Dr Marshall’s Happy Meal: Traditional Catholic Books You Must Own

Many people rediscover traditional theology, traditional liturgy, and traditional piety. They want to go to the next step. “What books should I buy?” Dr Marshall recommends these 8-10 books as the Traditional Happy Meal:

Latin Mass and Liturgy:

You need the 1962 hand missal because that’s what is stipulated in Summorum Pontificum, but everyone realizes that the 1955 Holy Week of Bugnini is inferior and thus you also need a pre-1955 hand missal. These are my favorites:

If you want to pray the old traditional office, it can be intimidating. Traditionally, the laity prayed the Little Office instead. This the traditional format with Latin/English:

Canon Law:

Sacred Scripture:

If you want Latin:

Theology, Prayer, and Catechism:

Video on why you need THIS VERSION of the Summa:

You don’t need all these books, but every Catholic home should have these books as references on the bookshelf.

Godspeed,
Dr Taylor Marshall

Was Christ Born on December 25? Yes! Dr Marshall Explains [Podcast]

How Luke and the Church Fathers reveal a Late December Birth of Christ

Was Jesus Christ born on December 25? Dr Taylor Marshall says “Yes, Christ was born on the historical day of December 25 in the year 1BC. Dr Taylor Marshall explains using the Church Fathers and the Gospel of Saint Luke.

This is a sample class from my online Catholic Curriculum “Early Church Fathers History” offered by the New Saint Thomas Institute. You can join for a limited time today for 47/month (and receive 7 more Courses thrown in) at:

https://NewSaintThomas.com

Watch the Youtube video by clicking here.

Or listen to the audio mp3 here:

This is a sample class from my online Catholic Curriculum “Early Church Fathers History” offered by the New Saint Thomas Institute. You can join for a limited time today for 47/month (and receive 7 more Courses thrown in) at:

https://NewSaintThomas.com

If you are already a student Member of New Saint Thomas Institute, you already have full access to this course. I look forward to seeing you inside the New Saint Thomas Institute!

Happy Advent,
Dr Taylor Marshall

154: St Gallen Mafia & Pope Francis: What is it? w Timothy Gordon [Podcast]

What is the St Gallen Mafia? How does it relate to the election of Pope Francis? Who is in it? What is it? And how do we know about it? We answer all these questions in this weeks podcast/video:

Cardinal Daneels refers to his membership to a certain St Gallen club or “mafia” (his term) that met together to forge support for the election of Pope Francis (and perhaps for the pre-mature resignation of Pope Benedict). Dr Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon (author of Catholic Republic https://amzn.to/2wJvTmI) discuss the origin of the St Gallen Mafia, who were members, and the role especially of Cardinal Daneels and Cardinal Martini in the theological agenda of their self-labeled “mafia.”The election, support, and theology of Pope Francis make sense as we come to understand this St Gallen Mafia.

The Taylor Marshall Show Podcast is now also available on Spotify: Play “Taylor Marshall Show” inside Spotify.

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148: McCarrick Scandal, Suffering Souls, and the problem of Fake Science [Podcast]

Here’s a fresh look on Catholic Washington DC politics, McCarrick Scandal, Suffering Souls, and the problem of Fake Science as I sit down with the President of C-Fam (Center of Family and Human rights) Austin Ruse.

Listen to the audio podcast version below or watch the full Youtube interview:

Coming up next week, I’ll be posting two new interviews on “Eastern Catholic theology” and “Hunting in the Bible.” Subscribe at Youtube to get notified.

You can get Austin Ruse’s latest books at amazon here:

You can find all related video interviews here at Youtube.

Have a blessed and fun weekend!

Godspeed,
Dr Marshall

Plato’s Aristocracy and Why Catholics are Losing the Culture War

Whether you like it or not, we in the West have a layered class system and our inability to see it and plan accordingly has led contemporary Catholics to lose our cultural impact on the global stage. Before we get to the reasons why, let’s look at the classical Greek and Indo-European idea of society and rank and then move on to how Catholics are losing their social and political influence:

Political Society is like a Human Body:

For Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Zeno and the Stoics, the soul of the human is aristocratic and consists of estates or ranks. You will find this doctrine in Plato’s Timaeus (the book Plato holds in Raphael’s “School of Athens”) and in his Republic. You will also find it referenced or built upon in almost call classical Catholic treatments of government. See also Saint Thomas Aquinas’s De regno.

