I Forgot To Finish The Story About Sleeping In For Easter In Amman. Here’s What We Discovered…

…a beautiful Greek Orthodox parish church with the mouthful name of The Church  of Jesus Christ’s Entry Into The Temple.

I took a couple of photographs with my camera before the battery died. Feast your eyes upon this beautiful sanctuary.

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Wait until you see the walls.

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The Kingdom Of Jordan Through My Camera Lens…

What follows are a few snapshots taken while I was in Jordan for the Religious Blogger/Press Tour. I took hundreds of photographs (who doesn’t these days?) and I intend to share them with you here. How about a dozen at a time?

I hope you get a sense of the beauty of both the land, and of the people, in the eastern portion of the Holy Land. Here is the first batch.

View from the patio of the Sufra Restaurant, in Amman

View from the patio of the Sufra Restaurant, in Amman. Yes, you can see the stars.

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I Bet You Didn’t Expect The Kingdom Of Jordan To Be This Gorgeous…

Is this the Shire? Or is it the Holy Land?

Is this the Shire? Or is it the Holy Land?

See that lovely countryside above? That is where I am headed today. A number of my Patheos colleagues are coming with me, too. [Read more...]

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Because Christ Came to Occupy, and Reclaim, the World

There was a brutal bear market in the Spring of the year 33 AD. Not in wheat or lamb futures, nor in cloth, or precious metals. This was a bear market of the human soul, and it was experienced acutely by the Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Read more...]

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For The Prayers Of St. Gregory Of Narek (A Few Words For Wednesday) UPDATED

Grigor Narekatsi, Ms. 1568 (1173), Matenadaran, Yerevan, Armenia. Public Domain.

Grigor Narekatsi, Ms. 1568 (1173), Matenadaran, Yerevan, Armenia. Public Domain.

A few days ago, Pope Francis declared St. Gregory of Narek our newest Doctor of the Church. It appears that Grigor Narekatsi is a man of many talents. The hastily compiled list of his accomplishments on Wikipedia includes,

“monk, poet, mystical philosopher, theologian and saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church, born into a family of writers.”

From what I gather, he composed some very beautiful prayers that I look forward to pondering as a part of the Lenten triumvirate of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. [Read more...]

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What I Saw In Bethlehem Yesterday (A Photo Essay)

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Christmas is coming to the City of David.*

I’ll be honest with you and tell you that yesterday was a very emotional day. And when I say that, I mean emotional in a good way. There were tears, surely. But they were tears of awe, wonder, and joy.

Our pilgrimage wound it’s way through security points and ventured into the City of David. What follows is a little photo essay of what we saw there. [Read more...]

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Warning: Don’t Travel To The Holy Land, For Thou Shalt Surely Die

Dome, Stella Maris Convent Church, Haifa

The Dome of the Stella Maris Monastery Church, Haifa, Israel*

Before getting into the meat of this short dispatch that I am typing from Jerusalem, I ask you to say a short prayer to God for the souls of  all those who have died for their faith, or due to acts of terrorism, or because of sectarian violence here in the Middle East, and everywhere around the world. [Read more...]

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The Thanksgiving Holiday Isn’t Catholic, But It’s Looking Like William Shakespeare Was

So be thankful for that! Guess what else? There is a Jesuit angle that may unlock the mystery of genius’s religious background.

Writing for the Washington Post, Terence McCoy shares what was found when a First Folio of the Bard’s work was discovered in a French library.  Long ago, the metadata it had been catalogued under was in error as to its age, see? [Read more...]

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Walt Whitman’s Prayer of Columbus

Happy Columbus Day! I’ve a poem to share with you on the day on which we celebrate Christopher Columbus’ completing his voyage to the New World. And though nowadays the smart money seems to be on disparaging Christopher Columbus, I’ll be taking another path, thanks.

Ignatian spirituality tries to find God in all things. Many take issue with that premise, especially when stuck knee deep in the mire of day-to-day problems. I don’t claim to be Ignatian in my outlook (nor Franciscan, Benedictine, etc) on events or things. As a Catholic, I’m a little bit of all of those charisms, and more. But I do believe God works through the secular, just as I have faith that all things work for the good.

Here’s an example for you from the Pantheist, non-Catholic, and everything else wrong with the world, pen of Walt Whitman. [Read more...]

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This Is My Dog. Your Argument Is Invalid

Cody_Fall_2014

This photograph, like the dog, belongs to the author.

 

What argument, you say?

All of ‘em.

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