Whether the Congregation Should Say the Part of the Crowd during the Passion Narratives

Throughout the United States it is common in Novus Ordo liturgies to proclaim the Gospel for Palm Sunday and Good Friday with contributions from the priest, a second reader who is the narrator, a third reader who voices other characters in the Gospel, and the congregation who says the parts of the crowd. Growing up with this format may lead one to conclude this practice is appropriate because the readings are long and it helps keep the congregation engaged or fosters “active” participation in the Mass. Though these are well-intentioned reasons, this method of proclaiming the Gospel appears in discontinuity with the liturgical tradition and the current norms. Continue reading


Should the Sixth Petition of the Our Father Be Translated as “Do not Let Us Fall?”

I am grateful to Catholic World Report for publishing an article I wrote on whether it is best to translate the sixth petition of the Our Father as “do not lead us” or “do not let us fall.” You can read the article HERE.

The article began as a Facebook comment and evolved to a blog post which I submitted to CWR instead. I have reproduced the unrefined Facebook comment below (click “Read More” if you are on the homepage) followed by a comment from another person because there are a few elements I could not incorporate in the CWR article that I may return to later. Fr. Z suggests looking at the Catechism’s explanation and Fr. Hunwicke offers some interesting information on how the Our Father was viewed eschatologically in its fourth petition. Also, it appears the Italian Bishop’s Conference is changing their translation of the sixth petition. Continue reading

Review of “God is not Nice”

Ulrich Lehner. God is Not Nice: Rejecting Pop Culture Theology and Discovering the God Worth Living For. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2017 (ISBN 978-1594717482) xii + 147 pp., Pb. $16.95. Available on Amazon HERE.

“This is a God who invites you on a great adventure that will change your life and who dares you to attempt great things. In the words of Mr. Beaver from The Chronicles of Narnia about Aslan, ‘He’s not safe, but good.'”

Ulrich Lehner’s book, God is not Nice, is a must read for everyone today interested in how we have exchanged the God of the Bible for a counterfeit.[^1] Lehner acutely points out that we have God has been made into a sweet sentimental grandpa figure who pats us on the head to assure us we are still good when we do something wrong but without demanding any change in our lives. This god is predictable, unchallenging, pleasant, and confortable; in a nutshell, this is a nice god. Lehner dispels the myth of the nice god by tracing these philosophical and theological influences on our conception of God, particularly those originating from the period of the Enlightenment. Continue reading

A Refutation of the MacArthur Bible Commentary’s Assertion that the Rock in Matthew 16:18 is a “Boulder-Like Truth”

The rejection of papal authority by Protestant revolters of the 16th century has been transmitted to this day and influences how contemporary Protestant communities interpret Peter’s status in Matthew 16:17–19. The MacArthur Bible Commentary, by John MacArthur, is a popular resource containing arguments used by some Protestants to deny Peter any special role in Matthew 16:18. In the biblical text, Jesus asks His disciples what they think about Him and Peter confesses that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus responds, Continue reading

Review of Catechesi Tradendae

John Paul II. Catechesi Tradendae. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute, 2014 (ISBN 978-1-62282-238-6) x + 132 pp., Pb. $7.99. Available on Amazon HERE.

This first (Post-Synodal) Apostolic Exhortation of Pope St. John Paul II urges everyone to make the task of catechesis a high priority in the Church to spur a catechetical renewal strengthening the faith of Christians. This exhortation communicates the work of the fourth general assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 1977, during the reign of Pope Paul VI. Though this exhortation was given in 1979, much of its content is still relevant today and it contains important principles every catechist should follow in their work. Continue reading