Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati – UPDATED

“Prayer is the noble supplication which we lift up to the throne of the Most High. It is the most efficient means to obtain from God the graces which we need.” - Pier Giorgio FrassatiThe weirdest thing happened to me last night. I was laying in bed (lying? I can never keep that straight) anyhow, I suddenly found my muscles going into an odd sorts of rolling contractions. Seriously, it was like labor contractions, they "rolled" (or perhaps radiated) from the lower abdomen to mid-ribcage and … [Read more...]

Exile: The Past is Prologue


Pope John Paul II and Ignatius Cardinal Kung Pin MeiToday at mass, our priest - by no means a reactionary sort - remarked on the Gospel reading for the day, which was Jn 10:31-42. I took notes, but still am paraphrasing a little:"I think the men who wanted to stone Jesus were offended that he would come in their era, that he would intrude on their time with his messianic talk. Because it's one thing to look for and hope for Messiah, and quite another to have to encounter Messiah - … [Read more...]

"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 her … [Read more...]

"New Eve" encounters her snakes?

Hillary Clinton sort of looking at Our Lady of GuadalupeOkay, I admit I'm being a bit snarky with the headline. I'm not really calling Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama "snakes" - I'm just having a little fun with scripture, and the whole notion that the two biggest abortion proponents in the country are having Marian encounters.If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Mary as The New Eve, there's lots of info out there, and a few lovely meditations by some of our nun friends, too.Anyway, … [Read more...]

Saintly Relics, Babylon & Nimrod

As a Benedictine Oblate, it was with great joy that I read this article on the discovery of ancient relics, including one of our Holy Father, St. Benedict:The new medieval gallery at the British Museum is full of beautiful images of saints in ivory, stone, gold and wood - but invisible to visitors, it also holds the bones of 39 real saints, whose discovery came as a shock to their curator.The relics, packed in tiny bundles of cloth including one scrap of fabric over 1,000 years old, were … [Read more...]

St. Joseph; The Hidden Life

Podcast of Second Vespers of the Feastday here.The other day I sang the praises of the Irish as we feasted St. Patrick. Today is actually a much bigger feast day - the solemn feast day of St. Joseph, the Husband of Mary. Just as St. Patrick is huge to the Irish community even though he was not, himself Irish, St. Joseph is very big in the Italian community, even though he was not Italian.It's a bit of an inside joke, but at least here in NY, if you come into an Italian family, at some … [Read more...]

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We gave you the Irish Soda Bread, we gave you Joyce, Yeats and Oscar Wilde.We gave you U2. Sorry that Bono can be such a blowhard sometimes, but you know...he's Irish.We gave you Errol Flynn.And Tom Selleck.And John Wayne & Maureen O' Hara.And Gene Kelly.And the foundation upon which bluegrass and old-timey were founded.We gave you Daniel Day Lewis (hey, he carries an Irish passport)."Stay alive, no matter what occurs. I will find yew!"We gave you der Bingle and … [Read more...]

Prayer Penance and Pain – UPDATED

For reasons not worth getting into, there are times when my entire body is just one big ball of pain, where every inch of me aches. Usually it has to do with an incoming storm, or a weather system that is passing nearby.It happened tonight. We had a beautifully warm day, and I had no idea what the weather reports were saying, but I should have known we were due for rain because by suppertime I was almost blind from pain. After putting the dishes away I hit the sack, hoping an hour's nap … [Read more...]

Feb 11 & St. Bernadette Soubirous

The Incorruptible Body of St. Bernadette SoubirousFr. James Martin, author of My Life With the Saints - which I have mightily praised in these parts - has made a series of videos on some of his favorite saints, and today he gives us a very well-done look at St. Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes, who is one of my favorite saints, too.Last December, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is intimately connected with Bernadette, I talked about the saint in this podcast, which you … [Read more...]

Michael Dubruiel – R.I.P. – UPDATED

UPDATE: Read Michael's staggering last column, written the night before he died. And another good one here about a priest who is one of my "prayer partners." Talk about the Communion of Saints! Today, when I said my rosary, I invited Michael to pray it with me, for his family. And I didn't even know that Michael and Fr. Solanus Casey were acquainted!This is nice: OSV will double Michael's royalties for his February book sales.Photo by Amy WelbornAwful, awful news.I knew Michael. … [Read more...]