Author Archive for Philip Primeau

Lenten Reflection: What Is Salvation?
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Lenten Reflection: What Is Salvation?

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Shortly before his martyrdom, St. Paul penned a letter to his friend Timothy. The great apostle seems to have known that death was near, and his bittersweet words are imbued with a sense of urgency. St. Paul comforts and commends his young protégé, while exhorting him to sacrifice. “Do not be ashamed of the testimony […]

On Eucharistic Existence
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On Eucharistic Existence

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The death of Jesus Christ—the liturgy par excellence, the supreme oblation and fulfillment of Israel’s sacrificial system—occurred outside the holy precincts of the temple, thus demolishing the rigid dichotomy between the sacred and the profane. The Christian knows no “temple” but his body, wherein the Spirit dwells individually; and the church, wherein the Spirit dwells […]

A Great Mystery: Salvation Appears in the Jordan
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A Great Mystery: Salvation Appears in the Jordan

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When Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” This […]

Catholics and the Living Word
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Catholics and the Living Word

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Communion with Christ in the eucharist is the greatest privilege and sweetest joy of Catholic life. However, we must not allow this heavenly banquet to displace the other feast to which we are called: that of the Word. The Scriptures are, in their own way, heavenly food, and we must relish them with all due […]

Poem: "In the Flesh"
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Poem: “In the Flesh”

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In the Flesh Tonight is the night of mystery, Mystery of mysteries; In the silence and dark, Light Leaps down to earth; In virgin womb, the Seed is sown. Woman has become a temple, Glory dwells within; A creature carries the Creator, Enfolding the Eternal; Even angels pause and tremble. The kernel of the Christ, […]

Love in a Fallen World
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Love in a Fallen World

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Defenders of homosexuality and proponents of so-called gay marriage often accuse Christians of hypocrisy by juxtaposing our commitment to “traditional morality,” as it is called today, with the dominical command to love one’s neighbor. Such an accusation, aired in a very public forum, was recently cause for considerable discussion at my place of work. I was surprised, […]

In the Trenches: The Mother of Life Center
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In the Trenches: The Mother of Life Center

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This article marks the beginning of the “In the Trenches” series, which examines the efforts of average Catholics to combat the culture of death. If you have a story to share, a victory to highlight, or a promising pro-life project, e-mail Philip Primeau at (Enable Javascript to see the email address). Although the fight to […]

Becoming Christ
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Becoming Christ

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“Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ Himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ.” This exuberant declaration, bold bordering on outrageous, comes not from some starry-eyed New Age huckster, but from a pillar of Catholic […]

Created for Immortality
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Created for Immortality

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“God did not make death, Neither does He have pleasure over the destruction of the living. For He created all things that they might exist, And the generations of the world so they might be preserved For there was no poison of death in them, Nor was the reign of Hades on the earth. For […]

The God Who Emptied Himself Out
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The God Who Emptied Himself Out

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“Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Savior” (Isaiah 45:15). Man is haughty and prideful, and in his conceit he constructs deities to suit his temperament: deities regal and terrible, blazing with fierce glory and swollen with righteous strength. It is not therefore surprising that so many fail to […]

Poem: "Thrice Holy"
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Poem: “Thrice Holy”

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Thrice Holy In the name of God ever-living . Father of swirling atoms, Quasars and supernovae . in the cool loam, creeping worms, Crabs a-scuttle in the surf . high trees with branches in low clouds, Man and the flesh of his flesh . woman with suckling babe. In the name of God ever-fertile . […]

Of Art and Trousered Apes
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Of Art and Trousered Apes

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Life without God is madness. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the absurd world of modern “art.”  In 1985, Jeff Koons assembled a work that consisted of three basketballs submerged in a fish tank. It symbolized, he proclaimed during one interview, “pre-birth”, “equilibrium,” “the eternal,” and “life after death,” among other things. It eventually […]

A Short Meditation on Living Water
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A Short Meditation on Living Water

