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All Christians respected the authority of Scripture, but already in the fifth century the Church was riven by conflicting interpretations of Scripture. A monk in Gaul, Vincent of Lerins, developed a formula to determine true doctrine from false. "All possible care must be taken," he said, "that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere,…
 
Film critic and deacon Steven Greydanus joins the show to discuss one of the best movies about a saint ever made, Monsieur Vincent. The film depicts St. Vincent de Paul's invention of the organized charity we take for granted today, and his struggle to stay personally close to the poor despite the practical need to court the favor of the rich to su…
 
“Whoever, then, appears in his own opinion to have comprehended the Sacred Scriptures, or even some part of them, yet does not build up with that knowledge the two-fold love of God and his neighbor, has not yet known as he ought to know.” Over one year ago, Catholic Culture Audiobooks began a seven-part reading series of St. Augustine’s great work …
 
In this outtake from episode 113, Thomas asks writer and editor Joshua Hren whether the turn to realism in modern fiction, a historical anomaly, is also a problem from a religious and philosophical point of view. Episode 113, Can a Novelist "Create" a Saint? https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/113-can-novelist-create-saint-joshua-hren/ This …
 
“Therefore, dear son, the first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.” St. Louis IX became the King of France at the age of twelve. A kind husband, a father of eleven children, and at the same time a strict ascetic, Louis’ conduct as ki…
 
James and Thomas, with the help of filmmaker and critic Nathan Douglas, tackle Alain Cavalier's 1986 film Thérèse, an unconventional portrait of the beloved French saint known as the Little Flower. It gives them a chance to ask the question: What makes for a great saint movie? One of the great strengths of the film is actress Catherine Mouchet's am…
 
In his new book How to Read (and Write) Like a Catholic, fiction writer and editor Joshua Hren lays out an approach to Catholic literature that spans all the way from St. John Henry Newman called “a record of man in rebellion” to the other end of the continuum, which is a representation of the Beatific Vision. Topics discussed include: How importan…
 
Cyril's uncle was the notorious Theophilus, a ruthless and fiercely competitive churchman — and the old manhood handpicked his nephew to be his successor as bishop of Alexandria. Cyril learned from Theophilus how to orchestrate an international incident and carry it through to the victorious end. But he was very much his own man: a towering intelle…
 
“We beg, O Augustus, we do not battle. We are not afraid, but we are begging. It befits Christians to hope for the tranquility of peace and not to check the steadfastness of faith and truth when faced with danger of death.” Alongside Gregory the Great, Augustine of Hippo, and Jerome, Ambrose of Milan has long been considered one of the four great D…
 
It's remarkable that as recently as 1986, we had a hit movie, with A-list stars (Jeremy Irons, Robert De Niro) and an A-list composer (Ennio Morricone), that takes a nuanced look at a controversial historical subject, European Christian missionary activity. The Mission could not be made today. The Mission was written by Robert Bolt (A Man for All S…
 
"Now in these dread latter days of the old violent beloved U.S.A. and of the Christ-forgetting Christ-haunted death-dealing Western world I came to myself in a grove of young pines and the question came to me: has it happened at last?" So wonders Dr. Tom More, a descendant of the great English martyr, in the first sentence of Walker Percy's third n…
 
The great ascetic movement was in its first years of explosive growth when John Cassian journeyed from West to East. He visited the communities of monks and hermits in Palestine and Egypt. Though he sought a quiet life, he got caught up in international intrigue and adventure. In his later years he drew together the memories of his years in the des…
 
“The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: So it must be restored.” Edmund Campion was born on January 25, 1540, into an England awash with religious turmoil. Once expected to become an apologist for the Church of England, Campion would instead flee to France, where he was reco…
 
In this bonus episode originally from the Catholic Culture Podcast, CatholicCulture.org’s director of podcasts, Thomas V. Mirus, interviews voice actor James T. Majewski (Catholic Culture Audiobooks) and author Mike Aquilina (Way of the Fathers) about how they make their shows and the effect reading and studying the Church Fathers has had on them p…
 
Today we discuss one of the greatest Arthurian tales, told by one of the most virtuosic poets in the history of English, an anonymous priest of the 14th century. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight tells us a lot about courtesy, original sin, and grace, all bound up in an enormously entertaining story about a giant, decapitation-surviving green knight.…
 
“Surely the world is impregnated with the elements of preternatural evil, which ever and anon, in unhealthy seasons, give lowering and muttering tokens of the wrath to come!” This is the second in a series of four lectures by Newman on The Patristical Idea of Antichrist, the first lecture of which we released back in January. Whereas the first lect…
 
