Laughing at Lucifer in Lent

front cover final

It's been out for a couple of years now, but if you haven't read Gargoyle Code, then you really should. It is my ¬†book for Lent. It follows the style of C.S.Lewis' Screwtape Letters, but it is updated, written for Catholics and has one letter per day all through Lent--beginning with Shrove Tuesday and ending on Easter Day.Slubgrip is the demon in question, and while he looks after his elderly patient--a traditionalist Catholic--he is advising the junior demons on how to cope with a lukewarm … [Read more...]

Money and Sex

It's been a hectic week guest blogging for the Anchoress. She was going to retire to her anchorage and not blog, but she couldn't resist. There was too much going on, but it was nice for her to come back here and pay us a visit while we were holding the fort.Why the sexy title for this post? I have avoided blogging here on the big stories of this week--the HHS power grab and the Komen-Planned Parenthood debacle--but thought I would sign out as guest blogger with this cross-post from my own … [Read more...]

The Benedictine Way – 6

monk praying

Conversion of Life is the wild-eyed and grace filled, unpredictable part of the spiritual way. Conversion of life means 'change of life' and real change entails risk, uncertainty and the adv enture of going into the unknown. In the spiritual life it means accepting the work of the Holy Spirit--who may be doing things his way not our way. It means being open to the new and unfamiliar aspects of the faith, and being alert to all the wonderful ways that God may want to bring us to the fullness of … [Read more...]

Benedict and Therese

St Benedict

What do St Benedict and St Therese have to do with one another? The link was keyed when I was reading the last chapter of the Rule of St Benedict where he says, "I have written a little rule for beginners" Ah! the light bulb lit up! The Little Rule and the Little Way. So I began to research both saints and found that they complement each other beautifully. Here is an excerpt from my book, St Benedict and St Therese--the Little Rule and the Little Way:To study two saints together is to … [Read more...]

The Benedictine Way – 5

monk praying

After the vows of stability and obedience is the third vow of Conversion of Life. This is the part where the spiritual life gets some kick and zing. Obedience and stability seem dull and pedestrian, but conversion of life is what it is all about.Conversion of life is not just that a person seeks to be converted the way an Evangelical 'gets saved.' Its certainly a good thing to repent and accept Christ's saving work, but for the Catholic 'conversion of life' means much more. First of all, it … [Read more...]

Mrs Brady Catholic Old Lady

Little Old lady

Mrs Brady is a sweet old thing. She qualifies as 'steel magnolia'. Firm in her Catholic faith, she doesn't tolerate fools, but she remains kind to all. Go here to meet her as she gives advice to one of her many visitors. … [Read more...]

To swallow a fly…


Earlier in the week Kathy Schiffer mentioned the old woman who swallowed a fly... and tomorrow is St Blaise day with the blessing of throats--which you would need if you swallowed a fly or a bee, and now Fr. Z posts here on what a priest is supposed to do if a creepy crawly of some sort gets into the chalice after the consecration. It seems the old books tell you what to do, and Fr. Z--with his usual attention to rather arcane detail outlines the process.It all has to do with pins from … [Read more...]

Monks and Nuns in the Temple


Here is a detail which fits with the Feast of Candlemass today and with my weekly theme of monasticism. I don't now know where I first came across this, and I am happy to be corrected by someone who is more scholarly than I am, (like Taylor Marshall) and who is not sitting in a burger joint in South Carolina that has Wi Fi, but for some reason does not have a full set of the apocryphal writings of the early patristic period...But it's this: there is an ancient tradition that Simeon and Anna … [Read more...]

The Benedictine Way – 4

monk praying

Obedience is a vow, and every vow is intended to be woven into life as one of the basic foundations of our existence. We are obedient simply because we are creatures, not the creator. Every day we must be obedient to a whole range of laws we never question. We are obedient to everything from the law of gravity to the law of stopping for red lights.To learn obedience and to value obedience therefore, is a way of squelching our natural tendency to rebellion and learning instead to find our … [Read more...]

The Vicar Visits a Monastery


Allow me to introduce you to The Rev'd Humphrey Blytherington--one of the guest bloggers over at my blog Standing on My Head. The guest bloggers are actually alter egos of mine, and for those of you unfamiliar with my blog, you mustn't be fooled. It's really me having fun playing different parts.Humph is a happy, dear old fellow; often confused and somewhat of a buffoon, but very lovable and very, very CofE (Church of England). So what ho! Pip Pip! Tootle on over to Standing on My Head here … [Read more...]