Plenary Indulgence for Year of Faith? What IS That?

Keys

Yeah, I know, indulgences have gotten a bad rap, thanks to past-abuse in our history, and myths do abound, but an indulgence is a good thing, and something that helps Catholics pursue active devotions and grow in understanding and piety. I'm really happy to read that the Vatican has decreed a plenary indugence for the Year of Faith:During the whole span of the Year of Faith, proclaimed from October 11, 2012 to the whole of November 24, 2013, all individual faithful truly repentant, duly … [Read more...]

Portrait of Saint Francis, Subiaco – UPDATED

Francis at Subiaco

When we visited the Benedictine abbey of Subiaco in 2010, my husband -- obedient fellow that he is -- did not take pictures of the glorious and vivid ancient frescoes that so fully adorn its walls. It was a grief to me, at the time, because my eyes couldn't take it all in, and I wanted to remember. But of course, I got the souvenir book, which I do look at, and there is the internet, where one can still get a glimpse.It's not the same as being there, of course, amid the cave where Benedict … [Read more...]

Happy Feast of Saint Benedict – UPDATES

Subiaco Cave

Happy Feast Day of Saint Benedict!Vision of Saint Benedict (c.1360). Giovanni del Biondo (fl.1356-1392). Tempera on wood. © Art Gallery of Ontario. PMA:J99.1089. Saint Benedict marvels at the smallness of the world, in contrast with the immensity and appeal of heaven.About an hour's ride from Rome, one reaches Subiaco, and there one may visit the cave where Benedict of Norcia, 1400 years ago, spent time in isolated prayer (I touched my rosary to its walls!) and marvel over the … [Read more...]

The Talking, Thinking and Wondering Will Continue

12apostles

There is a saying attributed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, that I used to keep up on my header: "Ideas lead to idols; only wonder leads to knowing."I wonder about that phrase often, and continually draw new understanding as I apply it to different subject matters. It reminds me that I am not only free to ponder, but that as a Catholic, I am (quite contra-CW) required to think. Not to give in to the soft tyranny of sentimentalism until I'm so busy feeling that thinking is dismissed; not to … [Read more...]

Benedict at 85: a Cloister Unto Himself

benedict springflowers

Today is the 85 birthday of our dear Pope Benedict XVI, and he speaks very plainly to the day:“I find myself on the last stretch of my journey in life, and I don’t know what is awaiting me.”“I know, however, that the light of God exists, that he is risen, that his light is stronger than any darkness and that God’s goodness is stronger than any evil in this world, and this helps me go forward with certainty."In a few days we'll celebrate the 7th anniversary of his pontificate. I canno … [Read more...]

A Partly Cloudy Reminder of Truth in Love

partly

Last night, after Easter entertaining, my husband and I collapsed on the couch and, flipping through the channels, found a re-broadcasting of Pixar's wonderful short film, "Partly Cloudy", which you can see here.Enjoying it again, I told my husband I had actually written about the short, tying it into Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical, Caritas in Veritate.The piece was lost-in-transit from First Things to Patheos, but I was able to reconstruct most of it -- the internet is a glorious … [Read more...]

Pilgrim, Ora et Labora; the Fountain of Youth?

Look at this 103 year-old Catholic Sister, Sr. Cecilia Adorni, as she dances a remarkably spry polka amid the senior citizens whom she still serves. Watch her dance -- I know 60 year-olds who can't move like that -- and notice her skin, which is gorgeous and youthful!We concern ourselves with holding on to our youthfulness and "defying age" with all sorts of medicines and foods and goops and ointments, while this sister appears to have found a "fountain of youth," and it's one St. Benedict of … [Read more...]

WYD, Madrid 2011 Awesome Sauce!

HOLY SMOKES!Via Deacon GregChills! Chills to hear that baritone voice again, and to see these youthful crowds.Chills to realize that Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have drawn millions of young people to them with the message they so need to hear: You are good. You are loved. You are created for a purpose. You are more than the pop culture. You are greater than the temptations of the age. You are the ongoing affirmation of unique individualism. Jesus loves you, he calls you. Do … [Read more...]

The Yin and Yang of Catholic Young

It is fascinating to ponder the Taoist idea of Yin and Yang - the notion of an eternal cycle that grows to a fullness that must then transition to something else. I wrote about it once, in a manner of speaking, when thinking about the bliss of the Divine Office:A beautiful depiction of the constant-renewal of the world and all Creation in it, including you and me. I prayed the psalms and considered the slow lifting of the darkness on this overcast autumn day, the first-turning leaves, from … [Read more...]

"If you can keep your head…" UPDATED

There is a poem by Rudyard Kipling - I'm sure we all know it:If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:As I wrote below, I don't often come up to smack. But it's important to keep … [Read more...]


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