Category Archives: Catholicism

A Promise to Love? The Possibility of the Catholic Wedding Vows

One of the fun things about being Catholic is that some of our prayers are a bit scary when one stops to ponder them. I’m not talking about prayers that only a few of us actually get around to praying, such as … Continue reading

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Do Catholics Need to Talk About the Faith?

One theme that emerges from the Church’s documents on evangelization, education, and catechesis is the primacy of personal example, of the “witness” of one’s life over and above one’s mere words. As Pope Paul VI (1975) wrote in Article 21 of Evangelii Nuntiandi: … Continue reading

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What Heaven Will Be Like (If You Make It)

One of my favorite exchanges in the 1991 film Black Robe concerns the nature of the Roman Catholic understanding of heaven. Early in the film, the Jesuit missionary (i.e. the “black robe”) chides one of the Frenchmen for speaking respectfully of … Continue reading

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Philosophy, the handmaiden to Theology

Typically, when I tell people that I am a getting a Ph.D. in philosophy, a 20/80 split occurs: 20% react with overwhelming enthusiasm, telling me about how much they loved studying philosophy in college; 80% react with barely contained amusement/scorn, … Continue reading

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Why humility is not a deadly sin, with Aristotle and Descartes

In Part One of his Discourse on Method, René Descartes offers a low appraisal of the work of ancient moral writers: “I compared the writings of the ancient pagans that deal with morals to very proud and very magnificent palaces that … Continue reading

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Did you miss it? The return of the HHS Mandate battle

I know I missed it, what with Thanksgiving, dissertation revisions, end-of-the-semester grading, but the struggle against the HHS Mandate will soon return to public prominence as the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a couple of challenges against it: Conestoga Wood … Continue reading

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Virtuous Agents and the Solemnity of All Saints

In Book II of his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle famously describes virtue as a habit of choosing an intermediate between two bad extremes in regard to human action: “Virtue, then, is a state of character concerned with choice, lying in a … Continue reading

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