In Nazareth, This Is Where The Annunciation Took Place…

Looking down on the Grotto

Franciscans incensing where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary*

I was blessed to visit where the Annunciation took place. I figured that I should share some of the photographs of the grotto, and cave-like home, of the Theotokos on this day on which we celebrate this Solemnity. Over this site is built the Basilica of the Annunciation in the pretty crowded (these days) town of Nazareth. [Read more...]

The Kind Of Post TIME Magazine Never Picks Up, AKA, Hell Is Real!

The other day TIME Magazine picked up a Patheos post from a different channel in which the author asked us to imagine Christianity without Hell.

A Christianity without hell would be largely unevangelical, since there would be nothing to save anyone from.

A Christianity without hell would trust that God’s loving benevolence towards all people (emphasis on all) extends beyond this life and into the next.

Scrolling across my minds eye now is one of my favorite proverbs from a book that is full of wisdom, [Read more...]

A Poem on St. John the Baptist’s Day

 

"St. John the Baptist Preaching Before Herod," Hans Fries, 1514.

“St. John the Baptist Preaching Before Herod,” Hans Fries, 1514.

Happy Birthday to St. John the Baptist! Here is a little poem I found written by John Keble in honor of this, the greatest of all men. [Read more...]

The Quest For The Origins Of The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Adoration of the Trinty, by Albrecht Durer

What is the deal with celebrating Trinity Sunday? After all, isn’t every Mass a celebration of our Triune God? So why a special Sunday dedicated as a feast to God, in three persons?

That question is why I picked up my torch and started on a quest to find the origins of this feast day. In truth, an amicable tussle with a friend of mine is what led me on the search to solve this riddle. Want to come along? [Read more...]

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like an investment that everyone wants to buy, but no one wants to hold.”

Whut r you doin’, Frank?

Put your Bibles down, folks, because Jesus never said that. It’s just a thought that popped into my head while I was reviewing the results of the last five years of my retirement account. The seed of the thought was probably planted by my reading the gospels as I make my way through the Bible in a year. [Read more...]

For All the Saints: Paul of the Shipwreck

How can something good come from something tragic? This is a mystery to us all. We see the devastation and the loss of life, and we wonder, Why Lord? Can anything good come from natural disasters? It’s the riddle of our lives as bit players on the stage when we all believe we are the lead role in the play.

[Read more...]

For Poems Like This For Childermas

Childermas, by Peter Paul Rubens (1609-1611)

-Feast of the Holy Innocents 

Have you ever heard of Emily Hickey? Me either, at least not until just now. Born in 1845, she is a child of the Emerald Isle, an Irish lass born in 1845 into a family fathered by a Protestant Minister of the Church of Ireland.

But somehow she decided to swim the Tiber and she was received into the Catholic Church in 1901. Prior to doing so, her literary talents were well known in her day, her poems being published in literary journals and such. [Read more...]

For this Hymn by St. Thomas Aquinas (Zion, To Thy Savior Singing)


I am late in coming around to an appreciation of St. Thomas Aquinas. As the old saw goes, better late than never. Jacques Maritain’s book The Peasant of the Garonne has pointed me towards learning more about this Doctor of the Church. [Read more...]

For This Hymn Commemorating the Baptism of Our Lord

On the Liturgical Calendar today, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Below is the conclusion of a three part kontakion written by Saint Romanus, the Melodist, in the 6th century. It was written and sung to commemorate this holy event. [Read more...]

For All the Saints: John, Apostle and Evangelist UPDATED

John the Evangelist, El Greco (Public Domain).

Today is the feast day of St. John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” Jesus called him and his brother James the “sons of thunder,” so they must have been quite a lively pair. This is a portrait of the young John painted by El Greco.

What follows is the citation on John from Jesuit Father Francis Xavier Weninger’s book, Lives of the Saints. [Read more...]


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