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Ezekiel, caught up in the Spirit of God, has a vision of the Temple.  Water pours from beneath the Temple threshold.  This water is clean and live-giving, restoring everything it touches.  It flows east, east toward Eden, so that the garden may be purified and man redeemed. Ezekiel does not realize that this Temple is […]

Lenten Meditation: He Hath Made Him to be Sin for Us
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Lenten Meditation: He Hath Made Him to be Sin for Us

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Over the centuries, Christian artists have produced innumerable portrayals of the Lord’s crucifixion, but none so terrible as Matthias Grunewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece, a work at once transfixing and repulsive. The middle panel of the Isenheim triptych features Christ, pallid and emaciated and thorn-pierced, pinned to the tree. It is truly a garish scene, torn from […]

He Stretched Forth His Hand
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He Stretched Forth His Hand

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The beginning of Mark’s gospel contains a revealing and prophetic encounter between Jesus and a leper. We are told: “And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down said to Him: If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus having compassion on him, stretched forth His hand; and touching him, […]

Poem: "The Fall"
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Poem: “The Fall”

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The Fall In the garden we plucked heavenly fruit and slept in the chaste shade, contemplating the untouchable loveliness of our flesh. We shared dreams like kisses and marveled as they formed a single body, so it seemed I was you and you were me. We studied each other like rare stones and like rare […]

The Beginning of Wisdom
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The Beginning of Wisdom

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An old adage tells us that theology is the queen of the sciences, philosophy her handmaid. This means not simply that heavenly wisdom is nobler or more edifying than earthly knowledge. It speaks also of the epistemological importance of the theistic conviction: objective reality depends upon the existence of the Supreme Subject. Philosophy, in the […]

What Hath Athens To Do With Jerusalem: On Scripture and Theism
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What Hath Athens To Do With Jerusalem: On Scripture and Theism

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“For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things” (Romans 11:36). “I do not endeavor, O Lord, to penetrate Your sublimity, for in no wise do I compare my understanding with that; but I long to understand in some degree Your truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not […]

What Is Truth: Revelation versus Man's Vain Imagination
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What Is Truth: Revelation versus Man’s Vain Imagination

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31). As I slowly reread The Confessions, savoring every jot and tittle, I am struck by the intensity of Saint Augustine’s search for truth—rather, for the Truth. Aurelius Augustine embraced many falsehoods during his life, but every successive identity he assumed […]

Advent Meditation: The Villainy of Man, the Nobility of God
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Advent Meditation: The Villainy of Man, the Nobility of God

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“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10). “O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness, and Your mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can […]

No Mean Wretch: Against the New Pelagian Captivity
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No Mean Wretch: Against the New Pelagian Captivity

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“Convert us, O God: and show us Your face, and we shall be saved” (Psalm 80:3). Over and above all else, Holy Writ teaches the sovereignty of God. God’s mercy and judgment operate irresistibly throughout the pages of Scripture.  “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations” (Psalm […]

God of Gods: Scrutinizing the Inscrutable
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God of Gods: Scrutinizing the Inscrutable

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“O give thanks unto the God of gods: for His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136:2). I often ponder the Scriptural phrase “God of gods.” It refers, naturally, to the Lord’s creative powers and sovereign prerogatives. God is the Maker and the Ruler of all things, “doing whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3). He is the Source […]

A Love Supreme: God as Gift
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A Love Supreme: God as Gift

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“Through Christ we are given revelation about the nature of God-Love. The perfection consists in that this love humbly, without reservations, gives itself over.” –Archimandrite Sophrony God exists as Gift. He is relentlessly Self-emptying, pouring His love and life into this world for our sakes, undeserving wretches though we are. We have such difficulty “knowing” […]

Co-Redemptrix? Thinking Critically About Mary
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Co-Redemptrix? Thinking Critically About Mary

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I have great love for Mary of Nazareth, the God-bearer, whose womb housed Divine Wisdom. Given my tender feelings, I undertake this article with hesitation, lest I should appear hostile. Nothing would upset me more than to dishonor our Lady, whose submission allowed the Eternal Logos to assume man’s frail flesh. Nevertheless, I feel compelled […]

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