Author Archive: JC

JC is a cradle Catholic, and somewhat of a traditionalist conservative. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin in the summer of 2014. He is currently a visiting assistant professor of physics at a university in the deep south. He is a lay member of the Order of Preachers. JC has been happily married since June of 2010. He has at times questioned – and more often still been questioned about – his Faith, but he has never wandered far from the Church, nor from our Lord. “To whom else would I go?”

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The Works of Mercy Part VII–Ransom Captives and Admonish Sinners

The Works of Mercy Part VII–Ransom Captives and Admonish Sinners

[ 0 ] March 27, AD 2015 |

This is part VII of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V, and part VI first. Ransom Captives and Admonish Sinners Ransoming captives may seem the strangest, the least necessary of the works of mercy today. Oh, it was […]

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The Works of Mercy Part VI–Visit the Sick and Comfort the Afflicted

The Works of Mercy Part VI–Visit the Sick and Comfort the Afflicted

[ 1 ] March 24, AD 2015 |

This is part VI of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, part IV, and part V first. Visit the Sick and Comfort the Afflicted When we hear of “the sick,” we probably think immediately of those who are in the care of […]

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Mercy Part V–Harbor the Harborless and Forgive Offenses Willingly

Mercy Part V–Harbor the Harborless and Forgive Offenses Willingly

[ 1 ] March 17, AD 2015 |

This is part V of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, and part IV first. Harbor the Harborless, Forgive Offenses Willingly “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke […]

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Works of Mercy Part IV–Clothe the Naked and Bear Wrongs Willingly

Works of Mercy Part IV–Clothe the Naked and Bear Wrongs Willingly

[ 2 ] March 13, AD 2015 |

This is part IV of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, and part III first. Clothe the Naked and Bear Wrongs Willingly A couple of years ago, there was a kerfuffle over the popular clothing maker Abercrombie and Fitch when some remarks made by […]

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Works of Mercy Part III–Giving Drink to the Thirsty and Instructing the Ignorant

Works of Mercy Part III–Giving Drink to the Thirsty and Instructing the Ignorant

[ 8 ] March 10, AD 2015 |

This is part III of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I and part II first.   Give Drink to the Thirsty and Instruct the Ignorant Hunger may be among the worst forms of physical suffering by sheer magnitude, for many people go hungry. On the […]

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Works of Mercy Part II: Feeding the Hungry and Counselling the Doubtful

Works of Mercy Part II: Feeding the Hungry and Counselling the Doubtful

[ 15 ] March 6, AD 2015 |

This is part II of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I first.   Feed the hungry/Counsel the Doubtful Hunger is one of the greatest causes of sorrow in this world, though not the greatest. And the hungry are everywhere, and in all times: there […]

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Works of Mercy Part I: Acts of Love and Service

Works of Mercy Part I: Acts of Love and Service

[ 6 ] March 3, AD 2015 |

One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during Lent, pairing […]

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Fear of the Lord Part 2: Love and Fear

Fear of the Lord Part 2: Love and Fear

[ 5 ] February 10, AD 2015 |

“Those, who denounce fear, assail the law; and if the law, plainly also God, who gave the law…. If, then, according to hypothesis, they abolish the law; then, by necessary consequence, each one who is led by lust, courting pleasure, must neglect what is right and despise the Deity, and fearlessly indulge in impiety and […]

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Fear of the Lord Part 1: Holy Fear

Fear of the Lord Part 1: Holy Fear

[ 11 ] February 3, AD 2015 |

“The gifts of the Holy Ghost are seven in number: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord [Isaiah 11:2-3]…. The gifts proceed in orderly fashion and gradually ascend by degrees. From the fear of the Lord, the soul rises to the other gifts, one after the other, to arrive at the […]

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Curiosity, Wonder, and Wisdom

Curiosity, Wonder, and Wisdom

[ 27 ] January 6, AD 2015 |

In a short but provocative reflection, Prof. J. Budziszewski calls curiosity the enemy of wonder. In so doing, he is drawing a distinction between the desire for knowledge—itself a good thing—and the elevation of that desire to the highest good, one which can then seek fulfillment at all costs: The problem is that the curiosity-as-holiness […]

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Hope in Season

Hope in Season

[ 1 ] December 9, AD 2014 |

What does it mean to have hope? I keep returning to this question in my many musings. There are, in a sense, two mistakes which we often make about hope, namely that any optimist is a hopeful person and that no pessimist may be. A hopeful optimist is not a tautology, nor is a hopeful […]

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Parish Closures

Parish Closures

[ 17 ] November 11, AD 2014 |

The sad news that some 55 parishes in and around New York are going to be shuttered (or “merged” with other parishes) has been public for some time now. There are, no doubt, some people who are heartbroken by the news that their beloved parish is among those whose doors are closing. It is almost […]

