The Holy Family

Of the Passover festival in Jerusalem, St. Luke concisely reports, “When the festival was ended, Jesus stayed behind but his parents did not know it” (2:43). Of course they didn’t know it. They are parents. What makes anyone think they knew anything at all? The twelve-year-old Jesus decided to . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberal Racism Bares Its Fangs

Given the politically-correct hysteria that typically surrounds any discussion of racism these days, I hesitate to use the term. But it’s hard to find another that fits certain reactions to Synod-2015 from the port side of the Barque of Peter. Exhibit A: Shortly after the Synod concluded, the Web . . . . Continue Reading »

The War According to Isaac Babel

Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry, now granted an afterlife in Boris Dralyuk’s lyrical and fluid translation, consists of thirty-five episodic stories about the Soviet First Cavalry Army.

First Buds of the Church

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are over now, but the melodies linger on—not only for those who observe the full twelve days of Christmastide, but also for others for whom the season has been mostly about lots of good food, good cheer, and the feel-good sentimentality of “God's in his heaven, . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Incarnation

The following is a homily that was given at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.: Dear friends in Christ, a warm welcome to all who join the Dominican friars on this Christmas morning to rejoice in the “marvelous exchange—O admirabile commercium—[by which] man’s Creator has . . . . Continue Reading »

A Golden Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown

In A Charlie Brown Christmas, the round headed lead’s quest to escape a melancholy brought on by the materialism and artificiality of the season climaxes with his blanket-holding friend’s powerful recitation of St. Luke’s nativity. It is remembered now as a classic, and typical of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Christmas and a World Upside-Down

Biblical scholars generally agree that Luke’s Gospel was written at least a generation later than Paul’s first letter to the Christians at Corinth. Yet whatever the dating, and irrespective of scholarly disputes about whether “Luke,” the author of the eponymous Gospel and the Acts of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Whatever Happened to Sacral Kingship?

In an average college course, the history of Western political theory typically follows a simple plot: A flowering of secular, republican rationality in Ancient Athens and Republican Rome foundered on a combination of Imperial overstretch and civil war.