Grousing at God, Barking at Saints, and a Constant Renewal

Not to keep talking about about me, me, me, but here I go:In my column at The Catholic Answer magazine, I relate a little of what a crank I become when I am stressed out:Recently, I began the day very badly.I opened my eyes and was immediately stressed about my life, largely because I am so recalcitrant and backward. Even before my feet hit the floor I was grousing at God and barking orders at the saints.Then I shuffled into my oratory, lit my candles, covered my head and … [Read more...]

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You have here no lasting city…not even a lasting nation.

In today's Office of Readings (my favorite Office, go figure) comes this marvelously relevant, important and instructive excerpt from Thomas a'Kempis' classic, The Imitation of Christ:Turn to the Lord with your whole heart and leave behind this wretched world. Then your soul shall find rest. For the kingdom of God is the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. If you prepare within your heart a fitting dwelling place, Christ will come to you and console you.His glory and beauty are within you, … [Read more...]

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The Coin of God and of the World

Today's Office of Readings from the beginning of a letter to the Magnesians by Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr:"All things have an end, and two things, life and death, are side by side set before us, and each man will go to his own place. Just as there are two coinages, one of God and the other of the world, each with its own image, so unbelievers bear the image of this world, and those who have faith with love bear the image of God the Father through Jesus Christ. Unless we are … [Read more...]

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God in the Balance; Loving Dark and Light

Regardless of our religion -- whether we are Catholics or Evangelicals or Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist -- the spiritual life challenges us to find balance. One of the reasons I was attracted to the Rule of Saint Benedict was because in ora et labora there is a prescription for balance. In the recitation of the Divine Office, we not only sanctify our time but we also set a pace for the whole day of prayer; work; prayer; work until -- if we are good Benedictines (and I am not one) it all flows … [Read more...]

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Morning Prayer so often aligns with the headlines…

Today's reading (slightly enlarged) from Morning Prayer, Isaiah 53:11-12"Because of his anguish he shall see the light; because of his knowledge he shall be content; My servant, the just one, shall justify the many, their iniquity he shall bear."Therefore I will give him his portion among the many, and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty, Because he surrendered himself to death, was counted among the transgressors, Bore the sins of many, and interceded for the … [Read more...]

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Pillar of Cloud, Water of Life: All of a Healing Piece & Peace

For a little while longer, we are still in Christmas, but every day the mysteries of the season seem to wither a little, like the leaves of the poinsettias; the expectation of Advent seems far away, and in just a few days we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, and enter -- with some sense of refreshment, because after a time we long for the comforts of what is routine and regular -- into Ordinary Time.The Baptism of the Lord is being presaged in the readings and prayers of the Divine Office. … [Read more...]

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O Sapientia! O Wisdom! Antiphonal Healing

Tonight, it begins; at Vespers, before the Magnificat, we take up the gorgeous "O"Antiphons. We chant them in full solemnity, with their wandering air, their voice of deep longing.We have been wandering, and longing, for a long, long time; we seek an end to the journey, and the wanting.As the whole nation is gripped in mourning and wondering what first to correct in ourselves, in our laws and our society, have we ever needed these powerful antiphons more than this week?Tonight: O … [Read more...]

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Come, Pray the Luminous Mysteries with Me!

Aside from being aggravated by some minor, but continual, issues with my computer today, I'm feeling pretty peaceful about the election, in general. I have no idea who will win, although I suspect Romney is in a stronger position than poll purchasers wanted to see, but I could be wrong.Either way I am at peace. Perhaps it's because of my conversation with this man -- which in part inspired this column -- but I prayed the Office of Readings today and look forward to praying Vespers in about … [Read more...]

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The Aurora Shooter: Image of Loss – UPDATED

We all know his name, but I prefer not to use it in a public forum, mostly because his name should not be better known than the names of his victims.I will use it, though, in private prayer.Social media is abuzz that the shooter is in court being arraigned. People are looking at the images and using words like "catatonic", "evil", "empty", "scared".I think he looks lost. Lost boy, lost soul. Knowing nothing at all about him, I can't know if he has snapped out of a psychotic … [Read more...]

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Learn the Divine Office in Lent

Well, Day 1 of Lent was pretty rich. Got to lector at Mass for one of my favorite readings and psalms, which was neat. Got to spend more time at a doctor's office than I wanted to for something so minor, but that was good, as it gave me a chance to finish Robert Hugh Benson's Lord of the World, (free on Kindle, kids!) and I think I needed the downtime. The quiet allowed a deeper submersion into Lent, but I still haven't gotten that book recommendation post done, sorry.Speaking of deeper … [Read more...]

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