Here is how Plato puts it together:

  1. Head = Philosophers, Scholars, Astronomers, Mystics, Priests
  2. Chest = Generals, Warriors, Police (for the Greeks, nobility always is martial)
  3. Stomach and Genitals = Merchants, Farmers, Artisans, Lawyers, Corporate Owners, CEOs
  4. Arms and legs = Laborers or at the very bottom Slaves (Plato doesn’t explicitly identify them as “arms and legs” but it could be implied)

Plato’s City-Man

It’s easy to see how the cosmo-man fits together:

  1. The head thinks and plans. This is the philosopher and mystic who examines reality and plans or foretells the future and explores future contingencies for the cosmo-man (the State).
  2. The chest keeps the cosmo-man alive by pumping blood and moving air. The chest is brave and forces the body to fight and run. He fights enemies inside and outside the populace.
  3. The stomach receives food and produces capital and art through procreation.
  4. Slaves work the limbs and get things done.

Many have noted that Plato’s four strata are deeply Indo-European and map perfectly onto the Vedic system (1500 BC) of India:

  1. Brahmins (priestly scholar class)
  2. Kshatriyas (royal warrior class)
  3. Vaishyas (artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers)
  4. Shudras (laboring classes)

Nota bene: the Rigveda (the oldest Sanskrit text) identifies the 4 levels descending with the human body in a modified way: 1) head/mouth > 2) arms > 3) stomach/loins > 4) feet.

For Plato and the Greeks (and for Europe), people could move up and down the classes based on merit. For example, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle went from level 3 to level 1. The High Priest Aaron went from level 4 to level 1. King David went from level 3 to level 1. However, in Hindu theology, a person cannot move up and down the classes in this life (because of the false theology of reincarnation). This is a fundamental difference between Western and Eastern philosophy.

Trigger Warning: You maybe be triggered by the talk of classes and castes

We like to think that human society is now finally enlightened and that there are no castes or classes. Whether you call it a “caste” or a “demographic,” you’re just moving around words. The concept may become more humanitarian over time, but the idea of “political layers” transcends cultures and transcends time. Human society has different parts.

The Platonic way of understanding political levels has little to do with wealth. Bill Gates is very rich, but he still belongs to level 3 as a merchant and producer. A modern example of how the the levels can be transcended is how both Barack Obama and Donald Trump ascended from level 3 to level 1. A person at level 3 could be poor, middle class, or a billionaire.

The 4 Levels of Society in Contemporary Society:

In America we may think of ourselves as egalitarian and without castes, but we still preserve this natural human hierarchy of political layers:

  1. Head (priestly scholar class). This was the Catholic Church’s ecclesial hierarchy (from AD 600-1500). Now it is the University, the Professor, Politician, Judges, the “experts” and (since the 1960s) the TV Media and Social Media (Facebook). They are still almost impossible to circumvent. They seek to influence our daily thoughts and our children. And as always, they are usually very rich.
  2. Chest (royal warrior class). This is the military, but more and more so it is the IRS, FBI, CIA, police, ATF, TSA, game warden, et al. They have the power to imprison us and kill us. In a good political system, they are inspired by the Head to promote justice and protect the innocent. It was for fear of a corrupted “chest level” that the United States allowed its citizens to arm themselves with weapons and, notably, firearms.
  3. Stomach/Loins (artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers). This is your “middle class” white collar executives, and your corporate owners. They bear the load of society according to Plato, they must be controlled through “myths or noble lies” crafted by the philosophers. Civil religion is the best way to do this. It can be Roman imperial paganism with an Emperor cult (very powerful). In the same way it can be 16th century Church of England with civil obligations ordered to the king or queen who is “Head of the Church.” Or it can be a form of state-controlled Catholicism (Napoleonic Catholicism or Chinese Communistic Catholicism) or controlled Protestantism (state Protestantism/Lutheranism found in Northern European nations). In the last 30 years, the controlled state religions are being replaced with political correctness and class Socialism.
  4. Limbs (laboring class). We no longer call them “servants” but our society has people who are deeply in debt (in the Bible, debt is de facto slavery) and who work only to: pay off debt (to banks), have food, and have a roof over their heads.

How do we fix it?

Now for the first question:

Where are you in the hierarchy? The most important point in this essay is that you can ascend and descend in these layers. It has always been accomplished in every age. The common born Socrates reached level 1 (but he was killed by level 2). Popes have arisen from slave status level 4 to high priest status level 1. Many Roman Emperors began as level 2 generals and then later became level 1 emperors and even philosophers (Marcus Aurelius). In fact, it has always been quite easy for some people to ascend to level 1. Just be aware that level 1 people are often killed by level 2 people.

