Every semester, Clarifying Catholicism enjoys featuring its top articles of the term! There were many great ones to choose from, and we are happy to share them with you today! Without further ado, here are our top twenty articles from Spring 2020!
20. Jesus Christ: The Way, the Truth, and the Life (March 2020)
866 Views By Chris Centrella, Franciscan University of Steubenville
“Even as our world reels from the wound of sin, we know thThe Solemnity of All Saints commemorates those who have gone before us and are now in the presence of the living Christ forever and ever, eternally adoring the Divine Majesty, the Holy Trinity! “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple.” (Revelation 7:14-15). Saved by the grace of Christ Jesus, they are now in His presence “day and night,” with the Blessed Mother and all the angels!” Read More!
19. Why I, an Agnostic, Love the Latin Mass (August 2021)
888 Views By Jane Pilato, The Catholic University of America
“From 2009 to 2017 you would be hard pressed to not see me on the Altar at the earliest mass every Sunday morning. I was raised as a cradle Catholic, and from the Sunday after my First Communion, I was up on the Altar every week doing a silent dance with books and purificators, Holy Water and wine. Even when I stopped serving, I still attended a Catholic high school, singing every hymn I knew at the top of my lungs. Currently, I attend the Catholic University of America, where my late night walks often end in front of the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Catholicism has always been a part of my life, which is why it would come as a shock to many that I don’t identify as Catholic.” Read More!
18. Reflections on the Universal Call to Holiness (December 2020)
890 Views By Joseph Tuttle, Benedictine College
“The Catholic Church exhorts her children to be “Perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (RSV Matthew 5:48) This is commonly known as the universal call to holiness. This means that we must live “each moment according to the Gospel.” (Zia, 15) Modern society has a lack of spiritual maturity and lacks “an authentic vision of the importance of holiness of life.” (Zia, 16) Thus, unfortunately, the idea of holiness is merely an “old fashioned belief” in today’s secular world.” Read More!
17. The Holy Trinity: The Holiest Family (January 2018)
915 Views By Mitchell Brost
“We all know of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. However, it turns out that in our Catholic faith, there’s an even holier family: the Blessed Trinity. Unfortunately, the Trinity is also the deepest mystery of our faith. It is practically unmentioned in the Bible, and not many saints have written about it. In fact, there is a story of how St. Augustine had a dream the night before he was supposed to speak about the Trinity. In the dream, he was walking on a beach, and saw a young boy digging a hole in the sand. The boy would grab a seashell, fill it up from the waves, and then pour it into the hole. Augustine approached the boy and asked him what he was doing. “I’m trying to empty the ocean into my hole,” the boy replied. When Augustine responded that that was impossible, the boy answered, “Not as impossible as you trying to explain the Holy Trinity.” Obviously, I’m no way near as intelligent or educated as St. Augustine, but I will still attempt to shine some light on the subject of the Trinity. The big focus when considering the Trinity is this: what does it mean to be Catholic?” Read More!
16. Reflections on the Ancient Pre-1955 Holy Week (April 2020)
942 Views By Nick Jones, University of Rhode Island
“How great is the providence of our loving God! Even though the pandemic disrupted my plans to attend the various services of Holy Week in person, the Lord allowed me to experience something almost as great. I would have given an arm and a leg to be able to get to any Mass just on Easter Sunday, but, being locked down at home, live-streaming was the next best thing. I had originally been planning to attend only Palm Sunday and Good Friday in the ancient Roman Rite, as it existed prior to the 1955 reforms of Pope Pius XII, while participating in the other ceremonies with my university chaplaincy and home parish. The closure of churches enabled me, however, to participate, albeit from afar, in the liturgies of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday in the ancient rite. ” Read More!
15. The Jesuits Sank the Titanic? (April 2020)
972 Views By Paul Martin, Creighton University
“The Jesuits, short for the Society of Jesus, are a worldwide conspiracy of priests and brothers, have been secretly directing the tides of history since they were founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534. Always trying to increase the wealth and power of their order, they have founded hundreds of schools, ostensibly to provide a strong Catholic education, often as a missionary presence, but really to train and indoctrinate politicians, popes, and polymaths who secretly orchestrate wars, elections, and coups to suit their nefarious ends. ” Read More!
