Because Confession is a Sacrament, and the Sacraments Make All the Difference

Frank and I are gratified by the number of comments so far on the latest post about confession. Blogging is funny: you dig and dig day after day, and then you hit a vein. It turns out, people are passionate about confession. The readers of this blog, at any rate, are uniformly passionately in favor of confession. I’ve reviewed the comments so far, and here are a few conclusions. Please feel free to add your two cents. Catholics who go… Read more

Because of the Russian Orthodox Beatitudes (More Music for Monday)

Guest post by Allison Our parish choir hadn’t sung since the end of the Christmas season. We hadn’t rehearsed since then either; a Thursday evening rehearsal was canceled because of a snowstorm. Yesterday, our choir director, who also plays our organ and sings in the choir, let us know we would be singing the Russian Orthodox Beatitudes as an Offertory song.Because this piece is a chant, it is easy to sing, even with two members of our eight-member choir missing yesterday… Read more

To Practice the Presence of God

When do you think good intentions run highest, New Year’s Eve or Mardi Gras? Both are licenses to overindulge, in exchange for better behavior at daybreak. Maybe one is the secular version of the other, but both are testaments to man’s wish for something better—and ability to delude himself.I thought of asking readers what they are giving up and/or doing for Lent (reading plans and the like), but I realized that’s a private matter. I ain’t telling, and you shouldn’t… Read more

Because You Requested It (Music for Mondays)

Happy Monday!  Are you still snowed-in? Hopefully not.  But in case you need a lift before heading out to shovel your driveway, have a listen to this sundry mix from the (not quite famous) YIM Catholic Music for Mondays archives. We’ve got it all this week from Pop to Poetry.  Thank God someone invented YouTube!We start off with a couple of selections suggested by readers last week, in response to posts. This one was sent to us by Maria and is sung by… Read more

To Pray for Vocations Like This

Each of our two grown daughters is facing the question of vocation. One is oriented to the arts, one to business; neither is presently a Catholic. So the idea of a capital-v Vocation does not figure. Still, watching a joyous interview (in four installments below) with a Carmelite nun, Sr. Cushla, put a prayer in my heart for my children, and yours, today.Here’s the prayer:Heavenly Father, In this Year for Priests, grant that many young men and women may respond… Read more

Because I Am Dust

One of the first posts I wrote for this blog was entitled Because This May Be My Last Mass. I wrote it based on my experiences in the Marine Corps when I saw the photograph of a Navy chaplain administering the Eucharist to Marines on Iwo Jima. I suppose it is easy to consider the idea that you may die today when you are engaged in combat. But as I sat in Church today as Lent approaches, the same thought… Read more

With the Help of a Good Confessor

Yesterday a fellow parishioner confided to me that she does not go to Father Barnes for confession, but goes to a confessor in another town. My friend’s reason? “I’d just be embarrassed. Most of my sins are truly venial, but Father B’s my friend,  and I—(shrug, grimace)” This reminded me of my quandary when converting: Should I confess face to face or behind a screen? And to whom?The Archdiocese of Boston has launched a web site to encourage Catholics to… Read more

For the Love of St. Joseph II

During my wilderness years, I fell for theories about mystical kingdoms in Tibet or where Jesus really was from age 12 to age 30. But what if Tibet’s only kingdom was destroyed when the Chinese invaded? What if Jesus did nothing from 12 to 30 except stay home in Nazareth, near Joseph and Mary?Since this is a Catholic blog and since we’re five weeks from the feast day of St. Joseph, my patron, I’m going to stick to the second… Read more

Thoughts on Temperance on a Friday

I’ve been thinking about these thoughts written by C.S. Lewis in the current YIMC Book Club selection Mere Christianity.  They are from chapter 3 of Book III, The Cardinal Virtues. I thought of this when I saw this photograph of Our Pope and a tall glass of beer. Hats off to Athos over at Chronicles of Atlantis. It reminded me of something Benjamin Franklin said, Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Here is what… Read more

Thanks to Seal and Bishop Sheen? “A Kiss From A Rose”

Afternoon folks!  Frank from sick-bay here. And from the looks of it, Webster will be joining me here soon. We’re a couple of sick-bay commandos today, or so it seems. The flu bug or something. Heck, I think even our guest Allison has been under the weather. Be careful reading this because it appears to be communicable over the internet.So, I’m lying here in bed and I pull Life of Christ by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen off my nightstand. I turn… Read more


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