A Nation of Noise

The sound of a whirlwind, something like a continuous controlled explosion, is heard from above, and the people of the…

A Modern Translation

The Church, I’ve been hearing, has to change, if she is going to have any leverage with men and women…

Born That Way

In 1892, a theater-loving woman named Mabelle Webb moved to New York with her three-year-old boy, contemptuously dismissing the father…

Treasure in the Basement

I’ve recently written that a young man can attend ten years of Sunday Mass at almost any Catholic church in…

Baritones Begone

Consider the first two stanzas of the following hymn-poem:   Soldiers of Christ, arise,
     And put your armor on,
     Strong…

Disowning the Father

We no longer want to make them, because we no longer want to remember.

A Sleeping Child

Herod heard of the Christ child, and he and all of his advisors were troubled. He instructed the wise men…

Liturgy: On Bended Knee

The king, disguised as a beggar, sits in the great hall of his house. He has been gone for twenty…

Liturgy of the Body

Modernity is intellectualism that stultifies, rationalism that is unreasonable, humanism that is inhumane, historicism that knows no history.

Government in the Hospital Bed

Ever since I was a boy, I have heard liberal politicians intone, with an air of hushes reverence, that no…

Sanity in a Time of Madness

A message from Robert Royal Dear friends: I’m back from Rome  – and what a time to be there! Even veteran…

Strategy from the Abyss



“The use of Fashions in thought,” writes C. S. Lewis’ Uncle Screwtape, of evil memory, “is to distract the attention…

A Feast of Reality

This past weekend I attended a wedding. It was a natural thing, in harmony with the beauty of the world…

Slow Down and Consider

Whenever I learn another language, I begin with a grammar, and proceed to the Bible. I know what I’m reading,…

What’s the Aim?

W. H. Auden once said that all critics should show their credentials before they write about literature. The credentials he…

Clever Barbarians?

Lately I’ve been asked to write a couple of essays for the National Association of Scholars on the newest fad…

Where Have All the Angels Gone?

Several years ago, I read Dietrich von Hildebrand’s treatise on purity – Reinheit. What most struck me was not his…

What World Will We Live In?

In World War II, a young Italian named Eugenio Corti was fighting on the Russian front, where he witnessed what…

A Clean Heart

My father was the least prudish man I’ve ever known, taking the ordinary goodness of the body completely for granted….

Pride, and Praise-Desire

When I was a boy, my father would take me and my brother and the dog up to the bald…

Stamp Your Feet!

I’ve been following with some bemusement the interchanges between Cardinal Mueller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the…

Let Order Die

The scene is the castle of the Duke of Northumberland. The Duke has been feigning illness to excuse himself from…

Everybody to Pope Paul: Drop Dead

I recently read Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae the way it was principally meant to be read: in Latin….

A Time to Tear Down, a Time to Build

Quite literally front and center, marching down the main streets of Toronto, gay men and women will once again be…

Blessed be the Peacemaker

When I was a small boy in grade school, we had no cartoons of naked men and women, boys and…

Temptation Mysticism

In True Morality and Its Counterfeits, Dietrich von Hildebrand scrutinized what he called the “sin mysticism” of prominent Catholic novelists,…

Let’s Build a Bonfire

One of the presents my wife gave me this Christmas was a book I’d never gotten around to reading: Ray…

Wise, Like a Pigeon

Here’s a scene from The Lady Eve, a screwball comedy directed by the brilliant Preston Sturges. Henry Fonda plays a…

For Mercy’s Sake!

Jesus has asked His disciples who the people believe Him to be. And after they give Him the poll results,…

They Were Sore Afraid

“Is there anybody here,” cries the disconsolate Charlie Brown, “who can tell me the true meaning of Christmas?” “Sure, Charlie…

The Heart of Love

“Whoever is not righteous,” says Saint John to his disciples, his little children, “is not of God, nor is he…

Love, Not Comprehension

In the old translation of the first chapter of the Gospel of John, there’s one verse in particular that has…

Fighting a Good Fight

In last Sunday’s epistle, we heard, or almost heard, the brave words of Saint Paul, writing to Timothy from his…

The Devil’s Dictionary

Recent events at Providence College, where I work, led me to open a handbook that I came upon one day…

“Saint Paul,” Saint “Paul,” and “Saint” Paul

Twenty years ago, I published a book of poems, some in rhyme, others in unrhymed iambic or accentual pentameter.  Some…

Marriage Is What It Is

“And some Pharisees approached Him, to tempt Him, saying, ‘Is it permissible for a man to put away his woman…

Jesus the Politician

Malcolm Muggeridge, still an agnostic but making his slow way toward faith and the Church, writes this about the Political…

Paper Keys IV: No Miracles Here

Here’s Anne Roche Muggeridge, slashing with an ironical saber worthy of her father-in-law Malcolm: For what, in actual practice, should…

Paper Keys III: The Keystone Crucifiers

Another of the modernist myths concerns the crucifixion of Jesus. The myth comes in several versions. The first is that…

Paper Keys II: The Myth of the Madmen

Anne Muggeridge, again analyzing one of the myths of the demythologizing modernists, gives the theologian George Tyrrell enough rope to…

Paper Keys

“A paper key?” you ask.  “A paper key could never open anything.”  Precisely. In The Desolate City (1986), Anne Roche…

What Is the Purpose of Law?

Consider two towns, of about the same population.
 One is named Coventry, the other Chester.
 Coventry hasn’t had a murder this…

Sending up the White Flag

And now, the last words I’ll ever write about the Boy Scouts. 
     Do you know, Scoutmasters, what you have…

Preaching to the Wordless

  DONATE to TCT Last week, President Obama, delivering a commencement speech, advised the graduates not to listen to those…

The Thaumolyzers

It’s been a dispiriting day.  Not because of the iron gray New England skies; I’m used to their severe beauty….

See No Evil

The administrators of Providence College, where I teach, have floated the suggestion that we move toward a self-insurance plan.  They…

The Light of the World

New Pope Puts His Humility on Display, reads the headline, with no trace of embarrassment or irony. We miss the…

A Man Like No Other

For the last several months I’ve been doing something that, for all I know, nobody else in the United States…

All the Kingdoms of the World

A few months ago, the people of the United States terminated a two-year-long carnival, a mad caravan of barkers, shills,…

The Key That Fits the Lock, Part 15

We’ve meditated upon Abraham, that mysterious man of faith, and upon his peaceful son Isaac. Now it is time to…