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Hawking and the Heavens

Hawking and the Heavens

[ 12 ] October 14, AD 2014 |

Chesterton once observed that men generally have two attitudes towards dogma: some consciously recognize their reliance upon it, and others attempt to deny that reliance. He concluded that, ironically, it is the latter who are ultimately the more dogmatic. I was reminded of this observation a few weeks ago [1], when I saw the latest […]

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Faith and Mystery

Faith and Mystery

[ 2 ] September 16, AD 2014 |

“The things which we Christians embrace by divine faith, and which are not to be received except by divine faith, are humanly incredible. They are incredible for two reasons, two reasons paradoxically opposed: first, because they are so far above us, because they make it plain that God is remote, infinite, and mysterious beyond all […]

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Seven More Books for Catholic College Students

Seven More Books for Catholic College Students

[ 4 ] August 28, AD 2014 |

The college semester is upon us again, and at most universities the new academic year is either now beginning or has recently begun []. For the returning students, this means a return to familiar stomping grounds and reunions with friends before the courses really buckle down into the semester grind. For the new students, it […]

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Depression, Despair, and Hope

Depression, Despair, and Hope

[ 7 ] August 19, AD 2014 |

Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as […]

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Religion, Relationship, and New Life

Religion, Relationship, and New Life

[ 6 ] July 23, AD 2014 |

“Christianity, it is said, owes this, that, and the other to Judaism. It has borrowed this, that, and the other from Hellenism. Or from Essenism. Everything in it is mortgaged from birth…. Are people naive enough to believe, before making a detailed study, that the supernatural excludes any possession of earthly roots and any human […]

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Book Review: Gene Wolfe’s <em>The Wizard Knight</em>

Book Review: Gene Wolfe’s The Wizard Knight

[ 3 ] June 24, AD 2014 |

An entertaining book might be enjoyed on the first reading, but discarded after the second. A good book, on the other hand, gets better after the second reading, and a great one never grows old no matter how ancient. One might learn more upon the fiftieth reading of Plato’s Republic than from the first or […]

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Some Obstacles to Happiness

Some Obstacles to Happiness

[ 0 ] May 27, AD 2014 |

“If you are unhappy, I question whether you are truly Christian.” So concludes my columnist-colleague and brother Dominican, TJ Burdick, at the close of his latest column. And there is something to be said for Mr. Burdick’s conclusion: the happy are those who are blessed, and blessedness (ergo, happiness) is described for us by Jesus […]

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Searching for Truth in the Modern Academy

Searching for Truth in the Modern Academy

[ 7 ] April 29, AD 2014 |

“Universities have failed in modern society because of their rebellion against the sacred tradition. They have become monumental pyramids, hospices for the remains of what once was learning, now sustained by growing numbers of administrators and shrinking numbers of teachers, surviving on grants and measuring their viability by their endowments, static as the latter-day Egyptians […]

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Hell in the Scheme of Things

Hell in the Scheme of Things

[ 23 ] March 4, AD 2014 |

Some years ago, I joined a group of friends in their college dorm lounge to enjoy a movie. While we watched the movie, I overheard a conversation between two students in the lounge’s loft area (it was an elaborate lounge). The topic of the conversation was Hell. The first student, a woman, stated not a disbelief […]

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Of Dogma and Definitions

Of Dogma and Definitions

[ 0 ] February 4, AD 2014 |

“The modern world is filled with men who hold dogmas so strongly that they do not even know that they are dogmas. It may be said even that the modern world, as a corporate body, holds certain dogmas so strongly that it does not know that they are dogmas.” –G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy In our time […]

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Mercy Is Not Always Comfortable

Mercy Is Not Always Comfortable

[ 19 ] January 15, AD 2014 |

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7). In my previous column, I discussed justice and noted that it is not necessarily comforting. Taken in isolation, it could be further argued that justice is necessarily not comforting in the end. Scripture certainly conveys this point, for example, through the various “wrathful” Psalms, […]

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Justice Is Not Always Comforting

Justice Is Not Always Comforting

[ 2 ] January 7, AD 2014 |

To state a tautology, we all deserve justice. Moreover, most people will, I think claim to desire justice if asked. And, since God is not only supreme but also supremely just, we will all ultimately get justice, if not in this life then certainly in the next. On the surface this last sounds good, but […]

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Advent in Miniature

Advent in Miniature

[ 1 ] December 10, AD 2013 |

“A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of […]

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Welcoming Sinners

Welcoming Sinners

[ 10 ] October 15, AD 2013 |

  The various recent interviews and op-eds by Pope Francis—and the subsequent misinterpretations thereof—have given me reason to ponder a pair of related questions. Would a practicing and unrepentant sinner be welcomed into the Church? And also, what does it mean to welcome a sinner? There are several ways in which we can welcome a […]

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