Hearing Pope Francis With the Ear of the Heart

Pope Francis Holds His Weekly General Audience

Over at The Crescat, Katrina Fernandez is puzzling out Pope Francis and the way people react to him.A lot of people have expressed to me the almost schizophrenic spiritual state Pope Francis puts them in. Admittedly, I too have felt this same bit of anxiousness at times. I’ve even heard comments suggesting the Pope is to blame for the divisive polarizing atmosphere between the “traddies” and “trendies”. They feel like he is constantly criticizing while we try and decipher who specifically he … [Read more...]

St. Catherine of Siena would “get” Sister Cristina Scuccia

Via Sisters, Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Not long after Deacon Greg posted this bit about her singing "Flashdance: What a Feeling", a friend on Facebook shot me a private message wondering if I was not getting "a little worried" about all of the attention being given to Ursuline Sister Cristina Scuccia, or -- as she is known in Italy -- Suor Cristina."Well, sure. As she becomes more well-known, the world will throw awful temptations her way," I responded, "so we really should pray for her spiritual welfare. She's human and we're … [Read more...]

Should “New Homophiles” Be Allowed their Stories?

AquinasSumma

I love this about Saint Thomas Aquinas, the great teacher, whose story reminds us that we do not know as much as we think we do:[In 1273, on the feast of Saint Nicholas, Aquinas was celebrating Mass] when "he received a revelation that so affected him that he wrote and dictated no more, leaving his great work the Summa Theologiae unfinished. To Brother Reginald’s (his secretary and friend) expostulations he replied, "The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to be as so m … [Read more...]

Books in the Mail! Books Over the Air! – UPDATED

three great books

When I started blogging, I used to watch Instapundit make note of books he'd received in the mail, (even, eventually, making note of mine!) and I would be so jealous, thinking, "I want that! I want people to send me books in the mail!"I have come to understand why Glenn Reynolds makes a quick mention, when a book comes in, rather than waiting until he gets a chance to read them. The books, once they start coming in, tend to um...pile up quickly!Don't get me wrong. I love getting new … [Read more...]

All Saints Day: A Day of Great Hope and Hope we Need!

knows your name

"There is no saint without a past. There is no sinner without a future." St AugustineI love All Saints Day. I love exiting from Mass and watching the traffic pass by. I always think, "it's so cool that while the rest of the world is scurrying about its worldly business, we take time to remember our spiritual ancestors" -- to connect to that Cloud of Witnesses within the Communion of Saints; to ask them to pray for us; to use their lives as an example of hope to keep us going as we fail, and … [Read more...]

A Female Cardinal? Not a New Idea, Really

Saint Thecla Praying for the Plague-Stricken Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770)

It's always struck me as interesting that when Tiepolo painted Saint Thecla, here portrayed at prayer for plague victims, he imagined her in what appears to be an old-fashioned Cardinal's robe.Our Orthodox and Byzantine brothers and sisters call Thecla "the Protomartyr, Equal-to-the-Apostles". I've always thought of her as first in a long line of women -- from the earliest days of the church until today -- who were headstrong in their obedience.One of my favorite writers, David Gibson … [Read more...]

Miley Cyrus, Syria and the Head of Saint John the Baptist

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A great deal has been written this week about 20 year-old Miley Cyrus and her maniacally over-the-top performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. As Mark Shea points out, as the world stands on the brink of something dire and deadly the public seeks only bread and circuses, which the bottom-line-obsessed press serves up with such alacrity that satire cannot surmount it.The headlines are grim, but they're bare blips within our awareness. Who wants to read about constitutional ethics, war … [Read more...]

Maximilian Kolbe: Catholic Subversive!

Kolbe

That night, I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me, a Child of Faith. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both. -- Saint Maximilian Mary KolbeIt is fitting that we today anticipate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary by remembering a saint whose devotion to … [Read more...]

A good day for this book: Voices of the Saints

voices of the saints

I happened to be talking to Julie Davis -- who is the primo go-to person when pondering any book, because I do believe she may have read them all! -- about what collections of "lives of the saints" we would recommend. I have a few that I like a lot, and they're all well-known award winners: Father Jim Martin's My Life with the Saints, Colleen Carroll Campbell's My Sisters, the Saints and Robert Ellsberg's All Saints. And I've always liked Lisa Hendey's collection for Catholic Moms.Julie … [Read more...]

Acedia and the Help of Saint Benedict

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So, you may have noticed that for the week, I have written nothing. At all. Anywhere.For whatever reason, I have most uncharacteristically been doing battle, all week, with the devilish little blue megrim that is acedia.Actually, "doing battle" sounds romantic and pro-active. It would be more accurate to say I have been whining and unable to work and whining about being unable to work, and wandering around the house ineffectually, and walking the park feeding ducks, and missing my dog, … [Read more...]


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