Once more, with feeling

H/T)But if I must die, I will try to do it right like these folksO/T: Scott Brown has nuns praying for every day. … [Read more...]

Power of the Perfect Prayer

Another thought about Marcella Dubuque, who was last Christmas preparing for imminent death, and whose story I linked to this morning."The acceptance was so total that there were no regrets, just gratitude for the life, for the family. Realizing how lucky I was," she says. ... Over the course of a week, more than 100 people came to see her in what has been described as a living wake. They exchanged old stories and brought her rosary beads, prayer cards, holy oil, even blessed salt. Lella … [Read more...]

Lord, Don't Trust Lizzie! UPDATED

When writing about nuns on sleds, I happened to mention that my randomly-pulled patron saint for 2010 is St. Philip Neri, of whom I am not well-informed, beyond the fact that he was known to be "cheerful and charming."Since a lack of both charm and cheerfulness has generally defined Lizzie, I have been assuming that Neri and I would make an uncomfortable team; I am certainly open to being taught those habits (or traits) if they are in fact teachable, but I believe good St. Philip will find me … [Read more...]

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Last year, I gave an 8 minute podcast talking about this solemnity. It's one of the biggies in the church, and for a good reason. As St. Anselm teaches us from across the centuries in today's Office of Readings:God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. WIthout God's Son, nothing could exist; without Mary's Son, nothing could be redeemed.Or, as St. John Vianney taught:“The Father takes pleasure in looking upon the heart o … [Read more...]

Advent Fire in the Earth

Fire In the Earth It is done. Once again the Fire has penetrated the earth Not with the sudden crash of thunderbolt, riving the mountain tops; does the Master break down doors to enter his own home? Without earthquake, or thunderclap: the flame has lit us the whole world from within. All things individually and collectively are penetrated and flooded by it, from the inmost core of the tiniest atom to the mighty sweep of the most universal lawas of being: so naturally has it flooded every … [Read more...]

Pier Giorgio Frassati; Vampire Slayer?

In pop culture, Vampires are currently (again) all the rage, and Fr. Z makes the amusing and not so off-base observation that this icon of our dear friend, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, looks a bit like a vampire slayer.The Dominican Tertiary from Italy is actually shown holding his rosary and his beloved skis, but I thought it was amusing, just the same. And since we know (in fact we have the pictures to prove it) that Pier Giorgio had a wonderful sense of humor, I bet he'd find it amusing, … [Read more...]

Mother Cabrini

Her feast day was last Friday, November 13, but somehow I missed writing about the first American saint, a diminutive, iron-willed woman who left a rather wealthy family in Italy to work with the poor Italian immigrants in NYC: from Italy, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.Gaining her citizenship in 1909, Cabrini is the Patron Saint of all immigrants who leave their homeland for a new place. She was canonized in 1946, and I remember her being much loved in the Irish-Italian neighborhood of my youth. … [Read more...]

Congratulations Father Jim!

On All Saints Day I linked you to a post for, well, All Saints Day, that included a video of Fr. James Martin discussing his first acquaintances with the Saints, and also his excellent book, My Life With the Saints.Fr. Jim has been a good friend to this blog for a while, even visiting here for a day-long chat, a while back.So, it's only fitting that a fellow who is a friend of the Saints would profess his final vows as a Jesuit, on none other than All Saints Day.Fr. James Martin. S.J. … [Read more...]

"Who Needs the Saints?"

Reposted from January '09Who needs the saints, what's the point? A nicely done video by Fr. Jim Martin, author of My Life With the Saints, which has been endlessly plugged around here, and with good reason. It's a good way to spend 3 1/2 minutes.I've written before about the Communion of Saints and what it is like to pray with the cloud of witnesses St. Paul tells us are always around us. Christians profess the Communion of Saints in the Apostles Creed, but aside from the Catholics and … [Read more...]

Litany of Saints

I had an email a few days ago, from someone who sent me a youtube video.The emailer was a new correspondent, and the video was meant to "help" me understand that the Catholic church was the Whore of Babylon, and that Pope John Paul II was the Beast of Revelation, who would rise from the grave and fool the world.No, I don't think I will be linking to the video. Normally I ignore that sort of stuff; between the hate mail from the left, the hate mail from the far-right and the strongly-dislike … [Read more...]