For Thoughts on Atheism by the Father of Empiricism UPDATED

 

Remember my affection for the Harvard Classics, the Five Foot Shelf of Books? Admittedly, I haven’t looked them over much since I became a Catholic. Not because I’ve outgrown them, but because there have been far too many other books to occupy my time since the spring of 2008. Mostly stuff from authors whose names begin with “S”,  as St. Philip Neri suggested when he counseled that reading the works of the saints is profitable.

But I dipped a toe back into the HCFFSB water today and found these thoughts of Sir Francis Bacon. [Read more...]

Ember Days: What They Are And Where They Went

Photographer Credit: Tyler Parks

Today is the first Ember Day of autumn, the week after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

A long time ago, in a world that seems so very far away, Christian traditions rooted in simple faith thrived among the flock. One such tradition is the celebration of what are known as Ember Days. Traditionally, the first Wednesday after Guadete Sunday is the first Ember Day of Winter.

What are these mysterious days of penance and fasting? Their name alone evokes thoughts of a glimmer of light shed upon a dark world. And yet the story of the practice of this devotion has nothing to do with embers, kindling, or ashes, though it is true that the image of glowing splinters of hot coals did appear in my mind’s eye when I first learned of them. They still do. [Read more...]

Because of Thomas Merton, OCSO (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

This is part VII of my conversion story, tagged as 2BFrank in the Tag Cloud. I run it every year on this day to commemorate the death of Thomas Merton, who was also known as Father Louis.

Yes, I am well aware that he is not a canonized saint, but the salient point about Fr. Louis’ life is not whether he was a good Catholic, or a bad Catholic. The main thing isn’t even that his writings helped bring me into the Church. [Read more...]

For the Incorruptible, Bilocating, Blue Nuns’ Vision of the Immaculate Conception UPDATED

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary

I’m always the last one to know. And that is pretty much because I keep my head down, my blinders on, and just keep plowing. You know, as if everything I needed to know about anything can be conceived of, and imagined, inside my little head, or from my limited experiences.

But then I woke up after a very long slumber. [Read more...]

Because Takashi Nagai Said Stuff Like This…

It’s just another reason to throw a few bucks towards helping bringing the story of his life to film in All That Remains. [Read more...]

King David is Criticized Soundly, and Takes It Like A Man

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, many of the stories we find in the Bible rival Shakespeare’s works in terms of their sweeping grandeur and poignant messages. In fact, as others more erudite than Joe Six-Pack have argued, without the Bible, much of what we take for literature would have no foundation on which to stand. What follows is an episode that could have come right out of the Bard’s Macbeth. [Read more...]

Go Buy the Book I Helped Write, And Help a School!

Some of the authors of One Body, Many Blogs *cough*

So today is the official launch of the e-book I mentioned that I was contributing to a fortnight ago. Go buy it now! [Read more...]

Because The Prophet Francis Didn’t Sugar Coat the Faith for Politicos

St. Francis Giving His Mantle to a Poor Man
Giotto de Bondoni, 1297-99

It’s the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. You might have noticed this, as he is one of the most popular of the fellows in the Communion of Saints. You can read better posts about Francis elsewhere, for sure. I just wanted to share a brief open letter he wrote to the powers that be.

Francis, see, was a lot like Jesus. He even had the wounds of Christ to prove this. But he also had the temerity to tell it like it is, much like John the Baptist and Jesus did. In short, Francis was a fine example of the prophet, priest, and king, as all Christians are called to be.

Here’s an example of his prophet side. [Read more...]

For Something Old and Something New (Thoughts for Thursday)

On Thursdays I serve as lector at the parish near my office. I’ve been the Thursday reader for a couple of years now and these days, I don’t even look ahead at the readings beforehand. There are two reasons for this. A) I like to be surprised and B) I found that I was often surprised anyway, as the readings for the day are often changed by the pastor to reflect the memorials for saints that the Daily Readings I found at the USSCB weren’t picking up on.

So now, I just say a prayer that I will read well, and then I head on up and dive in. Today, I was happily surprised to read aloud the words from my favorite Old Testament book, Ecclesiastes. I hope I wasn’t grinning too much as I launched into the classic beginning of Qoheleth’s riddle of life, [Read more...]

So, remember the original theme song to Gilligan’s Island?


I’m included in the part of the song that goes “and the rest…” for the project below, [Read more...]


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