Pause for Prayer


I think this blog and our tired old world needs an injection of spirituality. As a Benedictine oblate I sure need to pray more and should be sharing about prayer with my readers more. When I was an Anglican priest a friend gave me a book of quotations on spirituality, theology and philosophical fragments that [Read More...]

An Insane Poet’s Meditation on His Cat

Image via Bing

Are you familiar with the poet Christopher Smart? The poor man spent many years in an asylum. Opinion is still out whether he was insane or merely persecuted for being a religious extremist Take time to enjoy reading Christopher Smart’s Jubilate Agno and be glad for the incarnation imagination of poets. For they teach us [Read More...]

Anglicans Burn the Bridges

Canterbury Cathedral - Mother Church of the Church of England

  This article for National Catholic Register explains why Anglicans claim to be Catholic, but have repeatedly burnt their ecumenical bridges. Over the last four decades, Anglican-Catholic relations have become increasingly strained, as member churches of the Anglican Communion adopted an increasingly progressive agenda. In 1975, the Episcopal Church of the USA was the first [Read More...]

Must You Submit to the Pope to Be Saved?

Pope Boniface VIII - Not a Nice Person Really

I received an email with this question: In brief, I am wondering how you can reconcile Pope Boniface VIII’s dogmatic definition in Unam Sanctam (“…we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff”) with Lumen Gentium’s clear affirmation that salvation is possible for those who [Read More...]

Should You Question Your Faith?


Of course. A good Catholic is engaged in his faith intellectually, emotionally and physically. This article for Aleteia discusses the difference between legitimate questioning of our faith and doubting and disbelieving. It’s the difference between a doubt and a difficulty. A difficulty is an honest question. It is faith that is seeking understanding. Doubt is [Read More...]

Providence and Paranoia


Before I was ordained I started a business training/personal development company and used to do work in prisons and schools as well as in management training. We would often talk about belief systems and I would say that everyone believed in something. One prisoner said, “Not me. I don’t believe in anything.” My reply was, [Read More...]

Charlie Hebdo – Victims, Violence and Vengeance

Carrying the Cross into the heart of Darkness

Now we will see the backlash. Europeans will begin to scapegoat all Muslims. The hatred lying just beneath the surface will erupt. Mosques will be targeted and attacks on innocent Muslims will simmer then explode. So the ancient, mindless cycle of victims, violence and vengeance will begin. This is the way of the world from [Read More...]

I’m Not Sure About Agnosticism…


Not knowing about agnosticism is like saying, ‘Deja vu? Haven’t I met you somehwere before?’ When you think about it agnosticism is really a no man’s land. It is a country you pass through, a stage on a journey, and never a destination. The human heart hates a vacuum, and the emptiness of agnosticism cannot [Read More...]

Only One Force Will Defeat Islam

UK Right Wing Protestors

The New York Times reports here on the growing anti Islamic feeling across Europe. The French, Germans, Dutch and British are finally waking up to the fact that Islam is a dominant force in their society. The Europeans are beginning to feel threatened and it is the European underclass who are most threatened and least ashamed [Read More...]

The Depth of Despair and The Fountain of Hope


Imaginative Conservative publishes my short review of Shawshank Redemption here The Shawshank Redemption is an excellent example of how positive themes properly permeate a work of art. Art should never be didactic or preachy. The themes should never be up front and “inyerface.” Instead the theme is communicated most powerfully by being deeply embedded in the characters, plot, [Read More...]

Frodo Baggins and the Three Wise Men


Today being the proper feast of the Epiphany, when we celebrate the three wise men who followed the star to worship baby Jesus at Bethlehem, I’ve been reading various interpretations of the events. Some folks say, “This is all about the light of Christ coming to the Gentiles.” A progressive New Testament scholar says there’s [Read More...]

What’s Pope Francis Up To?


What’s the pope up to? I think he’s choosing his soldiers for battle. The pope’s announcement on Sunday of fifteen new cardinals is monumental in several ways, and it indicates the way he sees the church and the world and the work that the church has to do in this new century. Firstly, out of [Read More...]

Believe it or Not

Oh Morning at the brown brink Eastward Springs

I once had a conversation with one of my fellow Anglican priests at our Diocesan Clergy Conference. Simon was a very nice English guy, diffident, intelligent and self effacing with a good sense of humor. He had received a typical mainstream, liberal education and was an Anglican priest of the broad church, progressive opinion. After a [Read More...]

T.S.Eliot Reads The Journey of the Magi


Are you familiar with the Eliot poem The Journey of the Magi? Here is a YouTube video. Eliot with an old recording of Eliot himself reading the poem. Bob Toomey has illustrated the poem as it is being read. Take time to listen and ponder Image via Bing [Read more...]

Building the New Our Lady of the Rosary – Update

For the last three months, off and on I have been commenting here on my blog about the beautiful new church we are planning to build in our parish of Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenville, SC To make our financials work, by the end of the year we needed to raise $650K The [Read More...]

Religious Sister Serves as “Parish Priest”

Wolf Sheep

When I lived in England I had a very illuminating conversation with one of the high ups in my diocese. It happened to be vocations Sunday and I commented on the dearth of vocations to the priesthood. He smiled and said in that smooth way the English have, “Well that depends how you look at [Read More...]

The Reliquary of the Magi

Reliquary of the Magi, Cologne Cathedral

The relics of the Magi–Balthasar, Melchior and Caspar are said to reside in this reliquary at Cologne Cathedral in Germany. How did they get there? The relics were first kept at Constantinople and translated to Milan in the mid fourth century. The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa moved them to Cologne in 1164. They’ve been there [Read More...]

The Epiphany Proclamation


Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of his return. Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation. Let us recall the year’s culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: his last supper, [Read More...]

The Riddle of the Three Wise Men

Adoration of the Magi

So Who were the magi and where did they come from? We’re not exactly sure. All we can glean from Matthew’s gospel is that they are called magi or “magicians”, that they came from the East to Jerusalem, and that they had seen a star announcing the birth of the King of the Jews. The gospel [Read More...]

The Story of My First Confession


My first confession was when I was in my late twenties. I was a member of the Church of England and was taking a year between seminary and ordination. I’d done something of which I was deeply ashamed and knew that I wanted to go to confession. As an Evangelical Christian I had been taught [Read More...]

Flying with the Cappadocian Fathers

Balloon Flight Over Cappadocia

So maybe you thought “Cappadocia” was one of those fancy coffees they make at Starbucks? Wrong. It’s a region of Turkey. My two oldest kids have just spent five months traveling around the world and they visited Cappadocia where the terrain is best seen by hot air balloon. I asked them how they filled the [Read More...]

New Year’s Resolution? Fugeddaboudit.

EOmonastic cell

So it is January second. You’re feeling fat and ugly after all the feasting and partying and lazing about. Now the gym owners rub their hands with glee at all the new memberships that will flood in. They’ll sell the bright eyed enthusiasts a years’ membership and know most of them will pack it in [Read More...]