Adoration and Intercession: One Way to Pray

So after the great showing in Cambridge, MA, where "Catholics Answered Black Mass with Prayers of Reparation, the whole topic of Adoration has come up in my email -- "how does one do a Holy Hour?" -- so I thought I would repost this piece from a few years back. It's one way to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. There are no "right" ways. Sometimes, you just look at Him, and He looks at you. Like a sunburn, you feel the effects later.When I go to Adoration, it is such a privilege … [Read more...]

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Cultivating a Habit of Ejaculation

Piazza del Popolo, Rome, Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

I just spent more time than I had planned typing the word "ejaculations", along with my name or blog name, into search engines and, later, into document files.Okay, let's get it out of our systems: "she said 'ejaculations'! Heh-heh!"I was looking for a phrase I had written about what we used to call "ejaculations of prayer," and I was sure I had talked about it in Strange Gods, but I couldn't find it in my files and the only thing turning up in search engines was one line in this First … [Read more...]

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Pacem in Terris: Anchoress Comboxes Closed for Lent

What I am already discovering in this first day of Lent is that I am being drawn out, into the desert. The first word in the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict is "Listen" and I am being asked to rediscover silence and learn to listen again. To slow down and look at beautiful things, too.Because this is so, I have already let folks in social media know that -- while I will still be posting Patheos work and interesting headlines to Facebook and Twitter -- I will not be participating in FB discussion … [Read more...]

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Holder Hospitalized: “Lord, the one you Love is Sick…”

Attorney General Eric Holder has been hospitalized with symptoms of what could be a heart attack, or a panic attack.Stress is a killer and the whole nation is under stress right now, and that's a thought I may consider and flesh out later, but for now, let's whisper up a prayer for his good.I know, it's not always easy to pray for someone toward whom you may not have warm feelings, but we are called to it, and a good way to enter into any prayer with humility is through scripture. … [Read more...]

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When We Truly Love, We Model God to Each Other – UPDATED

psalm139 hubbel

A while back, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mother Dolores Hart, OSB about her book, and she talked of breaking off her engagement in order to enter the Abbey:He was furious. Oh, He was so upset. But he said a very unexpected thing which was, ‘you know all love relationships don’t end at the altar, and I will be faithful to you in this.’ Well, I thought that was a head-trip too. I didn’t see how in the world he could do that, but in effect, fifty years later, Don did stay with m … [Read more...]

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Science Proves It: Creation Actually Sings Praise!

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There is a moment in the dawn -- and it comes again in the gloaming, the evening twilight -- when a stillness falls, and for just the merest second it seems like the veil between heaven and earth has thinned out and may be more easily pierced. The birds chirp; the leaves rustle; the crickets cheep. It is a moment. If you happen to be taking part in Lauds or Vespers at that time, you can particularly feel it slip in and then away. A moment of singularity; one-ness with creation.As weakly as I … [Read more...]

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Craving Silence to Hear: Atchison Blue

BC_AtchisonBlue_11

If I am late coming to a review of Judith Valente's new book -- which is currently being featured in the Patheos Book Club, it is only because the pope keeps all of us very busy these days, and Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith is too good for a slap-dash mention. After reading, it needed time for absorption, and even some revisits, to do it justice.People are fast to make comparisons between Atchison Blue and Kathleen Norris' beloved modern classic, … [Read more...]

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The Key to Pope Francis

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The Holy Father continues to speak with a sharp sense of urgency:“Yes, you have to come to know Jesus in the Catechism – but it is not enough to know Him with the mind: it is a step. However, it is necessary to get to know Jesus in dialogue with Him, talking with Him in prayer, kneeling. If you do not pray, if you do not talk with Jesus, you do not know Him. You know things about Jesus, but you do not go with that knowledge, which He gives your heart in prayer. Know Jesus with the mind - the … [Read more...]

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Prayer and Fasting for Christians in Near and Middle East

This morning, I read this and felt a huge interior push to take up a fast and prayer for these brothers and sisters of ours:The silence of our friends – the extinction of Christianity in the Middle EastThe last month and a half has seen perhaps the worst anti-Christian violence in Egypt in seven centuries, with dozens of churches torched. Yet the western media has mainly focussed on army assaults on the Muslim Brotherhood, and no major political figure has said anything about the s … [Read more...]

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God in the Balance; Loving Dark and Light

shutterstock_128909486 fallencrucifix

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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