Now for the second question:

Isn’t it obvious that Christians are leaving or being forced out of level 1 (head) and level 2 (chest)? Christians are less welcome in Universities. Less welcome in politics. Less welcome in film, TV, and media. It’s a given. This means a revolution is under way whether we recognize it or not. The TV stations, the internet, the news media, and the social media have driven out everything Christian and are replacing it with a new state-sponsored religion of political correctness, which is really environmentalism, pansexuality, and moral tolerance. 

Now for the third question:

What is our response as Christians? There are two options for us:

  1. FIRST OPTION: We can fight to take back levels 1 and 2 through intellectual and moral excellence.
  2. SECOND OPTION: We can recreate our own parallel society/culture and seek to win the long distance race of permanence. This is sometimes called the Benedict Option (hat tip to Eastern Orthodox author Rod Dreher) since it follows Saint Benedict creating an alternative culture and intellectual climate.

Taylor Marshall’s conclusion on the matter:

My belief is that Christians currently have possess all 4 levels in action whether or not we are recognized in society (we have intellectuals, warriors, artisans, laborers).

Therefore we should be pursuing both strategies at the same time:

  1. We should be fighting to take back levels 1 and 2 (apologetics, academics, along with undermining the anti-Christian institutions).
    AND
  2. We should build parallel institutions (e.g., our own Universities, schools, Troops of Saint George, our own TV/radio stations, our own art, our own Social Media outlets, our own news stations).

Some of us can push forward and fight on the front lines of layers 1 and 2 now, while some of us can retreat and construct our own parallel society (of layers 1-4).

Why Catholics are struggling at the moment to accomplish this transition:

The hardest part is that Christians (especially Catholics) are still deeply tied to all the old institutions, old universities, old political parties, and old means of communication (eg, announcements during liturgy and bulletins). This means we are having a very difficult time establishing a pivot.

Also, the Catholic hierarchy in the West still acts like it is operating at level 1 influence. Sadly, this is not the case. Secular nations have spent the last several decades figuring out ways to transform bishops from level 1 priestly spiritual leaders into level 3 producers of funds (taxation of church is the end game) and into level 3 producers of government service (grants to do government work which we saw occur in America under President Obama).

The ultimate aim here is the same as that of King Henry VIII – to make the bishops into level 3 producers and transfer their wealth, land, and production (offerings) to the State. See 16th century England, Denmark, Sweden, Norway for details on how it all goes down.

The difficulty in establishing a Christian pivot for a new era can be observed in how both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis are so deeply wedded to the European Union and traditional forms of communication (eg, Encyclicals) as means for bringing about Catholic influence. The Pope might as well be talking about feudalism and the Code of Hammurabi. It’s like carrying bows and arrows into an era of nuclear war.

The most brilliant minds in Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are talking about the Benedict Option (Option 2: parallel institutions), but we need to engage both fronts. The intellectuals who are currently “fighting the culture war” while trying to win back levels 1 and 2 are either Jewish (Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, Michael Savage) or secular in outlook (Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnis, Jordan Peterson). Some might see this “diversity” as a strength. I see it as as weakness. Here’s why:

As much as I like listening Jordan Peterson or even Ben Shapiro, I sometimes cringe when I think of how much better an equipped Christian could respond. We have a profound intellectual tradition (Thomism), but we are not using it. This is likely why God has allowed Christian influence to wane.

Where are the Christians? We need to spend the next decade prayerfully cultivating sharp and relevant Christian minds to engage the culture and social media. It’s required for the common good of society and for the moral excellence of next generation. It’s not enough to possess them only within our own parallel “Benedict Option” institutions. We need them out front in the current culture war. And in case you’re ready to sign up for this “level 1” position, be mindful of those level 1 intellectuals and prophets who came before you marked with blood: Isaiah, Socrates, Cicero, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, Boethius, Thomas Becket, and Thomas More to name a few.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Saint Paul never once mentions the word Hell

I’m writing a commentary on Romans for the New Saint Thomas Institute, and I’ve been going over his passages on salvation and damnation. I’m certainly not the first to notice it, but Paul never once mentions “hell” or “hades” or “gehenna” in his epistles. This is interesting, because our Lord Jesus Christ speaks about hell all the time. Yet Paul does not mention the word once.

Don’t take this too far. Saint Paul speaks plenty of human damnation and believes in punishment in the afterlife. For example:

“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed…But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” (Rom 2:5, 8)

“If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Gal 1:8-9).

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among those who have believed.” (2 Thess 1:8-10)

“All will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thes 2:12)

My belief is that Paul is does not use the language of “Hades” because it conjures ideas of Homer and Virgil in Roman audiences. And he does not use the language of “Gehenna” because it’s an exclusively Jewish idea. So “eternal condemnation” and “fire” are his favorite categories for Gentile audiences.

