Ancora Imparo; 2 Thoughts

Ancora Imparo (I am still learning.) - MichelangeloIt strikes me that the journey of faith is similar to that of an artist's growth. Both the spiritual seeker and the artist travel the interior road, and since the road is infinite, they are -no matter how long they study and seek and work- still at the beginning. We are all still learning.This is what Archbishop Anthony Bloom wrote in his excellent book, Beginning to Pray, which I posted on here. In his opening paragraph, he writes:As … [Read more...]

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A Study in Contrasts

Two Polish men.Both artists.Both "brilliant."Both persecuted by Nazis, in their native land. One was a prisoner, one was a slave. When the Nazis left, the Communists came.One, Roman Polanski, becomes a filmmaker. He encounters a 13 year old girl.One, Karol Wojtyla, becomes a priest. He too, encounters a 13 year old girl.After his encounter, the filmmaker -still a youngish man- runs away, out into the world, saying "everyone wants to do what I did." He lives what is for the most … [Read more...]

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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...]

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Praying to Obama?

A while back I wrote: Are we making Idols of our Ideologies?It's a good question, one to keep on a personal backburner whenever we find our political passions inflamed.I thought of it today as I watched this video of Obama supporters apparently calling on the name of the then-president-elect, in their intercessory prayer.Ed Morrissey rightly wonders what it is we're hearing.When I first watched it -guided by the captions- I heard "Obama," and of course, reacted to that with disgust. … [Read more...]

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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...]

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Please renew prayers for Ben

I know that I do a lot of asking for prayers for people, and it's sometimes hard to keep track (you should see my prayerbook! Names, lines, names, lines...) But a few days ago I posted a prayer request for a young boy who was dying:Ben had a heart attack a few days ago on the soccer field. His heart attack it turns out, was from a huge blood clot in his leg, which has since been amputated below the knee. He is stabilizing but still in need of much prayer.For a few days it looked like things … [Read more...]

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I lit a candle for all of you…

After reading about this over at Deacon Greg's, I lit a candle for all of you folks who come here every day in all sorts of moods, in all sorts of circumstances.The scoop:A Catholic church is allowing worshippers to light candles in memory of their loved ones over the internet as it seeks to reach out to a broader community.The church of Santa Maria Regina Pacis di Ostia, 20 miles from the Vatican offers the novel scheme through its website.Father Don Ludovico Barbangelo, the church’s p … [Read more...]

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Weakness is sown; strength rises up – Repost

Continuing with the idea shared by reader Mark S, I have decided it might be fun, after all, to repost some of my older pieces as I introduce myself to new readers. The following is from 2006, written after spending the anniversary of 9/11 at Adoration and praying the Office for the Dead. Today, having spent some time before the blessed sacrament for the intentions of all on my prayer list (please don't forget Patrick O' Hannigan's daughter, Jane, or our friends Liz and Sarah, who are dealing … [Read more...]

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"Abortion is a blessing!"

You know, it's so sick, I really didn't want to write about it. I linked to Amy Welborn and figured I'd let you folks find this monstrosity on your own, but I want to make sure you read it.These remarks were made before a NARAL audience, in 2007, but are only just getting some reaction, perhaps because of the current movement to suppress the conscience clause that protects doctors, nurses and pharmacists from losing their jobs, and Catholic hospitals from closing their doors.Or, perhaps … [Read more...]

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Feast of the Annunciation

"The Angel of the Lord appeared unto Mary," R: And she conceived by the Holy Spirit -- The AngelusA nearby parish rings the Angelus bells twice a day, and I love it. Sometimes in Manhattan, you can hear a church ringing the Angelus. People hurry by; possibly few of them even hear the bells, and those who do may think they are simply tolling 6PM, or noon.The Angelus is a devotion of the Church. At the tolling of the bells, signifying mid-day or evening prayer, a leader will intone, … [Read more...]

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