Thanks to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

“On the day upon which the Church celebrates the feast, I had a vision of Mary’s Annunciation.” At daily Adoration I have been reading slowly The Life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the visions of German visionary and stigmatist Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824). I opened the book today (volume one of four) and found that I had reached the Annunciation, which we celebrate tomorrow. It reads: “I saw the Blessed Virgin a short time after her marriage in… Read more

Because of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Guest post by Allison Salerno Tomorrow, nine months before Christmas, our Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation—the moment when God became Incarnate in the womb of an unmarried, virgin teenager. So important is this start to our Lord’s life that the only time we Catholics bow when we recite the Nicene Creed is when we say “by the power of the Holy Spirit, [Jesus] was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.”Did Mary fully understand what she was… Read more

Because Jesus Beats the Devil at Martin Luther’s Game

Reading my daily gospel chapter (Matthew 4), I started out thinking, “So why four Gospels?” Islam has one Koran, one truth never to be challenged, on pain of death. By approving a canon of four Gospels, the Church Fathers opened themselves to, nay invited multiple interpretations. As though the story of Christ’s life among us had been made by Akira Kurosawa and the four Gospels were a Greek “Rashomon.” In that 1950 classic starring Toshiro Mifune (pictured), the story of… Read more

“And Death Shall Have No Dominion” (A Few Words for Wednesday)

I know, Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914–1953) was an agnostic, and this poem hardly offers a Christian world view. It takes shots at the Inquisition (“twisting on racks”) and offers a vision of the afterlife that is antic, caustic, not Catholic. Still, and although he died a drunken mess when I was but two, I have always loved Thomas’s poetry, ever since Mr. Griswold taught us “Fern Hill” in eighth grade. Thomas More was a great believer in meditating on… Read more

Because the First Shall Be Last

Those who attack the Pope and the Vatican, thinking that this might bring down the Catholic Church, will never succeed. They are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. They are beating the donkey on his rear end instead of on his head; a donkey only moves faster when you beat its tail. The Catholic Church is not the Pope and cardinals. The Catholic Church is us.For the Church to die, my faith will have to die, and yours…. Read more

For Chants Such as These (Music for Mondays)

It’s Monday, and looking very gloomy in my neck of the woods. Pop music? Not interested. Blues? I feel them, but no. I need something a lot more holy than that today. Spring may have sprung, but it still felt like I was in hibernation this morning. Here are a few selections that fit the bill for my frame of mind. First, the Regina Caelorum (the Marian antiphon from the Presentation of the Lord until Good Friday). Here is an English… Read more

Because Soccer Doesn’t Matter

Guest post by Allison Salerno Yesterday afternoon, our ten-year-old recorded nine saves during his two quarters as goalie, helping lead his traveling soccer team to a 4-0 victory over the U-10 team a few towns over. I watched intently from the sidelines and felt oddly indifferent to it all. My lack of reaction was so apparent that parents sitting next to me were saying things like, “Did you miss it? Your son just made a really great save.”I’d like to think… Read more

Because of Vespers

Guest Post by Allison SalernoWe Roman Catholics have nearly forgotten the tradition of Vespers. A parishioner approached my priest last week after Sunday Vespers, wondering why we have started to incorporate “Anglican traditions” into our own. Thanks to some dedicated parishioners,  our sons get to grow up knowing Vespers is very much a “Catholic thing.”To be fair, I never heard of Vespers growing up Catholic in the 1970s, except for the Evensong services offered by the Episcopal church across town…. Read more

Because It Allows Me to See Everything Differently, Even “Avatar” in IMAX 3-D

Saturday was a day of contrasts. I ate lunch in Boston’s North End with Z and other friends from Communion and Liberation (CL). Over pasta with salmon, we discussed CL and its “main instrument,” the School of Community. In the evening, I had a dinner date with my sweetheart: a vegetarian meal on Long Wharf followed by Avatar in IMAX 3-D at the Boston Aquarium. I came home exhausted. First, about the exhaustion. I had left Z’s North End home… Read more

Because I Am Still But God’s Child

Guest post by Warren Jewell You might call this an old man’s prayer, or my prayer on realizing that my mortality is just around the corner. In effect, on my pilgrimage, I may not make the next crossroad, or fork in the road. This prayer is less a pledge of allegiance than an acknowledgment that I am still but God’s child: at times wrong, at times sanctified, but never less than His. My Lord God,As Thou Art, I am. 
I am here… Read more


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