Fear Hell…

... To quote Fr. Longenecker, fear hell.Today is the option memorial of Our Lady of Fatima.Quoting the good Father again,It is sobering to remember that the visions of Fatima are not just the wishful thinking of three peasant children or the fanciful imaginations of ignorant children.The visions have been approved by the Church, validated by five popes and given credence by millions.Therefore we ought to take them seriously.Hell is real and should be rightly feared. … [Read more...]

Santa Claus versus St. Nick…

... Every now and again I hear someone refer to Santa Claus as St. Nick.Santa and St. Nick are two very different individuals. Here, let me help you distinguish between the two.St. Nick aka St. Nicholas of Myra1) An actual real live person 2) Celebrated and recognized saint in Catholicism and Orthodoxy 3) Known for kicking ass and taking names4) Actually gave to the poor 5) Imprisoned for his faithSanta Claus1) Totally fictional character of dubious pagan … [Read more...]

Mary’s Queenship Beautifully Represented by Veronese, Botticelli, Sirani and Velázquez…

... Today's Fine Art Friday celebrates the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.The faithful, under the guidance of an unerring Catholic instinct, have ever recognized the queenly dignity of the Mother of "The King of kings and Lord of lords": the Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, Popes, down through the centuries, have given authoritative expression to this truth and the crowning testimony to this common belief is to be found clearly expressed in the wonders of art and in … [Read more...]

St. Mary Magdalene, The Penitent …

... Today is the memorial of my patron saint, St. Mary Magdalene.When I was being confirmed some people assumed my choosing her implied we shared a scandalous unseemly past."Oh, you've taken the reformed prostitute as your patron saint, eh? That's, um, interesting."No. I have taken The Penitent as my patron saint.The feast of St. Mary Magdalene is considered one of the most mystical of feasts, and it is said that of all the songs of the saints, that of Mary Magdalene is … [Read more...]

Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist…

Bartolome Esteban Murillo, St. John the Baptist as a Child c. 1665From CatholicCulture.org; Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint's death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original … [Read more...]

Palm Sunday…

Readings, about Palm Sunday, and Pope Francis on Palm Sunday. … [Read more...]

Listen to Him…

Andrea Previtali, the Transfiguration Oil on panel Pinacoteca di Brera, MilanFrom today's Gospel reading...MT 17:1-9 Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three t … [Read more...]

Candlemas…

... The Sequence for Candlemas, sung to Dominican chant by the Dominican friars at Blackfriars, Oxford."Candlemas is the fortieth day after Christmas, and is the day the Church celebrates when the Blessed Virgin Mary in obedience with Mosaic law, presented the Christ child to Simeon the Just, in the temple (Numbers 18:15), and submitted herself for the ritual purification (Luke 2:22).On this feast day, Catholics customarily would bring all the candles they would use in their home … [Read more...]

Celebrating the Baptism of Our Lord in Art…

... Giovanni Bellini, Baptism of Christ c. 1500-02Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity … [Read more...]