There is a lot of crazy stuff on the internet (and bookstores) on Saint Paul. If you want a concise Catholic commentary on all the writings of Saint Paul, please check out this book: The Catholic Perspective on Paul.

 

Are Catholic Canonizations of Saints Infallible? Yes

On the interwebs you sometimes bump into a few Catholics that assert that canonizations are not infallible or are reversible. They will cite saints who are allegedly un-sainted (eg. St George, St Christopher, St Philomena – I explain why they are NOT un-sainted in this podcast) or they will object to canonized saints that they don’t like (eg, St John XIII or St Josemaria).

Canonizations are Infallible. Here’s why:

Concerning the Potential Problem of “Damned Saints”:

When a person is damned, he hates and curses God forever in Hell. That’s what damnation is. It’s a decision to reject God and His love. The damned person lacks all charity toward God. As Thomas Aquinas, would say, he belongs to the Kingdom of Satan. He is officially anti-Christ.

If the Church mistakingly were to canonize a damned man, then that means monks and nuns would be praying the Liturgy of the Hours and commemorating a man who currently curses God – and doing so annually in the liturgical cycle. Moreover, this would entail that priests are celebrating Masses in honor of a man who is literally diabolical. Even more so, churches, chapels, and cathedrals would be erected and consecrated in honor a man who hates God. No doubt, the devil would love all of this. So canonizations are infallible.

Concerning the Potential Problem of “Make-Believe Saints”

The same goes saints who are claimed to not have existed. If someone were to say that St George or St Christopher were make-believe people, then you have the Liturgy of Hours and Holy Mass celebrated to what amount to cartoon characters. It would be like celebrating Mass in honor of Luke Skywalker. It’s a mockery of true religion.

[Shameless plug: Check out my #1 Bestselling Historical Novel Sword and Serpent for a plausible biography of Saint George (and the “Dragon”) along with Saint Christopher by clicking here.]

We can grant that the legends and hagiography about certain saints are exaggerated or embellished, but we cannot say that the Church formally venerates imaginary people, celebrated Mass in honor of imaginary people, or that there are Churches dedicated to imaginary people.

If so, the devil would love all of this. So canonizations are infallible. It’s also worth noting that when a Pope canonizes a saint he invokes his authority as Vicar of Christ and successor to Saints Peter and Paul in a way similar to declaring dogmas infallible.

I recently wrote a history of the process of canonizations. You can read it here: “How Saints are Canonized: from Local to Papal Canonizations over Time.”

Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Men – 2017 Edition

Every year I assemble a Top 10 Manly Gifts for Your Husband, Father, or Man in your Life. It’s immensely popular and throughout the year I meet men all over the country who say to me: “Hey thanks for recommending X on your list, ‘Top 10 Manly Christmas gifts’. My wife got it for me and I love it.”

The goal is to list gifts that he likes, but may not think of or ask for himself. If you need something interesting, different, and approved, check out this list.

Nota bene: In years past, I have recycled some of the most popular gifts, like this here Swiss Army Knife that is perfect for men, but especially for young or teenaged boys. If your son or husband doesn’t have a Swiss Army, get this one for him ASAP. He’ll love it and use it all Christmas morning to open boxes and gifts for everyone.

This year I wanted to change it up with 2 rules:

  • I have to own/use it.
  • It’s never been on a previous Top List before.

So here we go:

10. Amazon Echo or Show

I purchased an Echo for Joy and thought it was so cool I also got a Show for the kitchen counter. With just her voice, she can call up recipes, measurements, news, etc. But a guy can use it to call up weather, movie times,weather, his calendar appointments for the day, and any sport results or sport times coming up in future.


You can also fact check on it. For example, the other night we were debating how many people died in World War I. So I just said, “Alexa, how many people died in World War I?” and she answered: “17 million people died in World War I including 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel.” How cool is that? We use it often and it’s great gift.

  • The Amazon Echo has no screen just sound (You can play music on it and it sounds GREAT).
  • The Amazon Show has a screen that shows images and text of what you ask or request.

9. Whisky Ice Ball Mold

I love scotch and I love the gigantic sphere ice cubes. My father got me these molds and they are easy to use and work great.

They are the #1 Bestseller on Amazon for this type of thing and they are the best. The “cool” thing about these large ice balls is that it melts slower than normal ice so you’re drink is cool but NOT watered down. It’s amazing. Get him some whisky ice ball molds for his stocking for only 9.99 by clicking here.

