June 1st Resolution; ora AT labora – UPDATED

The motto of the Benedictines is ora et labora; pray and work. In his Holy Rule, our Father Benedict writes that prayer should preface all activity throughout the day, so that a meeting should not take place, a meal should not be eaten, a guest should not be greeted or a specific labor should not be performed, until one has taken a moment to place oneself in the presence of God, and ask his blessing, and for the strength to do his will. A monk may spend several hours in prayer, in choir, then … [Read more...]

A Most small-c Catholic Drama

Over at Pajamas Media, I have a piece that you might call an addendum to my weekend article at First Things. In 2009 an Arizona woman, pregnant with her fifth child and suffering from pulmonary hypertension (an often, but not always fatal complication), consulted with her doctor and the ethics committee member on call — a Catholic Sister of Mercy — and obtained an abortion at the St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. As the story has gone public, the reactions have been predictable … [Read more...]

An Evening Prayer

Brian J takes something from my podcasts and writes: All week I have done my best to lead you astray and get you in trouble. This is my penance... Why did God make the world? Also, we remember the Mexican Martyrs … [Read more...]

Pentecost Novena, Day 3

Concord Pastor has the prayers and meditations … [Read more...]

Life of Faith, Power of Prayer

The life of faith, in truth, is -like Jumpin’ Jack Flash, a g-g-gas; it is a mind-blower. We humans tend to try to put everything, including God, and love and life, into manageable compartments, and we hide in them. We hide inside our frameworks, our structures, our plans, our narratives, our willful and our unintentional bigotries. But God -who created a world of order- points cannons at those tidy compartments and goes ba-boom! And when we ask, repeatedly, “why did you do that, when I had … [Read more...]

Urgent Prayer Request – UPDATED

From an Anchoress reader out there, among you, a prayer request for Mercy: "Please pray for my sister's newborn baby girl. I'm 5000 miles from my family so my details are sparse but the baby was born today full term but with breathing problems. My sister already lost my niece's twin in utero due to swine flu so I'm really praying for her that this baby is okay. Her name is Mercy." Please pray - storm heaven for Mercy and for her parents and family. Lord, the one you love is sick. Divine … [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 Current My 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...]

The Paradoxes of Christianity -UPDATED

*** It seems that Bill Maher, who has never demonstrated more than an adolescent understanding of religion, wrote recently in Newsweek, “The problem with faith ... is it kind of screws up your priorities. Your priorities shouldn’t be about saving your own (butt), which is the focus of Christianity.” Over at the National Catholic Register, radio host Tony Rossi writes: Is [Maher] right? Of course we Christians do want our souls saved so we can spend eternity in heaven. The concept Maher … [Read more...]

Homework & Hospitals

Elder Son & Buster, long ago Longtime readers may recall that while he was in High School Buster frequently landed in the ER usually from a rash move on the playing field: Now he's away at college, and here we are again. Only Buster can apply himself to his homework and land in the hospital! He had an assignment to videotape reactions to the breaking of social norms, and then to analyze them. His partner taped him intruding on a game of catch by making a play intended for another. His … [Read more...]

The Great Prostration; Count Me In

In an impromptu, and very beautiful homily, Pope Benedict XVI last week brought up the issue of penance: Penance is grace; it is a grace that we recognize our sin, it is a grace that we know we need renewal, change, a transformation of our being. Penance, being able to do penance, is the gift of grace. And I must say that we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word penance, it has seemed too harsh to us. Now, under the attacks of the world that speak to us of our sins, we … [Read more...]