Off the Shelf with James Day

In case you missed this weekend’s show check out the link below to hear the archived podcast. James Day and I discuss his book on Pope Benedict XVI Father Benedict: The Spiritual and Intellectual Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI from Sophia Institute Press.You can listen to the show below or download it here. … [Read more...]

Good deeds are like angels protecting us; Angels: Day 239

Angels protecting Lot struck the men who would attack him blind, so that they could not find their way into his house. This, says St. Gregory the Great, is a good metaphor for the good deeds of  the righteous, which strike their enemies blind so that they cannot find an opening of wickedness anywhere.“They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noonday as in the night” ( Job 5:14).The day of good deeds shines outwardly in a neighbor, but they “grope as in the night,” because inwa … [Read more...]

Suffer a little while, be with the angels forever; Angels: Day 238

The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter, says St. Cyril of Jerusalem, because he does exactly that. How can the martyrs face horrible tortures without blinking? Because the Spirit has whispered in their ears, reminding them that they will soon be with the angels.And the Spirit is called the Comforter, because he comforts us, and encourages us.Often a man is outraged, dishonored, and hurt for Christ’s sake. Tortures on every side—fire and sword—savage beasts—the deep pit. But the Holy Spir … [Read more...]

No one can hurt you; Angels: Day 237

If  you’re a Christian,  says  St. John Chrysostom,  no one can really hurt you—not  even the devil himself. But more than that, you can’t hurt anyone else.Listen to me! I testify, and proclaim with a loud voice, more piercing even than the sound of a trumpet—and if it were possible to rise up on high and cry aloud, I would not shrink from doing it—no one of all the human beings that inhabit the earth has the power to hurt a Christian.And why do I say human beings? Not even the evil spiri … [Read more...]

Sickness may be your angel in the way; Angels: Day 236

In the Bible’s  most famous talking-animal story, Balaam is riding to curse Israel, but his ass sees an angel in the way, though Balaam doesn’t. Sickness, says St. Gregory the Great, may be your angel in the way, stopping you from sinning and turning your mind back to God.Remind the sick to think about how great health of the heart is in bodily suffering, which brings the mind back to knowing itself, and renews the memory of infirmity, which health for the most part throws away—so that the st … [Read more...]

The angel of the Lord driving us on; Angels: Day 235

When misfortunes strike us, says St. Gregory the Great, we’re very likely to despair—a  tendency represented by the bad advice of Job’s wife. But we need to remember that our sufferings can be useful in bringing us back to the right path.“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God, and die’” ( Job 2:9).The wife, with her bad advice, is the carnal thought that prods at the mind. It often happens (as I’ve just said) that we are both harried by blows from ou … [Read more...]