The Long Road to Jerusalem

When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.Today's Gospel, from Luke 9:51-62, is one of those readings that sets some people on edge, as Jesus can seem a bit curt:But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their … [Read more...]

A Saint Grows in Brooklyn?

A great pleasure of doing In the Arena for the Diocese of Brooklyn as been getting to know Msgr. Kieran Harrington, the Vicar of Communications for the Diocese. New Evangelization Television, which produces, among other things, the only Catholic nightly news broadcast in the country, (Deacon Greg Kandra is its busy News Director) is one of Msgr. Harrington's concerns.Why do I bring him up? Well, it's 2:24 AM, and I am oddly tickled that one Monsignor has tipped me off to this this … [Read more...]

"I cannot mistrust the grace of God." – UPDATED

Today brings us the feasts of three great saints, a bishop, Paulinus of Nola, and two martyrs, St. John Fisher, and St. Thomas More.Therefore, the day gives us a wealth of choices in the Office of Readings. After the scriptural reading from the first book of Samuel, we can peruse an edifying letter by Paulinus, ("only recently have I begun to breathe in the air of life; only recently have I put my hand to the plough and taken up the cross of Christ. I need to be helped by your prayers to … [Read more...]

Feast of Charles Lwanga & Ugandan Martyrs

St. Charles Lwanga and Companion MartyrsVia Fr. Steve:Today is the feast of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions, whose martyrdom, as discussed here is especially moving and reminiscent of the early Christians:They were marched to Namugongo, where, bound with ropes, shackles, iron rings and slave yokes, they waited for one week. During that time the martyrs prayed and sang hymns; the Catholics among them recited morning and evening prayers, grace before and after meals, as well as the … [Read more...]

Pray for Nancy Pelosi

Just pray for her.Pelosi’s office did not respond to’s follow-up questions regarding the speaker’s statement that she seeks to make policy in conformance with the values of the Word made flesh.It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to speak fervently of the Word Made Flesh, and to understand that by his Incarnation God has ennobled all mortal flesh with a sanctity and a holiness relative to his own, and yet to consistently vote--as Nancy Pelosi did in 2003--against legi … [Read more...]

St. Philip Neri

From the Breviary: Saint Philip Neri was born at Florence in 1515. He went to Rome and began to work with young men among whom he fostered Christian life and formed an association for the poor and the sick. Ordained to the priesthood in 1551, he founded the Oratory where spiritual reading, singing, and works of charity were practiced. He excelled in his love of neighbor and in evangelical simplicity along with a joyous service to God. Saint Philip died in 1595.My Patron for 2010 has quietly … [Read more...]

St. Anselm, Bishop & Doctor -UPDATED

A prayer of St. Anselm: “Come now, little man, turn aside for a while from your daily employment, escape for a moment from the tumult of your thoughts. Put aside your weighty cares, let your burdensome distractions wait, free yourself awhile for God and rest awhile in him. Enter the inner chamber of your soul, shut out everything except God and that which can help you in seeking him, and when you have shut the door, seek him. Now, my whole heart, say to God: "I seek your face, Lord, it is y … [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...]

Abortion, the Sisters of Life & Hope – UPDATES

My friend Tony Rossi has had the opportunity to interview one of the foundresses of the Sisters of Life, Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, for The Christophers Closeup, and it's really rather wonderful and inspiring:Founded after New York’s Cardinal John O’Connor visited the Dachau concentration camp and vowed to protect the dignity of every human life, the Sisters of Life provide a safe haven for women who experience an unplanned pregnancy and aren’t sure what to do. Mother Agnes Mary Donovan tells … [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...]