Faith, nature and natural living

Review by Maura Zagrans If I could, I would thrust a copy of Wendell Berry and the Given Life by Ragan Sutterfield into the hands of everyone I know. Here’s why: Sutterfield’s book is a terrific introduction to an esteemed man of letters. Wendell Berry is a poet, novelist, essayist, conservation activist, and pioneering agrarian who advocates for sustainable agriculture. Thus Berry is a man whose legacy is equally remarkable for his literary writings as well as for his pioneering… Read more

Live like an angel now to live like an angel; Angels: Day 282

In his commentary on the Apostles’  Creed, Rufinus of Aquileia explains what Christ means when he says the resurrected will be like angels in Heaven. We will live with the angels then, but only if  we live like angels here on earth— which we can do with the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in Heaven” (Mark 12:25). This means that the power… Read more

Off the Shelf 021 with Charlie McKinney

Charlie McKinney, president of Sophia Institute Press, stopped by to talk about the problems with youth catechesis the Church faces today. We also discuss the disengagement of parents in the current structure used by most parishes. How do we resolve this? Get them involved! Sophia Institute Press has developed a program to answer this issue and we talk about it’s benefits on this episode. The program is called A Family of Faith and it not only catechizes the child but the entire… Read more

Living an angel’s life on earth; Angels: Day 281

Recalling a holy monk who was well known for his ascetic life, St. Ambrose says that he led an angel’s life on earth—and in doing so became a model for the rest of us. Now this endurance in holy Eusebius was thriving under the monastic discipline. Because he was used to a stricter rule, he drank in a power of bearing hardships. I’m positive that, in the higher kinds of Christian devotion, these two things are the most excellent: the clerical… Read more

Make the angels rejoice; Angels: 280

St. Ambrose, bishop of the empire’s administrative capital of Milan, was never shy about advising even the Emperor in his religious duties. Here he reminds the Emperor that his power was given to him by God, not earned. He should use that power to make the angels rejoice. So since you know, Emperor (for now I’m not only going to talk about you but address myself to you), how severe the Lord’s censures can be, you must take care, in proportion… Read more

Rediscover the power of the Mass

The Mass is an integral part of the Catholic faith. Our tradition regarding the celebration of the Mass and the sacrifice that is central to it is what sets us apart from all Christian denominations. Sometimes we forget or do not truly understand everything that occurs throughout the Mass.  Perhaps we do not fully realize the sheer awesomeness that occurs in front of our eyes on the altar in front of us. Timothy O’Malley addresses all of this in his… Read more

Invest in the poor; Angels: Day 279

The sure way to earn a good return, says St. Cyril of Alexandria, is to invest in the poor. Instead of mere money, you earn the praise of angels and the invitation of the Son. What good is there in prodigal abundance beyond what necessity re- quires? For as Christ himself said somewhere (Luke 10:42), few things are needful, or rather one, to take care of the wants of the body. So to escape the danger of losing the return on… Read more

Be an angel in adversity; Angels: Day 278

Christ came, says St. Augustine, so that we might live as angels. What  does that mean? It means, he says, that we should constantly bless the Lord, the way the angels do—even when we’re having difficulties. “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Ps. 33:1). So speaks Christ; a Christian should speak the same way. For a Christian is in the body of Christ. The reason Christ was made Man was so that… Read more

Keep to the straight and narrow; Angels: Day 277

Human integrity, says St. Cyril of Alexandria, is not the same as the integrity of the angels, who are superior to us by nature. But we still need to do as much as we can within our human capacity to keep to the straight and narrow. Now I consider it my duty to mention why the door is “narrow” through which we go in to life. Whoever wants to enter must necessarily possess—first and foremost—an upright and uncorrupted faith. Second… Read more

Virginity is heaven on earth; Angels: Day 276

Consecrated virginity, says St. Gregory of Nyssa, is something like Heaven on Earth. Christ promised that we would live as the angels live in Heaven; but whoever gives up marriage for Christ’s sake is already, in a way, living the life of the angels. In fact, the life of virginity seems to be an actual representation of the blessedness in the world to come. In itself it shows many signs of the anticipated blessings reserved for us there. To help you… Read more