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Author Archive: Patrick Malone

Patrick Malone has been writing for Catholic Stand since March 2016. He has a BA (Honours) in English, and is particularly interested in secularism and the exploration of faith in literature and film, especially the works of Terrence Malick, the McDonagh brothers, Flannery O'Connor, and Cormac McCarthy.

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The Despair of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

June 19, AD2017 2 Comments
The Despair of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has a host of artistic problems, but its most profound failures are of moral understanding. Whereas the original novels by J.K. Rowling embraced the Christian sanctity of life, understanding that death was an evil, and expressed hope for repentance and forgiveness of sins, this late coming play, written by […]

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Catholic Identity Politics and Vocation in the Age of Trump

May 22, AD2017 2 Comments
Catholic Identity Politics and Vocation in the Age of Trump

Surely she had never asked God for anything except that He should let her have her will. And every time she had been granted what she asked for – for the most part. Now here she sat with a contrite heart – not because she had sinned against God but because she was unhappy that […]

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Why Do We Need The Benedict Option?

April 21, AD2017 8 Comments
Why Do We Need The Benedict Option?

The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher is, at the end of the day, underwhelming. That’s not all its own fault; it arrives amidst much hype, hype which turns out to be rather disproportionate to its more modest aims. On one hand, it’s not clear that those who characterize Dreher as telling Christians to head for the […]

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Let Me Kill It: The Violence of Being More Ethical Than Your Society

March 19, AD2017 1 Comment
Let Me Kill It: The Violence of Being More Ethical Than Your Society

Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon… So don’t listen to him. Remember that – do not listen. -William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist There a is quotation attributed to Eliezer Yudkowski, a researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, that periodically makes the social media rounds in memetic form (generally without […]

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Time, Progressivism, Death, and the Liturgical Calendar

March 3, AD2017 0 Comments
Time, Progressivism, Death, and the Liturgical Calendar

Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been Point […]

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Weak Love and Moral Culpability in Shusaku Endo’s Silence

January 28, AD2017 3 Comments
Weak Love and Moral Culpability in Shusaku Endo’s Silence

Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence, of which a film adaptation by Martin Scorsese shall soon be released, is concerned with the deeply unsettling portrayal of a situation in which one’s faith seems to make irreconcilable demands. Set in 1643, after the Japanese persecution of the Catholic Church forced Catholics underground, Silence recounts the story of Fr. […]

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Shusaku Endo’s Silence and the Divine Command to Sin

January 7, AD2017 4 Comments
Shusaku Endo’s Silence and the Divine Command to Sin

Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence is one of the most unsettling novels a Catholic could read. Recounting the story of Portuguese Jesuits facing martyrdom and persecution in seventeenth-century Japan, Endo does not hesitate to pose to his characters – and readers – the most difficult moral dilemmas imaginable regarding persecution and apostasy, and even whether God might […]

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The Exorcist: Theology of the Possessed Body

November 26, AD2016 6 Comments
The Exorcist: Theology of the Possessed Body

Even with its interest in the spiritual realm, William Peter Blatty’s novel The Exorcist is, as befits a story about possession, still very much concerned with the material realm, specifically the human body’s functions, abilities, and appearance. In the novel, the goal of possession, as I discussed in “Faith, Doubt, and Analysis Paralysis in The Exorcist,” is to […]

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Faith, Doubt, and Analysis Paralysis in The Exorcist

November 8, AD2016 0 Comments
Faith, Doubt, and Analysis Paralysis in The Exorcist

Most stories about exorcism following in the wake of William Peter Blatty’s novel The Exorcist (and its film adaptation) tend to portray the Catholic Church as some sort of Justice League fighting the forces of darkness. They clumsily point to the existence of grotesque demonic forces as proof for God’s existence. Blatty however, shows more sophistication. He […]

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Good Characters in a Culture That Can Only Read Hell

October 7, AD2016 0 Comments
Good Characters in a Culture That Can Only Read Hell

Fr. James Lavelle: I think there’s too much talk about sins and not enough about virtues. Fiona Lavelle: What would be your number one? Fr. James Lavelle: I think forgiveness has been highly underrated. -John Michael McDonagh, Calvary A friend of mine once asked if The Divine Comedy is the greatest achievement in human letters. […]

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The Problems with Christian Film

September 21, AD2016 11 Comments
The Problems with Christian Film

This past August, Maclean’s published an article called “What would Jesus watch? Behold a new era in Christian film,” by Jaime Weinman, in which he says that in 2014, there were more so-called “Christian” films than there were comic book superhero movies. Some of these films were even relatively profitable, such as War Room, which […]

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Sexuality, Reality, and the Sacramental in Knight of Cups

September 7, AD2016 1 Comment
Sexuality, Reality, and the Sacramental in Knight of Cups

  “The artist penetrates the concrete world in order to find at its depths the image of its source, the image of ultimate reality.” Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners A few months ago, I offered a commentary on Terrence Malick’s film To the Wonder, outlining the relationship it depicts between the love of eros and agape, […]

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Good Atheists and Bad Catholics

August 22, AD2016 14 Comments
Good Atheists and Bad Catholics

Being Good Without God For Catholics at least, the news that atheists can live a morally praiseworthy life, or people belonging to any other religion, for that matter, is neither all that surprising nor particularly distressing. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said during his 2011 visit to the Bundestag, Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never […]

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Strange Dignity: Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God

July 21, AD2016 7 Comments
Strange Dignity: Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God

Lester Ballard, main character of the novel Child of God, commits murder, necrophilia, sexually harasses women, and is generally considered to be crazy. This being a novel by Cormac McCarthy, the most shocking thing about him is none of these. Rather, it is the suggestion that he might still have dignity, like anybody else, and […]

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Notes on Laudato si’ and the Theology of the Body

June 22, AD2016 2 Comments
Notes on Laudato si’ and the Theology of the Body

This month marks the first anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’. Upon reading it, I was struck by certain parallels of thought between it and something I had not initially expected to be relevant: Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. However, if we are to emphasise the importance of […]

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Sexuality without Procreation in The Children of Men

May 25, AD2016 1 Comment
Sexuality without Procreation in The Children of Men

The English author P. D. James is likely best known for her murder mysteries, but especially worthy of discussion is her science fiction story The Children of Men. Set in the near future, there has not been a baby born for twenty-five years. In this story, partly told from the perspective of Theo Faron, a history […]

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Encyclicals on Film: To the Wonder

April 27, AD2016 0 Comments
Encyclicals on Film: To the Wonder

One of the more important contemporary filmmakers exploring Catholic themes is the director Terrence Malick. His film The Tree of Life, though not exactly possessing mass cultural influence, has still earned some recognition as being one of the great films to ponder Catholic themes. His most recent film, Knight of Cups, has also been subject […]

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Remember: Catholics Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead

March 29, AD2016 15 Comments
Remember: Catholics Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead

The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer […]

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St. Veronica’s Useless Good Deed

March 2, AD2016 2 Comments
St. Veronica’s Useless Good Deed

I once heard a rather wry joke that said that Christians are optimists because the worst thing that could possibly happen has actually already happened, and things turned out alright afterwards. That worst thing being, of course, that when God revealed Himself directly to us, not only did we reject Him in favor of a […]

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