of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Hollywood – Thanks George Clooney!

I just finished watching The Tender Bar starring Ben Affleck, Ty Sheridan, and Daniel Ranieri (among others) on Amazon Prime Video. Overall, I liked the movie with pretty good performances from a pretty good cast. But, at one point JR (Sheridan), the story’s protagonist and narrator, complains about having to read Aquinas in his studiesContinue reading “Another Misrepresentation of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Hollywood – Thanks George Clooney!”

A Somewhat (Im)Personal Interlude

In my last post, I indicated that part of the reason I am (still) Catholic (and you can, too) is that, besides not being driven away by bad Catholics, I came to understand that God’s existence can be demonstrated (to at least as high a level of certainty as one finds in other areas ofContinue reading “A Somewhat (Im)Personal Interlude”

All Souls Day and Why There Is Purgatory (and Indulgences)

After All Saints Day and its spooky (though thoroughly Catholic) vigil, Halloween, we come to the third of the fall Triduum of the Afterlife: All Souls Day (or in its Mexican (and thoroughly (or at least mostly) Catholic) manifestation, Dia de los Muertos). And after discussing who the saints are, and what constitutes life inContinue reading “All Souls Day and Why There Is Purgatory (and Indulgences)”

All Saints Day and Eternal Life

Amid the annual fall questions and confusion about the alleged pagan origins of Halloween on October 31, and the role of purgatory in the celebration of All Souls Day (November 2), Catholics pay less attention to the celebration of All Saints Day (November 1) than they should. For, the life of the saints in heavenContinue reading “All Saints Day and Eternal Life”

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”