Frank or Jerry?

Is Jerome the patron saint of sarcastic bloggers? I don’t think so. He was too grumpy.I nominate (on the eve of his Feast Day) St Francis…the jongleur de Dieu…the juggler of God, and since he was the Court Jester to the King of Kings, I nominate The Curt Jester as an honorary Franciscan blogger.Since we are nominating Holy Fools I declare that because I have absolutely no authority whatsover to make this nomination, I therefore have the highest qualification.A question… Read more

Angels, Fools and Little Flowers

Do we have an embarrassment of riches this week or what? Within these seven days we’ve got St Michael the Archangel, Therese of Lisieux, the Guardian Angels and St Francis!This is a week to send all the rationalists, atheists, humanists, sceptics, cynics and all the ‘show me’ men from Missouri chewing their beards, howling with ridicule and spitting with rage. In the face of the angels and the holy fools, those who wish to reduce the faith to a sensible… Read more

Catholics and Evangelicals Together…sort of

Some years ago, by the miracle of the internet, I got back in touch with a college friend from my years at Bob Jones University. David Gustafson was, by then, high up in the justice department in Washington, and I was a new convert to the Catholic faith….high up in the mercy department if you please.We spent many hours tapping away at our keyboards in a transatlantic religious disucssion which evolved into a book called Mary-A Catholic Evangelical Debate. In… Read more

The Solidity of Automobiles

Are angels solid or are we?For the celebration of our Guardian Angels here’s a true story:My parents were driving home from the Christian youth group they ran as a young married couple. As a little tyke, 1I was asleep in the back of the station wagon with my brother and sister. Mom and Dad were driving down a narrow country road in Pennsylvania with steep banks on either side.As they went over the brow of a hill they saw another… Read more

The Solidity of Angels

Today is Michaelmass.. the feast day of St Michael the Archangel, and I’m reminded of that bit in C.S.Lewis’ science fiction books where his Ransom discusses the reality of the angel-like beings the Eldils. It’s a cool argument that the Eldils are invisible to humans not because they are less real, but more real.Because these non-corporal beings are eternal it is our physical world which is ‘unreal’ or insubsantial to them. To us they appear to move through solid objects… Read more

Bad Agnostics

Grandma: So, Billy, how was Mass?Billy: We couldn’t hear a thing because the agnostics were so bad. Read more

Meeting Therese

On my post about Francis and Therese someone commented on the toughness underneath their apparent simpering sweetness.Absolutely! In the great adventure that is the spiritual life the sweetness is only valid when it’s supported by strength. Francis was no weakling. Therese was no softie.I had my own experience of meeting Therese. In the summer of 1987 I was still an Anglican priest, and was living in England. I had three months free between jobs and decided to hitch hike to… Read more

Flower Power

We’re following a Franciscan theme at school this year so I decided to show Zeffirelli’s classic film, Brother Sun, Sister Moon. Phew! I forgot what a flower child Francis was made out to be…all that soft focus running through poppy fields with butterflies and bumblebees and Donovan yodeling in the background. Yucch. Luckily I only have an hour of school time so I had to cut out all that stuff.It was too much syrup for my liking. There were poppies,… Read more

Closed Communion?

My Protestant friends get a little bit snooty when we don’t invite them to receive communion in the Catholic Church.”But we practice open communion!” they cry with an air of wounded righteousness. “We invite anyone who loves and serves the Lord Jesus.”So I ask them if they welcome Jehovah’s Witnesses, Moonies and Mormons. They all would profess to “love and serve the Lord Jesus.” For that matter Muslims claim “honor and venerate Jesus and Mary.” Why not invite them too?In… Read more

Ever Ancient Ever New

I was talking with one of my students the other day about the mystery of the Roman Church. Has it ever struck you that we have here an institution that is older than Imperial Rome, yet it survives and thrives into the 21st century?Wow! There is no other political, cultural or religious organization that has stood the test of time like this. Kingdoms and Empires come and go. Political ideologies last a few decades then wither. Psychological, scientific and philosophical… Read more

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