“Why be singular when you can participate in heaven?”

tcabannercropped

My latest column at The Catholic Answer is called "Our Professors, Who Art in Heaven" and touches on the question that comes up again and again, particularly with those concerned about idolatry: why do Catholics show such reverence for saints? The Communion of Saints must seem strange to outsiders who wonder why Catholics and Orthodox Christians bother taking side roads in their orisons when a prayer to Jesus seems like a faster, more direct route. As a religious sister from my childhood put … [Read more...]

Foreword by Dolan; Artwork by Bach; My New Book Drops!

Cover art by Jason Bach

It was just about one month ago that I became aware of Jason Bach, and it was via this brilliant and timely cartoon that went internet-viral. And I thought, "what a talented young man!" and I perused his archives and got in touch with him and saw more of his work and thought, "I have a new book coming out and I have no idea what the cover should be. But I know I don't want it to be a picture of me..." Why not? Well, because the book is a collection of essays and columns from 2005 to the … [Read more...]

Prayer and The Life of an Icon

Sister Eliseea Papacioc visiting CNEWA

Two lovely pieces about the prayer and life of Icon-writing. Over at CNEWA, the Romanian Orthodox nun and Icon-writer Sister Eliseea Papacioc visited the New York office of CNEWA and talked a little about process: “I’m very connected with God when I do this,” she said, “and God is doing everything through my hand. I can’t paint without prayer. This comes from heaven, from the words of God, and if you can’t pray you can’t call yourself an iconographer. The prayer comes in … [Read more...]

The Crying out of Flesh and God

Sometimes the things you done a thousand times can bring new results; the prayers you've said a million times bring new insight. Close up of Oratory as Current My Oratory has an assortment of Holy Icons and small pewter statues, an old standing crucifix, and a second-class relic of St. Philip Neri, who is my Patron for this year. Generally, as I begin my morning prayer, I ponder what is before me. Currently I have an Icon of the Resurrection up, and before it a small pile of tumbled stones, … [Read more...]

Randomness & Event Horizon – UPDATED

Getty Images Rarely has the introduction of a work of art struck me as so exactly suited to its times as Antony Gormley's Event Horizon, whereby we find ourselves encountering a naked fiberglass-and-metal naked man at random spots in the city. From March 26 to August 15, New Yorkers will be encountering this form -made from body casts of the artist- amid their daily meanderings. As morning fog lifts, his eerie-but-beautiful silhouette will be visible. Those texting as they walk may bang into … [Read more...]

Lindsay Lohan & Jesus Christ

You know, from time to time, I have more conservative Catholics give me a hard time for linking (or referencing) the Jesuit priest and writer, Fr. James Martin. James is a Jesuit, so by definition, yes, he is going to be a little more left-of-center than me on some things, but those who would dismiss him as a far-leftist, or -more importantly- as anything but obedient and loving of the church wherein he works, and the Lord he serves, risks exposing himself or herself as uninformed and a bit … [Read more...]

My Wallpaper from Haiti

I love these two Haitian children. I don't know who they are, but they are so beautiful, so charming -and they remind me of my sons in demeanor, the straightforward older one, the little hotdogger behind him. They have been on my desktop since I posted this piece, an update on Haiti, mostly from the perspective of Ed, a missionary in a city called Petit Goave. I get updates on Petit Goave, and Ed, from a reader named DeLynn, and each time I open one of her emails, it is with a feeling that is … [Read more...]

Dec 18 – O Adonai

Source Once again, our friends the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist provide a lovely background to today's glorious antiphon: The title "Adonai," was originally used by the Israelites instead of pronouncing the name of God as revealed to Moses at the burning bush. Not only did God tell Moses His name, but He also gave him the Law, which paradoxically sets us free. Although our culture tells us that freedom is for doing whatever we like, our faith tells us that we have been … [Read more...]

Pier Giorgio Frassati; Vampire Slayer?

In pop culture, Vampires are currently (again) all the rage, and Fr. Z makes the amusing and not so off-base observation that this icon of our dear friend, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, looks a bit like a vampire slayer. The Dominican Tertiary from Italy is actually shown holding his rosary and his beloved skis, but I thought it was amusing, just the same. And since we know (in fact we have the pictures to prove it) that Pier Giorgio had a wonderful sense of humor, I bet he'd find it amusing, … [Read more...]

Prayer is ruining me for blogging…

Sourcebook I love my oratory. It's so nice, so restful, so mine. Going there to pray every day ("going there;" it's on the other side of my desk) just...shapes the whole day. But it's really playing hell with my blogging and the direction of the blog. I mean, here's my morning: I shower, get dressed, wrap the towel around my wet head (hey, it's a handy headcoving!) and then go to my oratory. I light tea candles, one before each Icon, one before the Crucifix, one before my little pewter … [Read more...]


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