14. The Good King: Louis XVI as a Religious Figure and Martyr (January 2021)
1,053 Views By Meagan Montarani, Christendom College
“To quote the Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc: “Every major question in history is a religious question. It has more effect in molding life than nationalism or a common language.” Historians writing about any era or event, must keep this fact in mind. When it comes to a historical assessment of the King of France during the French Revolution, Louis XVI, this historical interpretation is all the more crucial. Many historians seem to miss the mark, especially when forming a narrative on the life and death of Louis. Historians have largely ignored him as a religious figure or even worse, have maligned him as a weak, indecisive king who was destined to be exterminated at the dawn of modernity. This brief essay seeks to not only restore the reputation of this heroic man, who met his death with the spiritual courage of the martyrs of old, but to also argue that the wrong interpretation of his life and death results in an erroneous view of modernity. If the view is taken of the Good King that he was a tyrant, needing to be exterminated so that “free democracy” could finally reign after throwing off the shackles of organized religion, then modernity will seem quite luminous. The mass secularization and rejection of dogma results in the dawn of the Rights of Man and the victory of reason over faith. In the words of St. Just at Louis’ trial: “The Revolution begins when the tyrant ends.”” Read More!
13. The Real Presence and the Early Church (December 2020)
1,081 Views By Emily Capps, Franciscan University of Steubenville
“One of the core beliefs of the Catholic Church that differs from other Christian denominations is the belief in the Real Presence of the Eucharist— that the bread and wine consecrated at Mass truly become the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. The Church believes this based on the Sacred Tradition passed down through the popes and bishops of the Church from the apostles, and the writings of the early Church Fathers confirm that this is what the Church has believed since apostolic times. In the first three centuries alone, Church Fathers like St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin Martyr, and St. Irenaeus of Smyrna, who demonstrated through their lives, martyrdom, and close association to the apostles to be trustworthy, wrote definitively of the Eucharist as the body and blood of Christ.” Read More!
12. Of Nephilim and Heroes of Renown (June 2020)
1,236 Views By Liam O’Toole, The Catholic University of America
““Now giants were upon the earth in those days.” This scripture passage, from the Douay-Rheims translation of Genesis 6:4, has always struck me, an eyebrow-raising passage that seems to abruptly come out over nowhere. This is one example of the value of reading some more traditional translations of scripture (the King James Version reads the same way); while some modern translations instead use the more accurate translation– Nephilim– it is the word “giants” which jumps out at readers who are paying attention and immediately piques their interest. Certainly that was the case for me when I first read this translation for the first time; previously, I had sort of skipped over the part about the “Nephilim”, whoever they were. But this version is useful primarily because it emphasizes the strangeness of this passage– the opening section of Genesis 6, verses 1-4, which precedes the more straightforward flood narrative. Lest anyone think that “Giants” is the only odd part of this passage, the narrative covers apparent divine-human breeding, and (after the giants are mentioned) talks of great heroes and warriors. This is juxtaposed, intentionally or unintentionally, with the flood narrative as earlier mentioned, a story which is built on the wickedness of mankind, of which Noah and his family are an exception. While it is easy to pass over this passage, it warrants a deeper look, and I sought to take a look at the reason for this juxtaposition, operating under the assumption that there is one to be found. I hope to discover some greater meaning that could illuminate both texts: the flood, and the mythical story of sons of Gods and giants.” Read More!
11. Who Wrote the Bible? (March 2021)
1,225 Views By Various
“The following is a point-counterpoint debate about the authorship of scripture. We are proud to feature three perspectives from Patrick Murray (University of Alabama), Gideon Lazar (The Catholic University of America), and Will Deatherage (The Catholic University of America).” Read More!
10. Vatican II and Divine Mercy: Why I Appreciate Pope Francis’s Decision on the Latin Mass (July 2021)
1,450 Views By Chris Centrella, Franciscan University of Steubenville
“I would like to begin this article by acknowledging my fellow Catholics who have a strong devotion to the Roman Missal prior to 1970, while at the same time are fully obedient to the teachings of the Church, including the Second Vatican Council, and to the Magisterium of all the popes, through our beloved Pope Francis. I know that some of you love the quiet reverence of the Latin Mass and the deep prayer that this reverence can help lead the faithful into, when they come with the right disposition and an open heart. As someone who is very fond of holy, majestic praise and worship music, it would be very difficult for me if the guitar and various styles of Christian music that are appropriate for Mass, were suddenly banned from the liturgy. So, I can feel the pain of some of you, who are completely faithful to the Church and have a love for our Holy Father, who though imperfect like us, represents Christ and is trying his best to guide the Church during these chaotic times. I understand that this might be really difficult for you. I just want to acknowledge that.” Read More!
9. Henry VIII vs. Thomas More (April 2020)
1,627 Views By Katie Hugo, Franciscan University of Steubenville
“Sir Saint Thomas More was an English lawyer, author and statesman, a Renaissance humanist, and a Catholic saint. However, he is most known for being the Lord Chancellor of England from October 1529 to May 1532. More resigned his position in 1532, because King Henry VIII claimed spiritual authority over the Catholic Church in England. Henry VIII wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon, and marry Anne Boleyn. The Pope did not allow this, and it led to Henry’s claim of spiritual authority. Eventually, More was publicly executed for his steadfastness to the Truth, refusing to approve of Henry’s marriage and claim to spiritual authority.” Read More!
