Persevering to the End

Dear students, At this time of year, the weather begins to change, the time changes, and we begin to think about the holidays.  While all of this is good, we are also tempted to stop working, which is bad. These are the times that separate the great students from ordinary kids.  Ordinary kids are always looking for an excuse take a break.  They do not live like people who believe they receive their life and health by God, to use for His glory, but as if these things are their right, to use as they please.  They have selfish desires … Continue

The Danger of Self-Contradiction

For Republicans, there are many positives heading into the mid-terms, but the biggest obstacle to Republican progress is the self-contradiction that arises during the party’s emotional moments, when it forgets that the cameras are rolling and shows signs that its motives aren’t pure. The illustrator Phil Hands captures this problem well in his recent cartoon (right). Americans are currently bored by their material prosperity because they have no transcendent mission to pursue.  This is, of course, owed to their abandonment of the Gospel, which sets the limits on our disagreements and reminds us that we will never be happy in … Continue

Maxims for the Direction of a Soul

by St. Alphonsus Liguori To desire ardently to increase in the love of Jesus Christ. Often to make acts of love towards Jesus Christ. Immediately on waking, and before going to sleep, to make an act of love, seeking always to unite your own will to the will of Jesus Christ. Often to meditate on his Passion. Always to ask Jesus Christ for his love. To communicate often, and many times in the day to make spiritual Communions. Often to visit the Most Holy Sacrament. Every morning to receive from the hands of Jesus Christ himself your own cross. To … Continue

Is Religious Life The Answer?

“A good conscience and a holy life is better than all.” St. Thomas a Kempis This quote is one that you should memorize and say to yourself again and again, every day.  There is nothing in this world that is better for you than a good conscience and a holy life.  A college degree is not  better.  A nice car is not better.  A beautiful wife or handsome husband is not better.  A nice house is not better.  A successful business is not better.  A vacation in the most beautiful place on earth is not better.  Nothing you can ever … Continue

Weightlifting and Fitness

This may seem like a strange subject for me to write about since I’m not the greatest example of physical fitness, but I believe that my experience in these areas may be helpful to Catholic families trying to find a balance in our society. My Wife and I My wife had no background in sports or fitness and has none today.  She’s been like that since I met her in high school.  She a beautiful, healthy woman, bore ten healthy children and is a hard worker who has no problem with farm and garden work, but her interest in sports … Continue

Translation Exercises – Important

Dear students, There is simple but important change I need to make in the way we write our translation exercises, which are, of course, one of the most important tasks to do in our studies. In our Latin translation exercises, I have always taught students to set English articles in brackets to mark that they are not actually found in the Latin text.  We have written translations as follows: IN PRINCIPIO in [the] beginning  In the new exams that I will be posting this year, we cannot use brackets when answering fill-in questions.  So, from now on, we will mark … Continue

How to Read the Bible

The Bible is a Catholic book, but it’s 1000 pages thick and infinitely profound.  As families get ready to get back to school, one of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How should we study the Bible?” Catholic writers and conference speakers say alot on the subject, but the fact that almost no Catholics study the Bible regularly proves that their advice isn’t working too well.  It doesn’t help to send people to papal encyclicals or try and sell books about how to read the Bible.  What Catholic families need is practical help actually reading the Bible, consistently and … Continue

The Closed Watch

In his book “On the Evolution of Physics”, Einstein says: “In our endeavor to understand reality, we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch. He sees the face and the moving hands, even hears its ticking, but he has no way of opening the case.” Upon reading this, we might initially feel that it provides a clever illustration of the challenge of the work that scientists seek to do.  However, if we think a little more about the illustration, we find that this isn’t anything at all like man’s actual situation. First of … Continue

Seneca on the True Liberal Arts

“You have been wishing to know my views with regard to liberal studies. My answer is this: I respect no study, and deem no study good, which results in money-making.  Such studies are profit-bringing occupations, useful only in so far as they give the mind a preparation and do not engage it permanently. One should linger upon them only so long as the mind can occupy itself with nothing greater; they are our apprenticeship, not our real work. Hence you see why “liberal studies” are so called; it is because they are studies worthy of a free-born gentleman. But there … Continue