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...]

Office of Readings; Bliss

I've focused a lot about Morning Prayer and Vespers in my writing, as evidenced by the podcasts, and I have certainly loved praying the Hours out of my Christian Prayer Breviary for the past ten years.I used the breviary to pray all of the hours, of course, but Vigils (or, what is now called the Office of Readings - OOR) was limited therein. Some years ago I had bought the full 4 volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours (used, for a great price) but I'd never used the set because I thought I … [Read more...]

St. Therese & Our Own Genius

Ste. Thérèse de L'Enfant Jesus et de la Sainte FaceFrom the Responsory for today's Office of Readings:From the very beginning, O God, you came to me with your love, which has grown since my childhood - Its depths I cannot fully grasp.O Lord, how great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. - Its depths I cannot fully grasp.Coming directly after Therese's nearly ecstatic words in the second reading, the quiet acknowledgment of ongoing mystery and unplumbable depths i … [Read more...]

Crucifix on my Oratory

One of these days, I will learn how to take a picture out of a digital camera (or my phone) and post a picture of my Oratory for you.Suffice to say it is makeshift. I have a cushion for sitting or kneeling (it's big). I've pushed a glass-topped credenza to the wall, leaned four Icons against it, and I have these solid brass angel/candleholders I picked up for cheap some years ago at an antique shop. Tealight candles scattered among a few smaller Icons - it's very restful and very simple, … [Read more...]

Feast of the Holy Archangels

One of my very favorite feastdays, and a good tonic before we meet the curmudgeonly St. Jerome, tomorrow:From today's Office of Readings, we read Michael's battle with the dragon (Rev 12:1-17a) and then this homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great:You should be aware that the word "angel" denotes a function rather than a nature. Those holy spirits of heaven have indeed always been spirits. They can only be called angels when they deliver some message. Moreover, those who deliver messages of … [Read more...]

Yom Kippur; Fast & Pray

I know many people of many different faiths are taking today to fast and to offer prayers of atonement, reparation, contrition - for the sake of the whole world.I will be joining in, and will (by God's grace) pray all seven offices of the day (Vigils, Lauds, Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers & Compline) with great mindfulness.And to get us all started, the Avinu Malkeinu (translation at link).I'll give you two, because they're both good; first the traditional, cantored by the astonishing … [Read more...]

9/11, Eight Years On

A longtime friend and blogger related feeling reluctant to write about 9/11 on this anniversary. "Everything just feels so tense and uncertain," this person wrote, "I'm having a hard time focusing on the anniversary, and hasn't everything that could be said about 9/11 been said?"I confessed to a similar feeling. On one hand, one wants to write, "never forget, and never again," on the other hand, one is almost tired of feeling the pain and the anger. It's almost like remembering my … [Read more...]

A gift of Morning Prayer, II

From Love to be CatholicThe bells ring, the cock crows and golden sunlight beams in once more...the birds begin their morning song - all creation comes quite naturally, organically, to morning prayer, to lauds, a prayer of pure praise. The created creatures, all together in instinctive wisdom, take time -before their grooming, their hunting, their feeding- for praise.They sing!It happens with every sunrise, in every time zone. Every day, rain or shine. Creation takes no holiday.After … [Read more...]

Compline & Podcast questions

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air suggested that I put out a feeler and see if some folks would like to get emailed for a headsup whenever I do a podcast. Is that something you would like? Let me know.Also, I am considering recording the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and some Litanies. Interested or would it be a waste of time?Would you like an occasional podcast of the Office of Readings? Or mid-day prayer?New readers - do you know that my very first podcasts were of Compline, the prayer before … [Read more...]

Twittering Liberty…and Hope – UPDATED

Emily Dickinson wrote: Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune--without the words And never stops at all...How appropriate then, that the communications tool most responsible for keeping hope alive in shattered Iran is "a thing" called "Twitter," and that the 140-character dispatches being sent and received by people in desperate straits are called "tweets."People are "tweeting" for their lives, and their messages are bold, frightened, determined and … [Read more...]


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