A Distinction of Loves

My sense is that agape and caritas have come to possess very similar, indeed all but identical, connotations. Etymologically, however, there remains a small, but perhaps significant, difference: the Latin caritas (n.) is cognate with carus (adj.), meaning “dear,...

Operative Absolutism

You’re right to suppose that Schuon’s views on the subject of abortion were consistent with the teaching of traditional Islam as to the moment of quickening—a teaching shared by Saint Thomas, unless I’m mistaken—though of course they were...

How Do You Explain Saint Anthony?

Needless to say, the claims of your son’s professor—that Nicaea was merely the scene of a political power-play and that the Christianity “invented” by Constantine and his henchmen was not, and is not, the only option—are far from...

Perichoretic Emptiness

Thank you for referring me to the review of this book: Mystics, by William Harmless, S. J. (Oxford, 2007). The problem, of course—or one problem—comes in the reviewer’s claim that “the Christian conception of knowing a personal God and the...

The Virtuous Circle

Self-discipline appears to be the root problem, and it obviously entails a sort of “vicious circle”: one wishes to be more disciplined, more strict with oneself, but in order for this to happen the wish must itself be transformed into effective action,...