Because He is Emmanuel

—Feast of the Baptism of the Lord This afternoon my family will remove the lights from our Christmas tree, which now stands on our front porch, and haul the tree to the curb. Then our borough will collect it and grind it to mulch.It is time for the tree to come down because this feast day, the Baptism of our Lord, marks the end of the Christmas season, and the beginning of Christ’s public ministry.Christ is baptized in the River… Read more

Because The Church Militant Transforms Us

—Originally posted back in July, perhaps you will give it a second look on this day before we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. I ran a half-marathon once, courtesy of the United States Marine Corps—13.1 miles on a hot, humid September morning in Quantico, Virginia. Along with 120 other happy Leathernecks, I never could have run this distance successfully without prior training. I couldn’t have made it  without the refreshment stops provided by our benevolent leaders along the way… Read more

For All the Saints: Angela of Foligno

-Feast of Blessed Angela of Foligno The other day I shared with you the story of St. Simeon Stylites the Elder, the original “pillar-hermit.” Simeon was a lay person, but he evidently was unencumbered by family responsibilities. Today, I want to introduce you to a saint for the rest of us. Her name is Angela and she lived in Foligno, Italy from 1248 until her death in the year 1309.As I reported back when I shared Algar Thorold’s essay, I stumbled… Read more

For All the Saints: Simeon Stylites the Elder

—Feast of St. John Neumann Someone who you may have never heard of in the Communion of Saints is also celebrated by the Church today. Would you believe a guy who sat atop a pillar for over 35 years? I can’t make this one up folks so I’m going to share the citation from the Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent about my steadfast and devoted friend named St. Simeon “Stylites.” When I first heard about the Stylites, I was taken aback…. Read more

Because These Catholic Chaplains Were Awarded the Medal of Honor

This photograph is for all of you who get really persnickety about the altar, vestments, and such ancillary things like that. This is Major Charles Watters, U.S. Army, celebrating Mass out in the field for the troops. The altar is a couple of ammo boxes sitting on top of two water cans. Though there are no relics of saints embedded in this altar, what matters most, Our Lord and Savior, will be there with His men soon. I attended services… Read more

A Question For Readers: Faced With Overhearing Racist Remarks, What Would You Do?

—Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus Between Christmas and Epiphany, my family took a vacation. Days of pleasant family togetherness were marred only once: by comments my teen-aged son and I heard in the lobby of a chain hotel in central Virginia. He and I were  working at the hotel computers, around the corner from the reception desk. A white clerk behind the desk was telling jokes to another white clerk – using liberally the “n word” as punch… Read more

Thanks to Little Christmas

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Little Christmas. My family and I attended Mass last night at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, which serves the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The parish is under the care of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, which, by the way, has a great website. The priest who celebrated the Mass, Father Joseph Scordo, O.P., delivered a magnificent homily about the meaning of this feast day. I want want to… Read more

Because His Real Presence Cannot Be Destroyed

During a recent family tour of colleges in the Carolinas, it became clear that Duke University isn’t exactly a center of Catholic culture. The interdenominational chapel at this university founded by Methodists features statues (I found that deliciously ironic), including one of John Wyclif, who, in 1380 attacked the Eucharist by calling it merely “an effectual sign.”  The chapel crypt is where they bury dead university presidents and their wives. The God worshiped here feels distinctly different to me.During the… Read more

For New Years Resolutions Like This: Choose A Patron Saint for 2011

Earlier today I mentioned that I was dipping into the Communion of Saints for inspiration. And why not? I love these people and I’m glad they are praying for me. Later this afternoon I noted that Elizabeth Scalia, “the Anchoress” was wondering about her patron saint for the new year. Readers may have noticed that we have two full time patrons here at YIMCatholic: St. Joseph and St. Joan of Arc. But we can always use someone else to pray… Read more

Because He Feeds His Lost Sheep

We tried. God knows we really tried. My family and I were driving south from New Jersey and into a blizzard. We had planned to stop for 11 a.m. Mass at St. Anthony of Padua parish in Wilmington, Delaware’s Little Italy neighborhood. I had the directions penciled in my Liturgy of the Hours and had even googled a restaurant where we could eat lunch after. But then, I missed the exit on I-95. By the time we got to Maryland,… Read more