8. The Roku Premier

I love our Roku. I canceled cable which saves a lot of money. The Roku allows us to watch Amazon Prime content or Netflix. Get rid of cable. Get rid of ads. The Roku plugs into your TV or into your Receiver and streams content.

I like the Roku Premiere which is the most up to date version at only $65. Click here to get it.

7. Resistance Exercise Bands

I used to think you needed heavy weights and weights only, but these bands proved me wrong. I like to stretch with them and to place them under my feet and then do arm exercises.

They stretch and work the muscles well and you can do various muscle groups and angles that you could NEVER do with traditional weights. It’s a great addition to any work out routine. If your guy doesn’t lift, these are a threatening introduction. You will be sore but in a good way. Get the mixed pack for 29.95 – you’ll need different resistance levels for various exercises.

6. Wool Gloves

I’ve worn a pair of these for decades. They are rough and tough but they actually dress up pretty nice with a blazer or peacoat in the winter. You’ll get compliments on them.

Every man needs gloves. These are practical and stylish. At $25, these gloves are awesome.

5. Patagonia — Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover

Sweatshirts and even sweaters are just okay. This pullover is stylish and tough. I’ve been wearing one of these for…decades (am I that old?). Patagonia is a great brand and it’s not going to fray or rip. They are for great skiing, camping, sitting by the fire, or for taking out the trash. I like the one depicted below:

At $200 it is on the expensive side, but I think it’s worth it and it’s a gift that will last for over 10 years. Check out the various color options (I also like black and charcoal) by clicking here.

4. Audio Technica AT-LP60BK Record Player

This is the record player that my family got me 2 years ago. It’s great. We’ve had so much fun with it, from listening our parents old LPs, to searching out and buying new music on vinyl.

The benefit is that we actually sit down in chairs, but on an LP and sit and listen to the record and talk about it. Music is often in the car or on the run. Vinyl makes it an experience again. It’s a cool gift. Get this one for $89 (higher quality than what anyone had in the 70s) and throw in one of his favorite vinyl records from the past.

3. Pomade

The secret to great hair is pomade. Remember George Clooney in Oh Brother Where Art Thou? His hair was legit because his pomade was legit:

Most guys think this is stuff for Presidents or movie stars in the 1950s. Um, yeah? What’s wrong with that? It’s awesome. This is a cheap gift but it makes your hair awesome. Just a dab will do ya! Get the Pomade by Crew (it’s in my hair now) for $34.

2. Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation (Works with Amazon Alexa)

We got one in the summer and it’s AMAZING. We save tons of money on electric and heating and we are more comfortable. It actually senses when you are in the house and over time adjusts the power usage and temps to be most comfortable and save money. So if you leave the house every Tuesday for 5 hours at noon, it learns that and adjusts which save a lot of cash.  It also looks super cool on your wall:

It hooks up to your mobile devices and phones. And remember how I recommend Amazon Show or Echo above – this thermastat can be voice controlled via Alexa. It’s a game changer. Start your smart home with Alexa. I had a lot of fun setting it up and watching it adjust and save money week after week (it keeps track of usage and shows you much you’re saving.)

Don’t be scared by the $244 price tag. I promise you’ll save that much easy in your first year using it. Get a Nest Thermostat here.

1. A Grown Man’s Victornox Slicing Knife

If you could just get one gift, get him this one. I know he needs a nice carving knife, because I also know that most men use the old knives that their wives use every day – the ones that your uncle gave you on your wedding day. However, every man needs to learn how to age and prepare meat and this is STEP ONE: A NICE SLICING KNIFE.

My father has a PhD in meat science so he’s passed on some education to me, and this knife is awesome:

  • It has over 1,000 5 star reviews. Rave reviews.
  • It’s made by Victornox (the people who make the Swiss Army Knife).
  • It’s #1 Bestseller in Carving Knives.
  • There are better knives but for the price ($43), this is a steal.

Best of all, he can carve Christmas dinner with it. It will be his knife in the kitchen. Get the Victornox 12 inch Slicing Knife (don’t opt for a cheap one!) at amazon.com.

So there it is. If you’re a man and you like this list, subtly forward to this to your loved ones or slyly share it on Facebook. If you’re shopping for the men in your life, any of these are great gifts and I stand by the as someone who proudly uses all of them.

Final personal plug: My third and final novel in my Sword and Serpent Trilogy (about St George and Constantine) came out last week, and is trending as a #1 New Release on Amazon.com.

If your father or son loves battle, war stories, Roman history, gladiatorial games, and saints’ stories, please get him a copy of the first book in the Trilogy: Sword and Serpent by clicking here or the image below.

Happy Advent!
Taylor Marshall