St. Leo the Great, Attila & Children of Men

One of my favorite saints and favorite popes, today we remember Pope St. Leo the Great, whose homily excerpts in the Divine Office never fail to stir me:For there are two loves from which proceed all wishes, as different in quality as they are different in their sources. For the reasonable soul, which cannot exist without love, is the lover either of God or the world. In the love of God there is no excess, but in the love of the world all is hurtful. And therefore we must cling inseparably to … [Read more...]

All Saints Day & Modern Martyrs – UPDATE

Chapel & Tomb of St. Philip Neri, Chiesa Nuova, RomePodcast of the Readings for All Saints Day via the USCCBLate yesterday, word began to come of a "bloodbath" during Mass at Baghdad's Syrian-Catholic cathedral. Details are still emerging; it portends nothing good:The terrorists, some wearing suicide vests, had taken over 120 faithful hostage at the Syriac Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation, one of Baghdad's largest, during Sunday mass and demanded the release of al Qaeda … [Read more...]

A Habit, A Bus Stop, A Community

The third entry in the Habit of Witness series over at Patheos is a tiny miracle of a story that gave me goosebumps, but the warm kind, and so it seems particularly well suited to this weekend, when we think about the people who have gone before, and the people who are with us now, and how our smallest reaching out toward one another may be precisely the movement by which the Holy Spirit wishes to travel.Sr. Lisa M. Doty, FdCC, of Nunspeak, shares a one-on-one encounter at a bus stop that … [Read more...]

Cardinal Van Thuan's Holiness

The process of beatification has begun for Vietnamese Cardinal Van Thuan who spent 13 years in prison for the crime of being a Catholic, and carries with him an almost transparent holiness.His story is similar to the story of China's Ignatius Cardinal Kung Pin Mei, who spent 30 years in prison for his faith, living the last part of his life in exile.Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pin Mei, in exileA little while back I wrote elsewhere:Like the Magi, the Church has been traveling resolutely … [Read more...]

Reasoned Loyalty; the Tuesday Column

My Tuesday Column is up, wherein I wonder about whether an adult and fully-formed faith should rest upon reason or loyalty, and decide that, well...it requires both:Reasonable Catholicism is reasoned loyalty, or sometimes even loyalty with gritted teeth; it is loyalty that insists upon the application of reason lest its value be questioned. By the same token, intellectualism that is not tempered with loyalty ends up pickling itself in its own ego. Either one, by itself, is incomplete. Both … [Read more...]

St. Therese as Lao Tsu, Genesis & More

St. Therese as Joan of Arc, her own playSo much has been written about St. Therese (and justly; she is very great), that I am appreciative of Frank Weathers' post, here, and the surprising quotes and perspective he culls from the Chinese convert, John C.H. Wu who had remarkable--and jarring--insights on this Doctor of the Church:(Thérèse's) life was not a simple melody, but a marvelous symphony. If she is a child, she is a subtle one. If she is as simple as a dove, she is also as wise as a s … [Read more...]

Sept. 29 Feast of the Archangels

The angels show forth God's greatness and perfection. "Each symbolizes individually some attribute or other of that infinite Being. In some we see his power, in others his love, in others his strength. Each is a reproduction of some beauty of the divine Original; each adores him and glorifies him in the perfection it portrays." It is God, then, whom we honor in the angels. They are like mirrors reflecting the perfections of their infinite Creator. Raised to the supernatural order, they … [Read more...]

Anglican Ordinariate Proceeds Apace

Heraldry of Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Pope Benedict XVI, respectivelyOn the heels of Pope Benedict's well-received visit to the United Kingdom came the announcement last week of the CDF's appointment of Archbishop Donald Wuerl, of Washington, as its delegate, "to guide the incorporation of Anglican groups into the Catholic Church in the United States."Yeah. It's a big deal. And today, NETNY, Brooklyn Diocese-run channel that broadcasts, among other things, the … [Read more...]

Word of the Day – UPDATED

Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa, in Santa Maria della Vittoria Church, RomeYou're going to like this one. And it has a St. Philip Neri connection, again, too!Also, check out a more modern saint with whom you may be unfamiliar, Alberto Hurtado. … [Read more...]

Beatifying Newman, Neri & More

One of the books I'll be trying to read while in Rome is John Henry Newman; Prayers, Verses and Devotions, from Ignatius Press.Just as it seems like St. Philip Neri, my Patron for this year, may have had a hand in making Rome a suddenly reality (when I discovered that our lodgings are very near his Oratory, I could almost hear him laughing), finding this book--in perfect condition--in the "used book" bin at church seemed like a gift, too. Since Pope Benedict will be beatifying Newman on … [Read more...]


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