Unemployment Numbers & a Timely Meditation

The unemployment numbers are looking pretty dismal and bleak, aren't they?A while back, I was praying for someone's job intention when it turned into a meditation through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, which adapt themselves perfectly and powerfully to the feelings of abandonment, isolation and exposure that those suffering a job loss can experience.The folks at Our Sunday Visitor wondered if I could adapt that post, after some revision, to a pamphlet that could help prayer groups, … [Read more...]

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Prelude to the second reading at Vigils (Office of Readings):Sacred Scripture celebrated the beauty of Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the purity of Israel's faith in the living God. In the twelfth century, hermits withdrew to that mountain and later founded the Carmelite Order devoted to the contemplative life under the patronage of Mary, the holy Mother of God.The Feastday of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is kept with great joy by Carmelites active and contemplative. We remember Mary … [Read more...]

Pope in Fatima

Benedict and Baby in FatimaBenedict has Flown to PortugalHalf a million pilgrims turned out to celebrate mass (full text of homily here) with Pope Benedict XVI on this "whopper" of a day, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima. #Fatima was trending on Twitter today, where I also learned that today is Shavuot, which commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the Israelite nation at Mount Sinai. So that's kind of … [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 CurrentMy 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...]

Exemplary St. Joseph

St. Joseph Icon ViaFrom my pocket notebook:What an exemplary man St. Joseph must have been! Wanting a wife and son, God entrusted him with His very own wife, His very own son, and for that matter, His very own mother, and His very own life.Perhaps Joseph's silence in scripture is what makes some feel so distant from him; I wish I knew him better, in as much as I am conceited enough to think I can know anyone.In a stained glass window, I see Mary, asleep in the background. Joseph is in … [Read more...]

February 11; Our Lady of Lourdes

Count on our friend Fr. James Martin for the goods:If you're in a listening, not watching, mood you can check out my podcast about the Immaculate Conception which also covers the story of Bernadette Soubirous and Lourdes.Here, you can read the whole chapter on Bernadette from My Life With the Saints.A look at Bernadette SoubirousThe 67 "official" Miracles of Lourdes Some images of the processions Deacon's Bench Catholic Passion … [Read more...]

Candlemas; Feast of the Presentation

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined to be the rise and the fall of many in Israel, and a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 2It is odd that this feastday -The Feast of the Presentation of Christ- (which is also called "Candlemas" because it is … [Read more...]

Venerating Mary

This is a gorgeous bit of Orthodox chant (and lovely images) thanks to the invaluable Crescat, who is otherwise torturing us with obnoxious images of pop-culture messiah, or achingly beautiful scenes of Malta. Check her out!O Virgin Birthgiver, rejoice... ...Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, For thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls! … [Read more...]

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...]

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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