Church Fathers, Day 298: St. John Cassian tells us to set one vice against another

Set one vice against anotherSt. John Cassian shares the wise advice of Abbot Serapion in Egypt: sometimes you can make use of one of your vices to combat a worse one. If you’re vain, think how much people will admire you for overcoming lust!But in one matter we find vanity to be a useful thing for beginners—by which I mean those who are still troubled by carnal sins. If (for example) they are troubled by the spirit of fornication, they could form an idea of the dignity of the pri … [Read more...]

Weekly Giveaway: The Smile of a Ragpicker


This week publisher Ignatius Press sponsors the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Smile of a Ragpicker: The Life of Satoko Kitahara (you can read guest reviewer Maura Zagrans' review of the book here). I use Rafflecopter to run my giveaways which makes it simple for you and me! Enter below. The contest starts at midnight tonight EST and will end 12AM EST 5/22 with a winner being announced later that day. a Rafflecopter giveaway … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 297: St. John Cassian says guard against every vice

No matter how strong your defenses against the worst vices, says St. John Cas­sian, opening the gate for one lets them all in.It is impossible that the fiery motions of the body can be extinguished before the incentives of the other chief vices are utterly rooted out. For you will never feel sure that someone can strive against the opposition of a stronger enemy, if you have seen him overcome by weaker ones in a higher conflict.The nature of all virtues is one and the same, although … [Read more...]

CBB Review: A Song for Nagasaki and The Smile of a Ragpicker


Today my friend and author Maura Zagrans returns to The Catholic Book Blogger to lend a hand as guest reviewer. She reviews two great books by Father Paul Glynn. Take it away Maura!Love Songs and Love Letters to MaryMay is the perfect month to read books highlighting miraculous blessings that often flow from heartfelt devotion to the Blessed Mother. Two such books are A Song for Nagasaki: The Story of Takashi Nagai (Ignatius Press, 2009)and The Smile of a Ragpicker: The Life of Satoko … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 296: St. Cyprian says overcome your jealousy

Envy is listed among the deadly sins for a good reason. As St. Cyprian tells us, envy just keeps gnawing at us unless we get rid of it. There will always be people who have more than we have; we need to learn to rejoice with them rather than envy them. The way we do that is by turning to Christ.What a gnawing worm of the soul it is—to envy someone for his virtue or for his happiness; to make others’ good into our own evil; to be tortured by the prosperity of the famous. To the envious, no fo … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 295: Commodianus tells us overcome the things that make you fight

Commodianus tells us that all our wars and fights come from our evil desires. If we want a glorious victory, we should overcome our passions.You wish to wage war, you fool, as if war were peace. From the beginning of the day to the end, you fight.Lust gets you started, and there is war. Fight your lust.Luxury persuades you. Forget about it, and you win the war.Do not drink too much wine, so that it will not lead you astray.Keep your tongue from cursing, because you use your … [Read more...]