Psalm 119, The Hebrew Letter נ (Nun), And A Prayer

As Christians around the globe adopt the Arabic letter ن‎ (nun) as their profile pictures on social media, in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria, I was led to read Psalm 119.

Truth be told, it was unintentional. I had seen somewhere that Psalm 117 was the shortest of the psalms, and went to look it up in The Catholic Youth Bible.

A blurb on the page told me that the 119th psalm was the longest, and I thought since I was in the neighborhood, I should take a look at it too. [Read more…]

Protesters In Baghdad: “I am Christian, Sunni, Shiite, Kurd, Mandean,Yazidi, and I am Iraqi”

Artist: Oubai Elkerdi. Source.

ISIS thugs may attempt to kill and intimidate their way to power, but that will fail as long as folks defy them like these great souls are doing. The following story comes to us via Dina al-Shibeeb of  Al Arabiya News, because the Western media is turning a blind eye to genocidal tendencies occurring  in our former live-fire exercise /diplomatic playground.

Tell it, Dina.
[Read more…]

Because of Divine Frivolity

Times are tough all over. First we had the economic meltdown to contend with. Now we Catholics are watching our Church and our Pope get attacked by the same people who were attacking Goldman Sachs a few years ago, and Tiger Woods back in the day. Are the attacks justified? Where you sit is probably where you stand. But the fact of the matter is, the storm has been raging since day one on planet Earth. [Read more…]

Why Erasmus Stayed Catholic (A Few Thoughts For Thursday)

I have never been an apostate from the Catholic Church. I know that in this Church, which you call the Papist Church, there are many who displease me, but such I also see in your Church. One bears more easily the evils to which one is accustomed. Therefore I bear with this Church, until I see a better, and it cannot help bearing with me, until I shall myself be better. And he does not sail badly who steers a middle course between two several evils.

–Erasmus, Hyperaspistes, 1526

Were The Tuam Children Denied Baptism?

That was one of the damning charges of the story that rolled out of Ireland a few weeks ago. Short answer? No. For the longer answer comes Kevin Clarke, writing over at America magazine, reporting that this was another overblown part of the alleged story coming from the home of friendless babies.

Take a look. [Read more…]

The Quest For The Origins Of The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Adoration of the Trinty, by Albrecht Durer

What is the deal with celebrating Trinity Sunday? After all, isn’t every Mass a celebration of our Triune God? So why a special Sunday dedicated as a feast to God, in three persons?

That question is why I picked up my torch and started on a quest to find the origins of this feast day. In truth, an amicable tussle with a friend of mine is what led me on the search to solve this riddle. Want to come along? [Read more…]

N.T. Wright On Reality, Gay Marriage, And Being On The Wrong Side Of History

Over at First Things, Matthew Schmitz shared a video, and transcribed a rough draft of an interview that noted theologian, and retired Anglican bishop, N.T. Wright gave with J. John , of the Philo Trust, back in February. John asks questions to his guests, see, from his notes, and from his friends, and from the studio audience, on a program he hosts that is awesomely titled, Facing the Canon.

BOOM! I like that title. [Read more…]

A Clarification About The Deaths Of 800 Children In Tuam, Ireland, And More…UPDATED

 

…rolls of the presses of The Irish Times. Writing therein, Rosita Boland teases out more truth from the story by interviewing Catherine Corless, the local historian whose patient, self-funded, efforts to commemorate these children’s memories, got unwittingly added to the spin-cycle part of the news.

‘I never used that word ‘dumped’,” Catherine Corless, a local historian in Co Galway, tells The Irish Times. “I never said to anyone that 800 bodies were dumped in a septic tank. That did not come from me at any point. They are not my words.” [Read more…]

Remembering, With Gratitude, The D-Day Sacrifices Of The Fallen

Destroyed town in northwest France, summer 1944
Frank Scherschel—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Pope Francis remembers, and is grateful.

Francis praised “the numerous soldiers who left their country to land on the beaches of Normandy to fight against Nazi barbarism and free occupied France”.

The Vatican said Francis “also does not forget the German soldiers dragged into this drama, like all victims of war”.

Though written long before the invasion of Normandy, G.K. Chesterton’s thoughts from his book, Orthodoxy (1908), captures the paradox faced by the soldier, and why gratitude for their courageous efforts (when exercised justly) is something not to be taken for granted by us, but to be lauded and praised.

“Take the case of courage. [Read more…]

The Monk’s Life, In One Paragraph (A Few Thoughts For Thursday)

What follows is from Thomas Merton’s translation of sayings from the Desert Fathers, The Wisdom of the Desert .

An elder said: Here is the monk’s life work. Obedience, meditation, not judging others, not reviling, not complaining. For it is written: You who love the Lord, hate evil. So this is the monk’s life – not to walk in agreement with an unjust man, nor to look with his eyes upon evil, nor to go about being curious, and neither to examine nor to listen to the business of others. Not to take anything with his hands, but rather to give to others. Not to be proud in his heart, nor to malign others in his thoughts. Not to fill his stomach but in all things to behave with discretion. Behold, in all this you have the monk.

Hmmmmm. Food for thought.


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