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Books and Art

A Book Launch, Hidden Mystical Power, and the Art of the Impossible: Part 1

February 16, AD2018 0 Comments
A Book Launch, Hidden Mystical Power, and the Art of the Impossible: Part 1

On the 15th February, I had the honour of sharing the launch of my book,  Wisdom from the Christian Mystics with Kevin Grant, former editor-in-chief of the Catholic Universe and MD of the Catholic Herald, at the Athenaeum Club in London. His book ‘More Deeps Further Shallows’ is an engrossing work of poetry that you cannot […]

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The Eroticism of Harrison Lemke’s “Song for St. Valentine”

February 14, AD2018 0 Comments
The Eroticism of Harrison Lemke’s “Song for St. Valentine”

Some counter-cultural attitudes are actually pretty widespread. An obvious example is an attitude towards Hallmark holidays like Valentine’s Day. Shirking the yoke of corporatized romance, chocolates in pink wrappers, and garish cards isn’t exactly an underground movement, whispered about at the margins of society. And Catholics have unique ways of being counter-cultural on this day; […]

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Off the Shelf with Adam Blai: Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms

February 1, AD2018 0 Comments
Off the Shelf with Adam Blai: Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms

Adam Blai (pronounced “Bly”) is a Church-decreed expert on religious demonology and exorcism in the Pittsburgh diocese. He is an auxiliary member of the International Association of Exorcists based in Rome. Over the past decade, he has helped educate priests regarding exorcism at national conferences, seminars, and through consultation on many cases in a number […]

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Pete Socks: From Book Reviews and Podcasts to Full-Time for God

January 30, AD2018 0 Comments
Pete Socks: From Book Reviews and Podcasts to Full-Time for God

Pete Socks, a happily married father of five, converted to the Catholic faith in 1996. After a few years, he found himself simply going through the motions, just trudging to weekly Mass.  God had other plans, though. Pete experienced a reconversion when he stumbled on a book by Father Larry Richards and then attended one of his conferences. It […]

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The Scandal of Forgiveness in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

January 13, AD2018 1 Comment
The Scandal of Forgiveness in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

To be a little simplistic, Martin McDonagh’s films tend to be preoccupied with cycles of violence, in which parties retaliate against each other for the hurts they suffer, drawing others into this cycle until somebody tries to end it by accepting the hurt done to him, or, indeed, turning that violence upon himself. In Bruges […]

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T.S. Eliot and Dreading Christmas

December 23, AD2017 0 Comments
T.S. Eliot and Dreading Christmas

Few people have likely ever been so dismayed by the passing of Christmas as the Magi and the prophet Simeon, as least as the poet T. S. Eliot portrays them. In his poem “Journey of the Magi,” the Magi travel all night through the “worst time of year” with tired camels while missing the comforts […]

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The Masculinity and Mortification of Auden’s St. Joseph

December 16, AD2017 3 Comments
The Masculinity and Mortification of Auden’s St. Joseph

After two millennia, our veneration of Mary might make it somewhat difficult to imagine how St. Joseph might have seen her when he first heard of her pregnancy. Our familiarity with the joy of Christmas obscures the shock and embarrassment of what was surely seen to be a profound betrayal. Even the recounting of St. […]

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The New Demonology, Catholic Theology, and Western Movies

December 11, AD2017 0 Comments
The New Demonology, Catholic Theology, and Western Movies

While many viewers were confused by the movie’s odd mix of pseudo-science and action scenes, the core of the movie lies in a whole other realm: It is about the Luciferian philosophy of the occult elite and its futuristic pendant, transhumanism. (“Lucy”: A Movie About Luciferian Philosophy. The Vigilant Citizen. February 2015) Movies About the […]

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Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor: Blessed are Those Who Mourn

December 4, AD2017 2 Comments
Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor: Blessed are Those Who Mourn

Actions produce consequences which produce new worlds, and they’re all different. Where the bodies are buried in the desert, that is a certain world, where the bodies are left to simply evolve, that is another. And all these worlds, heretofore unknown to us, they must have always been there, have they not? The Counselor, written […]

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Book Review: Mike Aquilina’s “The Healing Imperative”

November 20, AD2017 0 Comments
Book Review: Mike Aquilina’s “The Healing Imperative”

Mike Aquilina is one of the most prolific Catholic authors today, having churned out over fifty books as well as numerous essays and articles. The title of his latest book is The Healing Imperative: The Early Church and the Invention of Medicine as We Know It (Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing, $18.95). In this slim […]

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Eat, Drink And Be Merry

November 10, AD2017 0 Comments
Eat, Drink And Be Merry

Eat Drink And Be Merry Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. There are several places in holy Scripture where this sentiment is expressed. The one that has been bouncing around my mind since I heard it at Sunday Mass a few weeks ago pertains to the parable of the rich man who […]

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Beauty: An Abundant, Impractical Encounter With God

November 2, AD2017 0 Comments
Beauty: An Abundant, Impractical Encounter With God

