LOTH? LOL!

Note to Ferde: I messed up the Liturgy of the Hours this morning. You know how I was trying to explain to you the order of readings on Saturday morning? Fuggedaboutit! This navigator’s lost! Take the wheel, take the wheel! After posting on today’s second reading, I realized at Mass that it is not today’s second reading.Father Barnes, in his homily, said that in a way he is sorry when, already on the first Monday of Advent, the Advent readings… Read more

Because Advent Has Never Been Better

I remember the feeling last year: my first Advent as a Catholic! What a thrill that was, to experience the anticipation, joy, and depth of meaning fully for the first time in my life. This year? With apologies to B.B. King, the thrill is definitely not gone. I picked up today’s Office of Readings and found a reading that just couldn’t possibly have been there last year! How could I have missed this?From a pastoral letter by Saint Charles Borromeo,… Read more

YIMC Book Clubbers Update!

The honored roll of charter members of the YIM Catholic Book Club has been expanded to eight names by imperial fiat. There’s still time to put your name on the list. No entry fee, no obeisance is required. Just send a comment on either of the first two posts: this one or this one.(Signed) His Excellency The YIMCBC Roll of HonorMary Kneeling CatholicEPGGoodalice19MujerlatinaMikeFrank the Jarhead& Your Ob’d’t S’v’t Read more

To Shout “Happy New Year!” on November 29

Today is our New Year’s Day, or at least it’s mine. I was a lector at last night’s Vigil Mass. I picked up my missal and noted: Year C! We’ve entered a new cycle. I entered Year A as an RCIA student at the end of 2007, Year B as a Catholic at Advent 2008—I am now completing my three-year course in Catholic liturgy! First of many, I hope.Then a few minutes later, Father Barnes lighted the first Advent candle,… Read more

Because Chesterton Could Write Such a Poem

As you contemplate the Catholic Church’s position on war—while reading Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton—consider what might have moved Chesterton to write “Lepanto.” My friend Frank, a retired Marine, alerted me to the poem. The illustration is Fernando Bertelli’s The Sea Battle of Lepanto, 1572. Frank notes: “At Lepanto a combined Christian force crushed the Ottoman navy. This painting occupies a prominent position at one end of the Hall of Maps, in the Vatican Museums, Rome.” Frank adds: “There were… Read more

YIMC Book Clubbers Alert!

All you would-be reading Catholics! It’s time to rally ’round. Charter memberships in the YIM Catholic Book Club are still available. So far, there are five of us reading and yacking: Mary, Kneeling Catholic, EPG, Frank, and Your Ob’d’t S’v’t. A motley crew and true. There’s still time for you to join. Read Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, chapter 1, with our comments, then read chapter 2, with more comments. And join the mad stampede! Read more

Because of Hildegard and Simon

You would never, ever find this in the basement of an Episcopal Church, what I found in the basement of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church during this morning’s men’s group—my friend “Simon,” presenting an hour-long bobbing, weaving, juking, and jiving meditation on Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard may be a darling of the New Agers, but Episcopalians are generally not into either New Age or female saints. And Simon is an original, a devout Catholic who reads Hildegard’s book… Read more

To Be Frank, Part 1, “From the US Marines to the Harvard Classics”

This blog has put me in touch with Catholics worldwide, many of them converts. One of these, a retired U.S. Marine named Frank, has become a regular correspondent of mine. Recently, I asked him to consider writing his own conversion story. He agreed to do so. Until further notice, I will post one installment each weekend. The series will be indexed under the topic 2BFrank. On a spring day in 2005 in Southern California, I convinced my wife to move… Read more

Because of the Church’s Position on War II

First, let me come clean about a few things:1. I have never been in a fistfight. I “learned to box” in third grade and, in my only bout, was knocked out by Stevie Walker. I feel obliged to add that Stevie Walker went on to win the tournament; so while I was whipped (b-a-d), I was whipped by the best.2. I did not fight in the only war for which I would have qualified by age or health, the Vietnam… Read more

YIM Catholic Book Club, “Orthodoxy,” Chapter 2

We got a start on G. K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” last week, looking at the first chapter, “In Defense of Everything Else.” If you’re just coming in, you might want to check out the discussion and comments here. In the second chapter, “The Maniac,” Chesterton begins setting up his argument for Christianity by taking on two common forms of secular thinking in his time and ours: materialism and its opposite, what he calls “panegoism,” or the belief that only the self… Read more


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