Holy Hour Reading Recommendations

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Someone asked me if I could recommend a good book for reading during Holy Hour. Lots of great books, of course, but I am particularly fond of Jesus, Present Before Me: Meditations for Eucharistic Adoration by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P. Then again, for Adoration, I like to bring my breviary, mostly, as it is a chance to pray an hour (usually Vespers) before the Blessed Sacrament. I also like old-fashioned prayerbooks like this one. They're kind of comforting and familiar, even if the … [Read more...]

Dorothy Day on the True Anarchist – UPDATE

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You only love God as much as you love the person you love the least. -- Servant of God, Dorothy Day It is an awful indictment, but it's true. Dorothy Day ("I am an obedient daughter of the church") died 31 years ago, today. The more confused our world becomes, the more her voice speaks plainly and with clarity. Right now I am reading her diaries, The Duty of Delight (it's diary entries; I can read a little each night, and that's all the reading I am managing, lately). I like this … [Read more...]

Don’t forget new LOTH Guidebooks

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I've been praying the Divine Office for over a decade, and I am still lost without the guidebooks. Amazon has the guidebook for the 4-Volume Liturgy of the Hours and the guidebook for the Christian Prayer Breviary. Of course, if you're praying the hours online, you can't do better than this site and its apps. And if you're only able to manage some abbreviated prayer into your day (along with the daily lectionary and most wonderful readings and meditations) this is the thing you want. … [Read more...]

Flying light among the Turkeys – UPDATED

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You may be facing Thanksgiving with mixed feelings -- many of us do; if so, Father Jim Martin has some tips for getting through Thanksgiving when it is filled with turkeys: Everyone from your know-it-all neighbor to your more-processed-than-you-are therapist to your holier-than-thou pastor will tell you that the holidays can be stressful times. Even though you roll your eyes after hearing this for the umpteenth time, you know they're right. Why? Oh, for about a billion reasons: the need to … [Read more...]

Catholicism: Living Tradition is not Trendy

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We've been talking about Robert Barron's Catholicism -- both the book and the DVD series -- for for months, and I am surprised that with all of my reading, I had missed Maurice Timothy Reidy's review at America magazine in which Reidy -- while liking a great deal about the series -- complained that the thing does not adequately embrace the now: It is wonderful to contemplate that we share a faith with the men who crafted the rose windows at Notre Dame and the African martyrs who died in … [Read more...]

“Catholicism” Tonight on EWTN

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With his beautifully filmed series "Catholicism", Father Robert Barron has done for the church what Ken Burns did for the Civil War and Baseball -- brought it to life in an immediate, meaningful and accessible way. Some parts of the series have run on some PBS stations, and tonight EWTN will be debuting six episodes. I cannot recommend the series enough and urge you to gather your family (and friends and neighbors) together -- even those who roll their eyes at "church stuff" -- to take … [Read more...]

Should I Want a Kindle? Updated

Y'all know me -- I am a technophobe and always behind on the gadgetry trends; I still don't have a smart phone and I only have an iPad because it was a gift. And now, the whole world seems to be abuzz (or, ablaze?) over the new Kindle Fire. So, naturally, that means I am finally wondering whether it's time for me to ask for a basic, no-frills Kindle or some sort of e-reader for Christmas? Are they worth it? Can one get over reading actual books? I hate reading books on the iPad, but is the … [Read more...]

Mercy in the White House

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Over at First Things, Gayle Trotter has a nice interview with Timothy S. Goeglein, the disgraced "middleman" in the last Bush administration who writes of some very poignant and personal moments with the man in his book The Man in the Middle: An Inside Account of Faith and Politics in the George W. Bush Era: When I resigned from my position and I drove home, I felt my world had caved in, and I was certain that that was the end of the end. When I came back to the White House on Monday to begin … [Read more...]

Veterans Day: European, Pacific, Wives and Books

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The flag is flying outside, and I just watched some local men in fraternal headgear carry out a memorial service for Veterans living and the dead. Kind of moving to see these older arthritic guys saluting their young counterparts. For the day, we have pieces touching on aspects of faith in both the Pacific and the European theaters, from WWI and WWII: First up, Pat McNamara with one of the most entertaining Veteran's Day pieces I've yet read: In 1916, Father [Francis P] Duffy was … [Read more...]

Laughter in my Prayer – UPDATED

Two hours into the day someone sent this my way and I needed it, badly. Laughter is not just good medicine. Sometimes having the opportunity to laugh segues into a prayer of thanksgiving: Thank you, God, for the interruption to a hectic day, and the cleansing effect of a laugh. Thank you God that I can hear and see this, in order to so fully enjoy it. Thank you that my lungs work, so I can bark out "HA! That's funny!" and it heals me more effectively than a thousand sighs. Thank you for … [Read more...]

When Optimisim is a Strange God

“Optimism is a matter optics, of seeing what you want to see and not seeing what you don't want to see. Hope, on the other hand, is a Christian virtue. It is the unblinking acknowledgment of all that militates against hope, and the unrelenting refusal to despair. We have not the right to despair, and, finally, we have not the reason to despair” ― Richard John Neuhaus, The Best of the Public Square Shortly after I wrote this column discussing Mark Steyn's book, After America, I got an … [Read more...]

Jesus on Flying out of Newark

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Okay, palate cleanser -- have a laugh courtesy of Father Jim Martin, who knows how to be light of heart! I love this: On a recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I started to wonder : What would it have been like for Jesus and the disciples to deal with the stresses and strains of air travel? 1 Immediately Jesus left for Galilee with his disciples, via Newark. For their vacation in New York was finished; and they had spent all that they had on Broadway shows, including “The Book of … [Read more...]

As with every Vatican Pronouncement…

. . . take media reports of this one with a grain of salt. When my Southern Baptist friends read press accounts of news or statements coming from the Vatican, they sometimes write me saying, "what fresh hell is this? Was Jack Chick right? Is the Vatican a bunch of commies?" And I always have to remind them to "ignore the headlines; the headlines are about the press framing their preferred narrative, because they know that two days of blaring headlines promoting one narrative will … [Read more...]

Update on Kitty and Where I Am -UPDATED

Hi folks! I hope you're making Lisa feel welcome (I have no doubt of that) and can't wait to see what she does while aboard. I may pop in and out, today, myself -- or I may not -- but wanted to quickly express my thanks for all of your kind prayers for Kitty. She is still spiking fevers, her heart rate is still accelerated today some draining of the abscess is going to happen; the doctors say she will not be released from hospital until at least Wednesday, so as you keep her in your thoughts, … [Read more...]