On Pilgrimage & Sacramentality – Hilaire Belloc’s “The Four Men”

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Author's Note: This piece was written for Joseph Pearce's St. Austin Review (November/December 2015 edition), please link here to peruse and subscribe.Recently, upon reading Hilaire Belloc’s classic The Four Men, I came to a new appreciation: the virtue of “re-reading”. The first read, I have learned, always tells you what happened, but each subsequent read tells you what it means. There is no better work to re-read than a book about a pilgrimage. Especially one described by Hilaire Belloc. W … [Read more...]

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God’s Revolutionaries

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He smelled. Of course he did. He slept in caves and crevices, but could always see the heavens. He sweated through his day's work and yet was constantly in the river's current. Wiry, yet exceedingly strong. Wild-eyed, yet disarmingly clear. The Baptist. When he looked at you, it was impossible to hide. And part of you was relieved to know that you had been found out. He knew, and you knew, it was time. Time to quit hiding. It was time to change.St. John the Baptist in the Wilderness by … [Read more...]

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“Be Not Afraid” – Suffering & St. John Paul II

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As he kindly surveyed them, he smiled.And without saying it, he seemed to exude it. "Be not afraid."In the village of El Rincon outside of Havana, under the sweltering Cuban sun, the aging pontiff with his pale blue eyes, stooped posture and sweetly pained face fought the grip of Parkinson's disease in order to express himself. And he smiled. For before him were his people. Not dignitaries and opinion-makers, cardinals and bishops, philosophers and playwrights. No. He was in the presence … [Read more...]

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Law, Mercy & Controversy at the Synod on the Family

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The Adulterous Woman Alone with Jesus by James Tissot In case you hadn't heard, there is a meeting being held at the Vatican right now.Yep.It has a daunting title. The "14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of the Bishops on the Family" which is the follow up meeting to the equally daunting "3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family" held in October of 2014.ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzOkay, WAKE UP!Let me … [Read more...]

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“Never Give In” – What We Can Still Learn From Winston Churchill

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Winston Churchill  It was a homecoming. Of sorts.He had been there only a year before. Had it even been that recent, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill wondered? Yes. Yes. It had been, but it seemed a lifetime ago. His last visit to his alma mater, Harrow, was during the chill of December, 1940 after the blackest of falls. Having ruthlessly dispatched with most of Western Europe in the matter of weeks, the Nazi war machine had unleashed its fury on the recalcitrant island … [Read more...]

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My Midnight Monastery

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 It never fails.*Ding!*My phone lights up and illuminates a once dark room. Sometimes I am up typing at 1:30 in the morning. Other times I am in bed at 11:30.*Ding!*But I recognize the bell.Oh, it could be a page from a patient. Or it could be an emergency call. But, generally, it isn't. That bell is my Midnight Monastery. Or, to be more precise, my Virtual Midnight Monastery (as dubbed by one of our creative members).Oh, didn't you know?I am a member of an … [Read more...]

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