St Thérèse of Lisieux and Reception of the Eucharist

I won’t draw any conclusions from the passage that follows but will leave the words of the saint to speak for themselves: “The day after my first Communion was still one of happiness, but overcast with melancholy. Marie had given me such a lovely dress, and I had lots of other presents, but these thingsContinue reading “St Thérèse of Lisieux and Reception of the Eucharist”

Edmund Campion and Evelyn Waugh

The novel is the genre of our age, which means that other types of writing are often quietly ignored. How often does Waugh’s wonderful biography of Edmund Campion appear on reading lists alongside Brideshead Revisited and The Sword of Honour trilogy, for example? However, it was not all that long ago that literature meant soContinue reading “Edmund Campion and Evelyn Waugh”

St Nicholas Owen: Priest-Hole Maker

St Nicholas Owen was a truly extraordinary figure. Born into a devout Catholic family in c.1562, he became a carpenter, rather than a priest like both his brothers. During the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I, he created hundreds of priest-hides (or priest-holes) in the homes of recusant families around the country.Continue reading “St Nicholas Owen: Priest-Hole Maker”

The Catechism on Divine Pedagogy

52 God, who “dwells in unapproachable light”, wants to communicate his own divine life to the men he freely created, in order to adopt them as his sons in his only-begotten Son. By revealing himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to him, and of knowing him and of loving him far beyondContinue reading “The Catechism on Divine Pedagogy”

Teaching us gradually – an extract from one of my books

In The Creed in Slow Motion, Ronald Knox points out that “if it was an astonishing thing that our Lord should die, equally it was an astonishing thing that he should stay dead”.[1] We take it for granted that he stayed dead for three days but it is certainly not an event that could possiblyContinue reading “Teaching us gradually – an extract from one of my books”

Torn between anguish and hope

“Contemplated in the episodes of the Gospels and in the reality which she already possesses in the City of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary offers a calm vision and a reassuring word to modern man, torn as he often is between anguish and hope, defeated by the sense of his own limitations and assailed byContinue reading “Torn between anguish and hope”

The Second Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians

“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. “Why, we felt that we had received the sentence of death …” So said St Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, but heContinue reading “The Second Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians”

Maximilian Kolbe: The Saint of Auschwitz

The story of St Maximilian Kolbe’s extraordinary martyrdom in Auschwitz is well known. Ten prisoners were chosen for execution at random because a prisoner had escaped. As one of the men was called out of line, he broke down and pleaded with the guards not to take him because he had a wife and twoContinue reading “Maximilian Kolbe: The Saint of Auschwitz”