• 10 articles

Dominion, Domination, And Your Need For Vulnerable Brotherhood

This article is an adaptation from Leaving Boyhood Behind (OSV, 2019). Genesis, the beginning of the story of salvation, can be understood as a battle over the meaning of power. God created the entire world and then sets man “in dominion” over it. This world is not democratic but is assigned rulers. The fish and birds rule the sea and air,...

07 20 2021

A Story Of A Fallen Monk (And Faith Vs. Pride)

In Father Sergius, a short story by Leo Tolstoy, a wealthy Russian nobleman enters a monastery under questionable motives, but ended up genuinely striving for holiness and virtue, and even finding that the battle for sanctity was worth it! Despite his progress, he constantly felt weak in his faith, and unceasingly begged God to grant more. He was ...

07 15 2021

Humble As Dirt

The word humility comes from the word humus, which means earth, or in particular the under-earth. The dark soft spongy earth without any plant decay still in it. Our word humility can make us think of the words at Ash Wednesday, “You are dust and to dust you shall return.” It is said that humility is the first of the virtues, because it situ...

06 28 2021

We Are The Faithful, Not The Worthy

The traditional ending to the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) is: V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. I’ve always been struck by this prayer’s ability to remind us of the surety of Christ’s promises, but also the poverty of the human soul. It says “that we may be made worthy,...

05 25 2021

Lust, Humility, and Severed Fingers

In Father Sergius, a short story by Leo Tolstoy, a wealthy Russian nobleman enters a monastery under questionable motives, but ended up genuinely striving for holiness and virtue, and even finding that the battle for sanctity was worth it! Despite his progress, he constantly felt weak in his faith, and unceasingly begged God to grant more. He was h...

03 26 2018

On Happiness and Humility

Towards the conclusion of class this past semester, I posed to my students a question that attempts to relate desire with happiness. I began by asking them to list desires or inclinations that they thought all humans possessed. To assist their reflections, I told them to start with more basic desires, ones that humans share with the rest of the cre...

12 22 2017

I Yelled, Then Repented: Here’s How My Kids Responded

In our home we repent.  Every night.  We ask God to enlighten our conscience, we pause, and then there’s a moment where someone can say, “I did such and such today to you, will you forgive me?”  The answer is not, “its ok,” but, “I forgive you.” This daily act of humility doesn’t always go well, but by and large it does.  My ...

12 12 2017

Humility & Study

Men who take on the Exodus 90 challenge are urged to make study a central part of their lives starting at “day 91.”  This is very fitting—because Exodus 90, if done rightly, is humbling.  Through the experience of discomfort in ascetical practices, struggling to be fervent in prayer, and the challenges associated with fraternity, men who do...

10 09 2017

Set Your Sights on Great Things: Pray for Humility

St. Thomas Aquinas describes the task of humility: “to temper and restrain the mind, lest it tend to high things immoderately” (Summa theologiae, II-II, q. 161, a. 1). It is truly one of the most important virtues. All sin is pride against God and a denial of humility. Therefore, our obedience to God must be a humble and loving submission to H...

08 14 2017

No Humility, No Glory, No Sonship

The Humility and Glory of Being a Son Boys come out of women.  Mothers after all are the ones that give birth.  Coming out of them, separated away from them, is a priestly reality.  We are separated out of women (and childhood for that matter) in order to be men, called to lay down our life so that the promise and hope that women and children r...

02 06 2017

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