Good advice and more

My mother, Sister David, was ill and in bed, and I was getting ready to leave to speak to the National Council of Catholic Women. Sister David had a bird in her room, a little parakeet, and I said to the bird, "So long, Chico." And she said, "Sock it to 'em, Angelica.""It's the Lord." I told David. She looked at me and said, "No, it's Sister Regina. She taught him that."You know what the lesson there, is? Careful what you attribute to the Lord. Sometimes, it's just a bird squawking. … [Read more...]

Hermit's Bold Blend Coffee! MMMmmm!

September is a big birthday month in this family, and this month everyone got the outstanding, never-to-be equaled Mystic Monk Coffee, except for one brother, who doesn't drink coffee, so I got him the CDAnd of course, while I was ordering gifts, I discovered that the monks have two new blends. The budget wouldn't stretch to try them both this month, so I tried the Hermit's Bold Blend, which I was a little leery of. It sounded very bold, to me.It is - incredible. Rich and smooth and … [Read more...]

Compline; Prayer Before Sleep

I've decided I'm going to record Compline, the Prayer before Sleep, for every day of the week. We're living through angry, crazed, hate-filled, anxiety-ridden times.Monastics pray Compline either in community or alone, depending upon the house, but it is always prayed, and since it is meant to be prayed in the night, the Office is kept short, so as to be easily memorized (saved on candles). For monastics, once Compline is prayed, the house is in Grand Silence until morning. Our secular … [Read more...]

Morning Prayer, No Chant

Deacon Greg emailed me yesterday that one of his readers wished he would send him to someone podcasting hours of the Divine Office without chant.Well, I never said I was much of a singer, so I'm not hurt. But for this morning, to please this reader, I bring you Morning Prayer Without the Chant.Let me know which you prefer. If people would rather I not chant, I'll just speak the Offices.And once more, please - I'm really serious - please let me know if these things are unlistenable, … [Read more...]

Election '08: Coming down to Authenticity?

Bill Whittle, writing at NRO, nails it; he explains why the left is having so much trouble "getting" Palin. And why, when CNN uses the spectacularly unsympathetic son-tasing "poor fired trooper" to hurt Palin, it backfires on them. The elites don't understand how much every part of her story resonates with us in one way or another.She is so absolutely, remarkably, spectacularly ordinary. I think the magic of Sarah Palin speaks to a belief that so many of us share: the sense that we … [Read more...]

The Angel of the Lord appeared unto Mary…


A long, long time ago, in answering a question from a reader about why we Catholics make such fusses about things I wrote of Advent and the Incarnation:God kisses the earth, and nothing has been the same since...But no, maybe that’s not quite it, maybe God doesn’t just kiss the earth, for a kiss cannot last.Rather, God comes, as bridegroom - the real bridegroom who weds himself to us, divinity to humanity -and shares with us that most intimate privilege of marriage, the joining of two int … [Read more...]

Holy Eucharist & "Crackers" – UPDATED

Medal-Cross of St. BenedictIs it too much, really, to ask reporters to get it right? They always seem to write some variation of this:...he smuggled a Eucharist, a small bread wafer that to Catholics symbolic (sic) of the Body of Christ after a priest blesses it...No. We believe it is the Real Body and Blood of Christ, after consecration. Not a "symbol" after a "blessing." Is that so hard to get straight?Don't know how I missed this story, but I almost wish it had not been brought to … [Read more...]

Blogger Free Speech, Humanae Vitae – UPDATE

:::UPDATE::: A blogger who is rebuilding finds his Obama-critical posts uncached and unrecoverable. Hmmmmm...:::END UPDATE:::So, these Obama True-Believers are an insecure bunch.It seems to me if you are confident in your candidate, you don't need to run around doing all you can to silence opposition by shutting down blogs that dare to dislike your guy.When you act like a jack-booted silencer of dissent, you do your candidate no favors. You (and by extension your candidate, even if he … [Read more...]

Chant: Good for BP & Stress

Gregorian chanting 'can reduce blood pressure and stress' reads the headline, and the story is both interesting and unsurprising:Stress levels could be reduced simply by participating in some Gregorian chanting, researchers claimed today.Dr Alan Watkins, a senior lecturer in neuroscience at Imperial College London, revealed that teaching people to control their breathing and applying the musical structure of chanting can help their emotional state.He said: "We have recently carried out … [Read more...]

Merton: The Seven Storey Mountain

If you've never read the remarkable book The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton, you really should consider it. It's not just for Catholics; it is a tremendously readable autobiography of a brilliant man on spiritual sojourn. One of those books you pick up and have difficulty putting down. I quote some of the book - and share how it made me think.Here is a video about Merton and the evolution of the book … [Read more...]