Old and New On the Square's

"On the Square" is, of course, the featured daily article of First Things Online, and I am remiss in that I had intended to link to the Ronald E. Osborn two-parter posted on Monday and Tuesday. Entitled Obama’s Niebuhrian Moment, it is a long and rather magnificent exposition of the influence of Reinhold Niebuhr on President Obama, as exposed in his Nobel-Prize acceptance speech.In his December 10, 2009, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, President Barack Obama offered a vigorous defense of … [Read more...]

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Bad Day, Good Readings

"The temptation to acedia is an invitation to abandon involvement and leave the pangs of creativity to others.", -- Michael Casey, Fully Human, Fully Divine“…my capacity for joy shrivels up and, like drought-stricken grass, I die down to the roots to wait it out. The simplest acts demand a herculean effort…I am observing my life more than living it. I recognize in all of this the siege of what the desert monks termed the “noonday demon.” It suggests that whatever I’m doing, indeed my e … [Read more...]

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Power of the Perfect Prayer

Another thought about Marcella Dubuque, who was last Christmas preparing for imminent death, and whose story I linked to this morning."The acceptance was so total that there were no regrets, just gratitude for the life, for the family. Realizing how lucky I was," she says. ... Over the course of a week, more than 100 people came to see her in what has been described as a living wake. They exchanged old stories and brought her rosary beads, prayer cards, holy oil, even blessed salt. Lella … [Read more...]

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Mary and Elizabeth

If you are snowed in, you have time to indulge me, but even if you are scurrying around, I urge to take a few minutes to read Deacon Greg's meaty homily on what we Catholics call "The Visitation," - the moment in the Gospel where Mary, confronted by Gabriel and overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, has gone to visit her elder kinswoman, Elizabeth, who was also with child. Writes Greg:[Elizabeth] knew that she was greeting her Messiah.Pope Benedict has written that the Visitation is more than … [Read more...]

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Dec 18 – O Adonai

SourceOnce 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...]

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Dec 17 – O Sapientia

Finally, we come to the last week of Advent and the gorgeous O Antiphons which precede the Magnificat at Vespers. I like the description here.O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.I love this U2 song, which re-states the Magnificat, and the video with it; the wind (on which rides the Holy Spirit) comes over what is hidden, revealing what appears to be the New Jerusalem, and then flows … [Read more...]

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Advent Pictures of Christ

Snowflake Photos from SnowCrystals.comI know I need to be careful how I say this.Yes, they're snowflakes.But when I first saw these pictures, all I could think of was: Look! Pictures of Christ!Pictures of perfection, they remind us of the joyful Antiphon for a Monday's vespers: "yours is more than mortal beauty; every word you speak is full of grace."They are -in a sense- pictures of Christ in Glory.He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all … [Read more...]

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OOR: The end of podcasts

I know I haven't done them in a while, but this morning -up early and venturing into the splendid Office of Readings (OOR)- I thought I would share them with you. As we approach the end of the liturgical year, the readings are full of end-times scripture and prophecy, and the lessons are full of love, and warming us up for Advent. I can't help but think they would be appealing to Catholics and Evangelicals, alike.Unfortunately, it turns out that recording as I have done in the past, right … [Read more...]

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Prayer is ruining me for blogging…

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 statues. … [Read more...]

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The World’s Tiniest Hair Shirt…

Brown ScapularMy husband was noticed a brown cord peeking out from the neckline of my shirt and asked, "what's that?"Oops. Caught. "It's a brown scapular," I admitted."That's like, hardcore fanatical Catholic stuff, isn't it," he asked. "When did you start wearing that?"He wasn't being critical, exactly. My husband is a tolerant sort, and if a person wants to practice a lot of devotions that he doesn't feel particularly called to, that's alright by him. But he did seem a … [Read more...]

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