Belated Happy Birthday To Blaise Pascal, Unofficial Saint and Mystic

By Français : anonyme; une copie d’une peinture de François II Quesnel gravée par Gérard Edelinck en 1691. English: unknown; a copy of the painture of François II Quesnel, which was made for Gérard Edelinck en 1691. Polski: nieznany; kopia obrazu Françoisa II Quesnela wykonanego dla Gérarda Edelincka w 1691. (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Blaise Pascal, from the collection at the Palace of Versailles; a copy of the painture of François II Quesnel, which was made for Gérard Edelinck in 1691.   CC BY 3.0  via Wikimedia Commons.

Over at Aleteia, they’re remembering the birthday of a friend of mine. He’s one of the fellows who helped bring me into the Church.

My buddy Blaise Pascal is a lot like me. That is, excepting the obvious fact that he was a mathematical genius, inventor of a calculator, etc., and though I enjoy mathematics, I am a mere admirer of genius in this and many other departments. No, I mean that just like me, he needed something to constantly remind him of why he remains a Christian.

Something that he could turn to for strengthening his resolve to leave his earlier life and pursuits, and recall why he decided to give his all to Christ and His Church. Something he could turn to that would remind him of his calling when he was in “the world” but away from his Bible, his breviary, or his rosary.

You see, Blaise had a mystical vision.

[Read more…]

For What Happens To Our Bodies When We Die, And Rise Again…

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St. Bartholomew’s Church, in Czermna, Poland. By Merlin (Own work), GFDL or CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

 

“And he said to me: Son of man, dost thou think these bones shall live? And I answered: O Lord God, thou knowest.”—Ezekiel xxxvii, 3

I’ll be the first to admit that I have the faith of a child. I don’t have the faith of a novelist, or of a science-fiction writer. Nor do I have the faith of a philosopher, or a poet, or one blessed with flights of imagination that lead me to probe the heavenly mysteries exhaustively.

Have I been blessed with visions of the 7th heaven?  Ridden on the wings of angels to mystical union with God, who supplies my need for specifics on how we will be when eternity arrives for me?

Nope. [Read more…]

Will The Vatican Let Teilhard de Chardin Help Save The Church?

Henry Fuseli’s painting of Odysseus facing the choice between Scylla and Charybdis. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons .

Does the name Teilhard de Chardin give you the willies? When you saw it in the title, did you immediately think that heterodox thoughts were about to be served up?

No? Perhaps, like me up until a few years ago, you’ve never even heard of the guy. [Read more…]

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…]

Oftentimes, The Best Blog Post Is The One With The Fewest Words…

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Grasshopper recommends Counsels of Light and Love of St. John of the Cross for more thoughts like the one above.

Because Joseph of Cupertino Could Fly

—Feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino

A few years ago, the world was held in thrall by Stephen Hawking’s declaration that there is no need for a Creator for the universe to have been formed. The giant had spoken, succinctly, and confidently. If you are like me, you haven’t read his new book, but you probably saw the interview with Larry King.

One of my take-away’s from the interview? Stephen Hawking gushing over his experience of being weightless. He got to take a flight on one of those NASA planes that climbs parabolically so at the “top”, for a short while, zero-G is achieved. He evidently was thrilled to be weightless. [Read more…]

Because of the Note Sewn In Blaise Pascal’s Coat

My eyes will follow yours. Go ahead and give it a try.

My buddy Blaise Pascal is a lot like me. That is, excepting the obvious fact that he was a mathematical genius, inventor of a calculator, etc., and though I enjoy mathematics, I am a mere admirer of genius in this and many other departments. No, I mean that just like me, he needed something to constantly remind him of why he remains a Christian. [Read more…]

Because the “Little Flower” Enchanted the Chinese “Legal Eagle”

I introduced readers to my Catholic friend, John C.H. Wu, a long time ago. What prompted John, a distinguished jurist, and drafter of the democratic constitution of the Republic of China (back when it was mainland China),  to swim the Tiber? Truthfully, I should have said “who” prompted him, not “what.” Blame it all on Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, “the Little Flower.” It is all her fault that my new friend John became a Catholic.

Around the year 1917, when he was 18 years old, John had made the first leap towards Rome when he became a Methodist, in Shanghai mind you. [Read more…]

The Prophet Thomas Merton On The Archdiocese of New York’s HHS Mandate Problem

 

Problem? What problem? So the Archdiocese of New York provides healthcare to unionized employees of ArchCare through SEIU 1199’s  National Benefits Fund, which provides coverage for contraceptives and abortion services. What could it hurt? [Read more…]

Because of Catholic Mysticism

  

Feast of St. Athanasius

It’s the time of year when my thoughts turn to baseball. Did you ever see the movie Field of Dreams? I ask this only because I realize that this movie hit the theaters 24 years ago. In a way, this modern classic is about mysticism. And when I was reading Algar Thorold’s essay on Catholic Mysticism, I was reminded of one of the final scenes in the movie. [Read more…]


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