This episode contains clips of highlights from episodes 38-41 and 44 of the Catholic Culture Podcast. 38 - Garrigou-Lagrange, The Sacred Monster of Thomism - Matthew Minerd https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/episode-38-sacred-monster-matthew-k-minerd/ 39 - Composing Liturgical Music That's Noble, Accessible...and Sacred - Paul Jernberg http…
 
The podcast returns to yet another episode from Dekalog, the series of Polish short films inspired by the Ten Commandments. Part seven, based on the commandment "Thou shalt not steal", is about a young woman who kidnaps her own daughter. It asks the question: can you steal something that belongs to you? But it also asks: what happens when motherhoo…
 
Prudentius is the Latin poet most praised from the ancient Church. Phenomenally creative, he invented new poetic forms and genres—and established artistic standards that would hold through the Middle Ages. Scholars as varied as C.S. Lewis and Robert Wilken call him “the first Christian poet,” the first great representative of a real Christian liter…
 
“One that lives by other's breath, / Dieth also by his death.” In honor of the recent feast of St. Mary Magdalene, we’re returning to the poetry of the English Jesuit martyr, St. Robert Southwell, whom we’ve featured on this podcast before. In this episode, we’ll be hearing his poem “Mary Magdalene’s Complaint at Christ’s Death”, a meditation upon …
 
In this interview originally from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, Thomas Mirus and James Majewski interview Sixtine Leon-Dufour, writer of the new Lourdes documentary, one of the best religious films in recent years. She discusses: -Her background caring for the sick at Lourdes -How she convinced the Lourdes authorities to give secular filmmak…
 
A Quiet Place Part II is a more straightforward horror film than its predecessor, with less emotional weight, but it delivers on well-executed suspense and action while faithfully carrying forward the first film's themes of themes of family and self-sacrifice. Thomas and James discuss the series' remarkable use of silence to enhance the dramatic we…
 
Noelle Mering joins the show to discuss her new book Awake, Not Woke: A Christian Response to the Cult of Progressive Ideology. Topics discussed include: The core principles of woke ideology: group over person, will over reason, power over authority Proof that ideology is what really matters to the woke, more than membership in a victim group How F…
 
Paulinus was tagged as the most promising poet of his generation—by the most famous poet of the preceding generation. He was supposed to carry the torch forward for his art. And he did, but not in the way the old school had wanted or expected. Instead he fashioned a new esthetic for the empire, a deeply Christian appropriation of the old classical …
 
“The axe of the Gospel must now be laid at the roots of the barren tree and the tree must be delivered to the flames with its unfruitful leaves, so that he who has never learned to speak might learn at length to hold his tongue.” Throughout his life, St. Jerome was never far from controversy. Infamously irascible, Jerome often found himself in fier…
 
James and Thomas interview Sixtine Leon-Dufour, writer of the new Lourdes documentary, one of the best religious films in recent years. She discusses: Her background caring for the sick at Lourdes How she convinced the Lourdes authorities to give secular filmmakers unprecedented shooting access to this holy place How a documentary about a Marian pi…
 
Claire Kretzschmar, a dancer and soloist with the New York City Ballet, joins the show to discuss her path to becoming a professional dancer, the challenges and joys of being a Catholic in the ballet world, and the spiritual value of dance. She also discusses a beautiful dance film which she choreographed for the NYC Ballet this year, and the Catho…
 
No sane person ever proposed John Chrysostom as a model of diplomacy. His name means "Golden Mouth" and reflects his eloquence. His words, however, proved his undoing when he chose to preach a word of criticism against the Empress Eudoxia. He soon found himself battling for his position as bishop and then for his life. LINKS Works by John Chrysosto…
 
A new documentary on Lourdes, originally released in France in 2019, is now in theaters in the US. It is intensely moving and one of the best religious films in recent years. Written by a Catholic who used to care for the sick at Lourdes, it is an inside look at the spiritual but also deeply human needs and aspirations that lead people to this plac…
 
In this bonus episode originally from the Catholic Culture Podcast, CatholicCulture.org’s director of podcasts, Thomas V. Mirus, interviews voice actor James T. Majewski (Catholic Culture Audiobooks) and author Mike Aquilina (Way of the Fathers) about how they make their shows and the effect reading and studying the Church Fathers has had on them p…
 
Thomas is joined by Catholic filmmaker Nathan Douglas to discuss Walker Percy's first novel, The Moviegoer. They examine the malaise-ridden protagonist Binx Bolling's "search" for meaning, which he ultimately finds through responsibility: not the responsibility urged by respectable "values", but that urged by love. They also look at how Binx search…
 
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