8. Why were the Early Christians Accused of Cannibalism? (April 2021)
2,095 Views By Jackson Morgan, Auburn University
“It is a historical fact that in the Church’s early years, Christians were persecuted vigorously by the Roman Empire. In justifying this persecution, the Romans made all sorts of charges against the Christian community. We learn from the second-century Christian apologists Justin Martyr and Athenagoras that the three main accusations levied against Christians were atheism, incest, and cannibalism. The charge of atheism came from their refusal to worship the Roman pantheon of “gods” (for more on this, see Justin Martyr’s First Apology [Chapter 5 & 6]). We also know the charge of incest originated from the Christian concept of being united as “one family in Christ”, which meant husbands and wives would refer to each other as “brothers and sisters in Christ.” To an outsider, this could easily come off the wrong way. The third charge, that of cannibalism, was particularly fascinating to me as I was learning about the early Church. Why were they accused of cannibalism? And on what grounds? Over time, it became abundantly clear to me that they were accused of cannibalism because of their belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist; their belief that they actually ate the flesh of Christ and drank His Blood. As Romans overheard Christians talking about consuming the flesh and blood of Christ, it would have been incredibly easy to misinterpret the act as cannibalism.” Read More!
2,610 Views By TJ Armendariz, Franciscan University of Steubenville
“It took me almost sixteen years to accept that I experience same-sex attractions. While I have always had a measure of fascination with the male body, I had never thought much of it until the end of seventh grade when my parents caught me viewing gay pornographic images. Their inquiry into my actions included asking if I was “gay,” which I was not yet sure of, yet out of stubbornness I refused to accept the possibility that it was true. My pornographic habits started as a misguided attempt at satisfying curiosity, which was rapidly sexualized and, though my parents tried to stop it, became a full-blown addiction. By the end of ninth grade, despite the fact that I was frequently viewing gay porn and finding myself attracted to other guys at school, I still did not accept the possibility that I was gay.” Read More!
6. The Rosary: Making the Most of this Powerful Weapon (October 2020)
2,694 Views By Catherine Stodola, University of Alabama
“With all the trials facing the world today, it is easy to feel lost or helpless. People want to help improve things but are unsure how to make a difference. Unfortunately, no one can singlehandedly cure COVID-19, end abortion, put a stop to racism, or completely fix any other major issues. Most are not even in positions to directly work with any efforts in these matters, but one thing anyone, regardless of age, wealth, or connections, can do is pray, specifically pray the Rosary.” Read More!
5. The Story of a Scrupe (September 2020)
3,048 Views By Paul B.
“In ancient Rome, as part of their state religion, the Romans would offer lengthy sacrificial events, often lasting around three hours! If the people messed up even one small part of the ritual, they started the entire ceremony over again. An imperfect ceremony greatly upset their gods, or so they believed. While I am obviously not a pagan, I think there is something to learn from this.” Read More!
4. Do Catholics Worship Saints? (March 2020)
4,706 Views By Hunter Weitzel, Creighton University
“As a child, I was raised in a Protestant household. My family and I believed the common misconceptions that Catholics worshiped the Virgin Mary, the saints, and icons of them. When I was converting to Catholicism during my teenage years, I contested these teachings because in my world, Catholics were breaking the 1 st Commandment, “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” I was hesitant to join the Catholic Church because of these simple, yet extremely common, misconceptions.” Read More!
3. Ten Growing Catholic Blogs You Should Check Out (March 2020)
4,989 Views By Faith Kowitz, Franciscan University of Steubenville
“Here at Clarifying Catholicism, we enjoy promoting and featuring great work from all corners of the internet. Today, we would like to feature ten Catholic growing blogs that we thought deserved a shoutout! But first, we would like extend our thanks and appreciation to two larger websites you may have heard about…” Read More!
2. Catholic Response to the Unholy (April 2021)
5,724 Views By Ambrose Rucker, Christendom College
“On March eighth, Sony announced that its new movie, The Unholy, would be released on Good Friday. This date was chosen deliberately as a direct contrast to the sacredness of the Triduum weekend. The movie’s own website points out: “On the holiest weekend of the year comes ‘The Unholy.’ The plot, as we know from the trailer and released synopsis is based on a young half-deaf girl who is supposedly visited by the Virgin Mary, and afterwards is able to hear perfectly and perform miracles at will. As a result, she gathers a worldwide following and a retired journalist decides to do a story on the girl to try to revisit his career.” Read More!
1. Why I Converted from Orthodoxy (April 2019)
9,950 Views By Gideon Lazar, The Catholic University of America
” The day this was posted, I was received into the Catholic Church. Many of my Orthodox friends are likely shocked at my decision, so I wrote this article to explain my reasoning.” Read More!