Being raised on a farm in rural South Dakota, I believe I understood simplicity and solitude from a young age. While my friends in town spent their summers together at the pool or on adventures, my summers were quieter, filled with reading and finding entertainment with my younger sister. Oddly, the beauty of where I […]

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The Poetry of Molly McCully Brown: A Theology of Broken Bodies

October 30, AD2017 1 Comment
The Poetry of Molly McCully Brown: A Theology of Broken Bodies

Molly McCully Brown‘s The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded is a magnificent collection of poems, depicting the experiences of profoundly disabled persons who, shunned by mainstream society, are institutionalized and hidden from view. These are people whose bodies fail them so thoroughly they seem less than human. For Brown, these profound disabilities reveal how […]

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Seeking Jesus: An Interview with Author Julie Davis

October 3, AD2017 0 Comments
Seeking Jesus: An Interview with Author Julie Davis

We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it. – Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water In her second […]

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A Baby’s Corpse: The Disingenuous Eucharist of “mother!”

October 2, AD2017 1 Comment
A Baby’s Corpse: The Disingenuous Eucharist of “mother!”

Darren Aronofsky’s film mother! starts out well enough, making masterful use of its setting and cinematography and centring on stellar performances from Jennifer Lawrence as Mother and Javier Bardem as her husband Him, a writer. And then it falls apart, climaxing with a woefully trite parody of the Mass, particularly as it is connected to […]

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Do Catholics Watch Film like Fundamentalists?

September 20, AD2017 0 Comments
Do Catholics Watch Film like Fundamentalists?

The silence of the Catholic critic is so often preferable to his attention. -Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being Too much Christian “criticism” of film revolves around tallies of bare boobs, f-words, and the like, or sounding the alarm at perceived hostilities against Christianity, but Larsen I respect for his willingness to let the filmmakers […]

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If You Like Game of Thrones You Will Really Like the Bible

September 16, AD2017 0 Comments
If You Like Game of Thrones You Will Really Like the Bible

What series am I describing? Murder. Kingdoms. Thrones. Vengeance. Games. The rise and the fall of civilizations. Swords. A cast of profoundly varied personalities and nuanced characteristics. Power struggles. Misguided ideals. Dominion. Plots and subplots and pretext and context. Multiple popular literary genres. An array of different languages, cultures, tribes, and legal systems. The intricacies […]

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The Young Pope: Popes Are People, Too

August 26, AD2017 0 Comments
The Young Pope: Popes Are People, Too

The Young Pope, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, is premised on what is apparently a radical idea: that popes might experience spiritual growth even during their pontificate. Unsettling Catholics expecting a pope with more certainty in his spiritual life and baffling secular critics who don’t know how to recognize or discuss a spiritual journey, […]

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The Problem with Poetry in Our Time

August 25, AD2017 4 Comments
The Problem with Poetry in Our Time

Why talk about poetry? It might not seem an urgent concern. It certainly isn’t a “hot-button issue.” Our thoughts, however, would be impoverished if we devoted them only to the latest controversy over Pope Francis, the new dismaying scandal, or whether our country will collapse. Even in harsh times, the things that make human life […]

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Sex, Desecration, and Shame in Terrence Malick’s Song to Song

July 21, AD2017 0 Comments
Sex, Desecration, and Shame in Terrence Malick’s Song to Song

As Roger Scruton says, “Sex is either consecration or desecration, with no neutral territory in between.” That’s essentially the thesis of Terrence Malick’s recent trilogy of films: To the Wonder, Knight of Cups, and now Song to Song. To the Wonder opens the trilogy by, in accordance with Pope Benedict XVI, emphasizing that the loves […]

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Artist Jonathan Byrne and The Face of Christ

June 26, AD2017 6 Comments
Artist Jonathan Byrne and The Face of Christ

Jonathan Byrne is a professional mid-career artist who lives in the coastal town of Blackrock in Dublin, Ireland. After many years of making images and exhibiting at home and abroad, he returned to a subject that has always enthralled him, the Face of Christ. The images, of which there are over 30 in different colours, […]

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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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In the Tangle of Our Minds: “Thoughtful Theism” by Fr. Andrew Younan

June 8, AD2017 0 Comments
In the Tangle of Our Minds: “Thoughtful Theism” by Fr. Andrew Younan

There are any number of reasons to believe that a God exists. But actually proving that God exists is much harder. And once you prove that a God exists, you still have to connect said God to the God of Christianity. Philosophy is hard mental work; most of the bad ideas driving our culture today […]

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Dali & Grunewald – Two Images of Crucifixion

May 17, AD2017 2 Comments
Dali & Grunewald – Two Images of Crucifixion

Two Images, One Lord It would be difficult to name a person who is the subject of more works of art than Jesus Christ. For each such work, in a very real sense, every painting, sculpture, drawing, carving, mural, and crucifix reveals an artist’s vision of Jesus. Salvador Dali painted a famous image of Jesus, […]

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