—Feast of All Saints of Africa I love discovering devotional works that bring the Catholic perspective on Christianity directly onto the center stage. That’s what this book by Jesuit Father François Nepveu does.Translated from the French by Henry Coleridge, S.J. (poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s brother), it is entitled Of the Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, And the Means of Acquiring It. Father Nepveu presents us with the motives for loving Our Savior. What follows is the first motive he describes,… Read more

It’s not my intention to make my child look bad. Suffice it to say, one of our sons made a serious lapse in judgment the other day. He did something wrong and he knew it. My husband and I told him so and he was contrite. We’ve grounded him for a week. And then this morning, our son and I stopped by our parish after the 8 a.m. Mass so he could go to confession. I reminded him to lay… Read more

—Feast of St. Zachary  Report cards used to be a once every nine week event. Remember those halcyon days? Information technology being what it is, nowadays we can check our children’s grades daily. Oh, the horror! I say that because lately, the picture hasn’t been pretty for several of my little darlings. Not that I ever hoped that my kids would make straight A’s or anything like that. That would be a miracle, considering my part of their genetic make… Read more

In Caravaggio’s painting, Christ is gazing at Matthew, then a tax collector from Capernaum. Like Zacchaeus of Jericho, Matthew is despised by his community for collecting taxes for the Roman occupiers and pocketing the money of the poor for his own use. Have you noticed how many outcasts Christ chose to encounter? Within months of this encounter, Matthew is an apostle, witnessing Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension. This painting reminds me of what we are reading in my School of Community…. Read more

Are you interested in Christian chivalry? You could do worse than read the works of Kenelm Henry Digby. Author of The Broad-Stone of Honour or Rules for the Gentlemen of England(1822), he was a Romantic who yearned for the days when knights upheld the honor of kith and kin. And the honor of the Holy Catholic Church as well.I don’t know much, but I think he may have written the best poem for All Souls Day that I have ever… Read more

—Feast of All Souls When I was straddling the fence on whether or not I should become a Catholic, I never had a problem with Purgatory. It just makes the most sense to me, not that my personal opinion about this doctrine means anything. I’ll admit that I thought I would have a big problem with it at first. Because, you see, it isn’t mentioned specifically in the Bible (along with many other details). But where did all the people… Read more

When my husband and I were engaged 18 years ago, we had a conversation about where we would marry. Both of us had been raised Catholic and had become inconsistent in our practice of the faith. “What about the Lutheran Church?” I asked Greg. “It’s exactly like Catholicism except women can be ministers and the ministers can marry.” My husband, whose father was raised Lutheran, then explained to me that all Martin Luther’s objections to the institutional problems in the Church… Read more

Today’s Gospel reading about how a reviled tax collector changed his heart when confronted with the presence of Christ is one of the stories about our Lord’s time on earth that I love.You see, one of the central themes of Christianity is that the values of this world are not the ones that matter. God has an entirely more merciful view of our lives than we humans often do.As I age, I am struck more and more by the understanding… Read more

In addition to teaching five classes a day, most public school teachers have duty periods. Some teachers monitor the cafeteria; others are asked to sign in tardy students. My duty is to guard a side entrance of the school during eighth period, the last of the day.Friday afternoons, the mood in the high school visibly changes. Both students and teachers have more pep in their steps. Students, many of whom have felt cooped up all week in the high school,… Read more

—Feast of St. Frumentius From todays Office of Readings, this hymn attributed to Pope St. Gregory the Great. I also found a little more information about this particular hymn at Thesaurus Precum Latinarum, a neat little website that you may want to bookmark. There, Michael Martin writes,This traditional Matins hymn is used in the Liturgia Horarum for the Office of the Readings for Wednesdays of the 1st and 3rd weeks of the Psalter during Ordinary Time. Likewise it is found as… Read more

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