Because Vincent de Paul Was Once A Muslim’s Slave

A Barbary pirate, Pier Francesco Mola 1650 (public Domain)

A Barbary pirate, Pier Francesco Mola 1650 (Public Domain)

Life got you down? Things perhaps haven’t turned out as you planned? Do you think everyone else has got it so easy? Your neighbors, for example, or those fortunate people who come into a considerable sum of money?

And how about those saintly types? They are simply walking on air, those guys, living lives of complete and blessed beatitude, right?

Hold up! [Read more...]

Would You Believe That Young Arab Muslims Are Sending Love Letters To Israel? UPDATED

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Translation: “We love Israel, but in our country we can not show it, and if we do, we can get killed.” Image uploaded to BeTzaHal on Facebook.

 

Of course you wouldn’t. Because to hear of such a thing would bring into question the idea that you’ve come to believe. You know, the idea that Muslims are a bloc of jihad mongering zealots.

Well, here’s a story I found in the Al-Monitor that torpedoes that tidy little narrative. Take a look, [Read more...]

Archbishop Kurtz: “Marriage is and always will be the union between one man and one woman.”

Today was the day oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges came before the Supreme Court of the United States. The opening statement by Mary Bonauto made it 39 seconds before the questioning by the justices began. [Read more...]

A Little Film I Watched About Where Jesus Was Baptized In Jordan…

Bethany Beyond the Jordan*

Bethany Beyond the Jordan*

 

During breakfast this morning, on the 787 Dreamliner flying the livery of Royal Jordanian Airlines, I watched an interesting little film. It’s about the place in the Kingdom of Jordan that has been visited by popes, and pilgrims.

The site is one of the many reasons why I was hoping to return to Jordan someday. And someday came sooner than I realized it would.

[Read more...]

For the Pause That Refreshes: Thoughts of the Desert Fathers on Living In Harmony

 

Athanasius Kircher’s Diagram of the names of God.

A while back, I shared some brief thoughts on God by St. Augustine and a lesser know Dominican named Luis de Granada. Short passages they may have been, but they were formulated from swimming in deep waters. The same can be said of the thoughts of the hermits who fled to the deserts of Egypt around the time the Church ceased to be persecuted. [Read more...]

For The Unshakeable Faith Of The Families Of The Egyptian Martyrs

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“The Martyrdom of St. Alban” Trinity College, Dublin

Having a look at the photo gallery of National Geographic’s article, Portraits Capture Unexpected Reactions to ISIS Beheadings, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the words Jesus said to the eleven at the Last Supper, right before he began what is known as the High Priestly Prayer, [Read more...]

If The World Is Trying To Distract You, Then It’s Probably Holy Week

I’m with her (and with the Carmelites).

Oh, look at the calendar! It IS Holy Week.

So right when you’d really like to settle your gaze on Jesus, meditate over the mystery of the Incarnation, sing praises that your sins have been forgiven, and that death has been conquered for all time, the cacophony of the crowd rises to a fever pitch trying to make you forget all that “repent and believe the gospel” stuff Jesus proclaimed, and instead worry about all the stuff that is as far flung from the Good News as Pluto is from Mercury. [Read more...]

MUST SEE TV: 60 Minutes Segment On Iraqi Christians Persecuted By ISIS

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It’s 13 minutes and 23 seconds worth of pathos. Lara Logan has the story, [Read more...]

SIGN THE PETITION: Save Religious Minorities Persecuted By ISIS

Are 100,000 Americans willing to say we should be doing more to save the religious minorities from the death dealers of ISIS? I think the answer to that question is Yes. I mean considering that the population of the United States is 319 million these days.

“Yeah, Frank, but a bunch of those people are sucking on pacifiers, wearing diapers, and learning their multiplication tables.”

Good point, dear reader. How about if we just count the folks between the ages of 15 and 64? Then we’re talking about 230 million folks capable of raising their hands to let their opinion be heard. Right?

Hmmm. Let me dust off my calculator. [Read more...]

For The Prayers Of St. Gregory Of Narek (A Few Words For Wednesday) UPDATED

Grigor Narekatsi, Ms. 1568 (1173), Matenadaran, Yerevan, Armenia. Public Domain.

Grigor Narekatsi, Ms. 1568 (1173), Matenadaran, Yerevan, Armenia. Public Domain.

A few days ago, Pope Francis declared St. Gregory of Narek our newest Doctor of the Church. It appears that Grigor Narekatsi is a man of many talents. The hastily compiled list of his accomplishments on Wikipedia includes,

“monk, poet, mystical philosopher, theologian and saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church, born into a family of writers.”

From what I gather, he composed some very beautiful prayers that I look forward to pondering as a part of the Lenten triumvirate of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. [Read more...]


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