For The Monks That Have Gone to the Dogs, and the Ones That Make Beer, et al…UPDATED

It’s been that way for a while with the Monks of New Skete. Who are these guys? Here’s what their website says,

In 1966 a small group of Byzantine-Rite Franciscans established a monastic community in northwestern Pennsylvania. Today, the monks reside in their permanent home east of Cambridge, New York, close to the Vermont border. It is here that the monks have, for more than 40 years, nurtured their deep love for and spiritual connection with dogs, and developed their expertise in dog training and breeding.

My former blogging partner, Allison Salerno, wrote a post about how their book helped her out once. My wife and I read it too. And WKRN did a little story about them last summer. Check it out, [Read more...]

For Catholic Thoughts on Life and Death Brought About By Tragedy UPDATED

By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread,
Until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
For you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.—Genesis 3:19

We’re almost a third of the way through Lent, and reckon I needed to cry today. Perhaps you need to cry too? As such, I’ll share the following tragic story of a hero’s death that sent me running for the tissues this morning, and forced me to yet again examine my own life. [Read more...]

Because Sexually, You Aren’t a “Black Box”


This is Joe Six-Pack here. I haven’t received much hate mail in a while so I must be doing something wrong. Therefore, I will explain sex to everyone who stumbles in here today. What with all the hoopla going on with the HHS mandate, you might think that that development is all about birth-control and such.  But it isn’t.

After all, for some strange reason, the modern world believes the wacky idea that sex is a “black box” that simply cannot be understood. [Read more...]

Why God Created the Shotgun

So cool and geeky nano-bot engineers can watch ignorant Marines with high school degrees (and $189 shotguns) blow their precious creations out of the sky for sport. [Read more...]

A Message From A Renowned War Hawk To the “War Parties” of Today: Peace Out!

Unlike that eevil librul Stephen Colbert, I like books. And I especially like history books. Even better are personal memoirs and biographies. Google Books is one of my favorite tools, and that is where the volumes which comprise the the YIMCatholic Bookshelf (see link under the banner above) came from and are stored.

I shared a few weeks back that I’ve been reading about politics viewed from the perspective of Catholic thought. Last night, I came across a quote in John Courtney Murray, SJ’s We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition, attributed to John C. Calhoun. [Read more...]

Cheap Speed for the Land-Locked Masses!

I think I can make one of these.

Heh! Take this you weird, expensive dolphin jet-pack loving, one-percenters!

H/T Joseph Susanka

Because Fr. Dwight Longenecker Is Wrong UPDATED

What the Sam Hill are you talking about Frank? How dare you say one of the favorite priests of the faithful is wrong about anything! Well, I remember a week or so ago folks were digging how to be a jet-powered, human dolphin. As if that would be a cool present to receive for Christmas. Humbug! How about something a little more practical? Like “cheap speed!” [Read more...]

The Loneliness of the Military Historian

A poem by Margaret Atwood.

Margaret Atwood

Confess: it’s my profession

that alarms you.

This is why few people ask me to dinner,

though Lord knows I don’t go out of my way to be scary.

I wear dresses of sensible cut

and unalarming shades of beige,

I smell of lavender and go to the hairdresser’s:

no prophetess mane of mine,

complete with snakes, will frighten the youngsters. [Read more...]

Because of a Marine in Charge of Justice and Peace



Originally published on February 10, 2010.

Before I was a Catholic, yet seriously considering  the idea of becoming one, my wife made a suggestion to me.  My daughter was preparing for her First Communion and while the children were being prepared, there was someone speaking to the parents in the parish hall in the interim.  My wife said he was a very good speaker and that I might enjoy what this person had to say. I was dubious, to say the least. [Read more...]

Because These Words Paul Wrote Are Worthy of Shakespeare

Especially compared to the “weak tea” of the speech heard ’round the world yesterday.

Of course, this passage from his second letter to the Corinthians isn’t just some dramatic idea that the Apostle Paul dreamed up. They are after all an account of his personal experience witnessing for Christ.

But they are more than that too. They are the words of God in the person of the Holy Spirit.

Long time readers know of my favorite speech from Shakespeare’s play Henry V. I love how Kenneth Branagh delivers the St. Crispins Day speech so realistically. Just the other day in a post about friendship, I shared a video scene between Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as they imagine dialogue from a costume drama set in the hills of Northern England.

I’ve probably watched that scene two dozen times now. I’ve been driving my kids crazy with it too as I improvise more things to say after the rousing “Gentlemen to bed!” introduction.

So with the flair for the dramatic still reverberating through my brain, I turned to the Daily Readings and came upon what follows. Interestingly, I had shared them with you before just a fortnight ago. But as I read them today, I hear a classically trained actor delivering them with verve and dripping with pathos. Maybe it’s just the newly revised edition of the New American Bible.

Reading 1
2 Cor 11:18, 21-30

Richard Burton

Brothers and sisters:
Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.
To my shame I say that we were too weak!

But what anyone dares to boast of
(I am speaking in foolishness)
I also dare.
Are they Hebrews? So am I.
Are they children of Israel? So am I.
Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.
Are they ministers of Christ?
(I am talking like an insane person).
I am still more, with far greater labors,
far more imprisonments, far worse beatings,
and numerous brushes with death.

Five times at the hands of the Jews
I received forty lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned,
three times I was shipwrecked,
I passed a night and a day on the deep;
on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers,
dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race,
dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city,
dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea,
dangers among false brothers;
in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights,
through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings,
through cold and exposure.

And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me
of my anxiety for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak?
Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

And the saga continues on into the next day.

Brothers and sisters:
I must boast; not that it is profitable,
but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.

I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago
(whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows),
was caught up to the third heaven.
And I know that this man
(whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows)
was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things,
which no one may utter.

About this man I will boast,
but about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.
Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish,
for I would be telling the truth.
But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me
than what he sees in me or hears from me
because of the abundance of the revelations.

Therefore, that I might not become too elated,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.

Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.”

I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.

Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.

How can the scriptures not come to life when such inspired words as these are read as if they were spoken directly to a blood brother? Read the Bible!


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