Reading Between the Lines

History is filled with famous quotes and one liners. Many have become linchpins for history’s famous speeches, treatises and essays. Unfortunately, some of these quotes gathered from throughout history are more legend than reality. Not a few of these fraudulent quotes are attributed to famous Catholic Churchmen, some well-intentioned and others not so much. Below are three such quotes.

“Kill them all. For the Lord knows those that are His own.”

This quote has been attributed to the Cistercian Abbot Arnaud Amalric. The Abbot has gone down in history as one of the most infamous figures from the Albigensian heresy and its suppression. This quote has been used for anti-Catholic rhetoric for centuries. Fortunately, modern scholarship has come a long way and cast major doubts that this quote was even said at all. Its first appearance comes decades after and from a source far removed from the event it is attributed to. Its author was also known for his deviance from historical accuracy. To learn more about this non-quote click HERE. Continue reading “Reading Between the Lines”

Strategic Communication

Image result for public relations, public domain

I have a curious relationship—and lengthy history—with the concept of language. To start with, I am dyslexic, which among other things, causes me some difficulty with grasping the nuances of writing and grammar– praise be to God for editors! More relevant though, I find the development and use of language to be very interesting as well. The term “politically correct” has slowly entered the lexicon of most Americans in the last few decades. Likewise, I know many people who fall on either side of this love/hate relationship term. I do not mind using alternative terms and phrases in certain situations. I understand the need for prudence around sensitive topics, but not at the expense of detracting from truth. Please forgive the quick history lesson, I promise it ties into the aims of this blog! Continue reading “Strategic Communication”

The Memorial of the Lord

In the time since David’s crossover piece (read HERE) and my initial post on the Eucharist, I have been approached on a number of occasions by a handful of readers who have expressed interest in knowing more about the dichotomy between the two allowed forms of receiving communion. These conversations have taken several forms: inquiry, suspicion and even concern. In response to these conversations, I feel it is worth examining the document the Church used to grant the allowance of the form of reception we are most accustomed to seeing—reception in the hand. The document itself is only four pages long plus a citations page. The document in its entirety can be read HERE. For the time-conscious, I wish to offer the abridged version and highlights. My hope is that you find this post persuasive for Church tradition, and if nothing else, informative of what is still a current event in Church history relatively speaking.

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To all the other Mice and Men

The 18th century poet Robert Burns famously wrote in “To a Mouse”;

“But Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!”

This poem would later be the inspiration for a novel more of us may be familiar with, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. A quote the regular readers of this blog may be more familiar with, “If you’re ever looking for a joke to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” This is not necessarily a “feel good” blog post, but is meant for those who find themselves wandering in their own metaphorical wilderness.

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The Vocations Wheel


Have you ever found yourself attempting to reinvent the wheel? I know I have. In times like that we find ourselves saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” As I watch the world around me, I find this thought reoccurring; so many aspects of society that had been finely tuned over centuries and generations are thrown out for something newer, intended to be better than what it replaced and falling short. What society has carefully groomed and allowed to grow and change organically, modern man has demolished to ground level and replaced with a cookie cutter version of what once stood in its place. Social media replaced conversations, video games replaced tree houses, privacy-fenced backyards replaced front porches, and Wii Fitness replaced actual exercise. Have we as a Church done this too?

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Nuanced Infallibility

Earlier this year, I was listening to a podcast with Dr. Michael Sirilla. Dr. Sirilla is a professor of Dogmatic Theology and Director of the Masters Theology Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, OH. Buried in his podcast was a paradigm-shift moment for me. To listen to that podcast click HERE.  Although a bit lengthy, in this podcast Dr. Sirilla lays out what the Church actually means when she says that she is infallible. It was after hearing this well-articulated, that I came to realize just how many Catholics—myself included—had or still have a misunderstanding when it comes to the Church’s teaching on her own infallibility. And if it is misunderstood by so many Catholics, should it surprise us that our Protestant brothers and sisters are often misguided as well? Although the full extent of this topic cannot be covered here, nor am I the qualified individual to do so, I do wish to attempt to shed some light on just what this doctrines mean when the Church proclaims that the Pope and the Magisterium are infallible.

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