Abraham Lincoln on the Importance of Freedom of Conscience and Religious Liberty

Everyone knows how easy it is in the age of the internet to cobble together a saying that meshes with the popular mood of the times, and then attribute it to a giant of philosophy, art, or politics. Often times these alleged quotes seem too good to be true. And after a little cursory check, you know, actually looking for a reference that verifies said quote, you come up empty, and toss it in the trash.

This practice is so prevalent that the following quote “attributed” to Abraham Lincoln has become a joke all it’s own, [Read more…]

Thoughts on the Role of the Laity on this Feast of St. Joan of Arc UPDATED

And so we leave Eastertide behind.  Before we move on into “Ordinary Time”, recall the events of Holy Week with me. During that week, way back in the year 33 AD, the forces of human justice, lobbied aggressively by the interested parties of the Pharisees and Sadducees, convinced the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate, to sentence Jesus to death on a cross. And though the whole mess was a tragic setup, it was all done officially and legally.

I can think of many things today that are both official and legal and still very tragic. Here’s an example. A friend of mine who is serving in the Army in Afghanistan sent me this message recently: [Read more…]

Donna Summer, Requiescat In Pace

Well, I am sad to hear that Donna Summer has left us. But something makes me think I’ll see her again. And like one of my friends said on Facebook, I hope St. Peter installs a nice disco ball for her to sing under. Then again, he may not have to, as you’ll see and hear below. [Read more…]

Because Jesus Haunts Us In Song (Music for Mondays)

 

Last year around this time for Eastertide, I started exploring Jesus in terms of popular culture through music. There were classical posts, and posts on polyphony, naturally. But there were also posts built around songs about the Lord through pop-rock songs, rhythm & blues, and country tunes as well.

Maybe it is an American phenomenon (though I hope not), but Jesus Christ haunts us. It’s like today he still asks of us, “who do the people say I am?” And then he still asks us individually, “and who do you say I am?” [Read more…]

Because the Bishops Aren’t Consensus Leaders, But Consensus Molders UPDATED

The title to this post came to me this morning directly from the mind of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That his thoughts go a long way towards explaining what our bishops are about nowadays is telling, don’t you think? You see, I understand that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ administrative committee gets together for a two-day meeting tomorrow. [Read more…]

Because Martin Luther King Jr. Died For Truth

On April 4th, in the year of Our Lord, 1968, at 6:01 PM, in my home state, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed by a man named James Earl Ray. I was 4 1/2 years old.

We as a nation lost a great man that day. In a way, we collectively killed a great man that day. He was martyred for the beliefs that we all knew were true, but which we didn’t want to believe, because to do so would have meant that we, as a nation, would have to change our ways. So an assassin’s bullet settled the matter for us. And though Martin lost his life on that day, the assassin’s purpose was thwarted, and the lives of the rest of us changed for the better. [Read more…]

This Novel By Johnny Cash Helped Me Become Catholic

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Johnny Cash and Jesus Christ share the initials “J.C.” Johnny Cash is an adopted son of my home state of Tennessee. Johnny Cash wrote a novel called Man in White, which I read as I began my journey to the Catholic Church. It is the story of the conversion of St. Paul, and it was so good that I couldn’t believe Johnny Cash wrote it. [Read more…]

Because St. Ambrose Could Write Such A Hymn

Today is the Feast day commemorating Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan and one of the first four Doctors of the Church. The painting above depicts St. Ambrose with Emperor Theodosius of Rome. The reason they got together? The Emperor had ordered the massacre of 7,000 people in Thessalonica, and Ambrose demanded that he do public penance. [Read more…]

Jesus Goes Mainstream, Old and New (Music for Mondays)

Maybe you should buy “The Head In The Heart ‘s” new album…

Back in April, right when we rolled into Eastertide, I started a series of MfM posts on Our Lord’s presence in the music of mainstream culture. I called it, unsurprisingly, Jesus Goes Mainstream, remember?

Today, I’m revisiting the idea with five tunes that take to the four points of the compass, or to the Cross. The set starts off with a flashback to 1976 with David Bowie’s song about prayer and rapidly brings you to the present day and age with the four remaining songs having been recorded since the advent of the New Millenium. [Read more…]

The Feast of All Saints

Today is the Feast of All Saints! As such, todays edition of TfT (Tunes for Tuesday!) is dedicated to great music and prayers used to commemorate this day. I also found a short video tribute set to a contemporary song that you may enjoy as well. And to round it up, a modern classic. [Read more…]


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