Psalm 119, The Hebrew Letter נ (Nun), And A Prayer

As Christians around the globe adopt the Arabic letter ن‎ (nun) as their profile pictures on social media, in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria, I was led to read Psalm 119.

Truth be told, it was unintentional. I had seen somewhere that Psalm 117 was the shortest of the psalms, and went to look it up in The Catholic Youth Bible.

A blurb on the page told me that the 119th psalm was the longest, and I thought since I was in the neighborhood, I should take a look at it too. [Read more…]

Thérèse of Lisieux: the Mind of Lao Tzu, with the Heart of Confucius

—Feast of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus

Today we celebrate the feast of a Doctor of the Church, the little nun who could, the Little Flower, Thérèse of Lisieux. Responsible for countless conversions to the Faith, she bowled over Thomas Merton, made a big impression on me, and sank, for all intents and purposes, John C.H. Wu’s battleship, with a direct hit amidships.

Her little way of love reminds me of what Pope Francis has been saying lately. [Read more…]

The Holy Goalie Fearlessly Skated Across The Thin Ice Of Same-Sex Marriage In Arizona

Within the community of St. Blogs, folks have been amazed by the witness given by Bishop Thomas Paprocki on the subject of marriage. You probably have already heard the news, as these events transpired back on the last day of May, and hit the wires a few days later. [Read more…]

For the Faith of St. Paul Miki, and Companions (For All the Saints)

Today is the feast day of St. Paul Miki and his companions. They were martyred in Nagasaki on February 5th in the year 1597.

The story of the martyrs has been made into a film and it’s title is 26 Martyrs. It’s an animated short that will serve as a companion piece to the docu-drama that a number of you have helped to fund: All That Remains. I think you’ll agree that it looks like a “must see” film. [Read more…]

Searching for Truth: Arrogant? Or Audacious?

Back in the Fall, I shared thoughts of the Dalai Lama on the efficacy of religion, and those of G.K Chesterton as a counterpoint. As a result, I had someone charge me with being  arrogant for the attempt. [Read more…]

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 The Case for Marian Devotion Is Iron-Clad

On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, it’s a good time for a little post on Marian devotion, wouldn’t you agree? Because if it’s Advent, ’tis the season for carping about Catholics and their overdone attachment to the Mother of Christ.

So I’ve got a two-for-one post to help explain this predilection of ours, via the old media (from a book you can’t find) and via the new media from a You Tube video, which ironically is based on passages from ancient media (the Bible). [Read more…]

News Flash: Dead Chinese Jesuit Befriends Catholic Blogger

You may remember my friend named Wu Li, SJ.  I introduced him to you in a post a few years back.Wu died as a Jesuit priest in Macau in 1718.

There is something about departed Catholics and me. I’m like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, or something. Except I don’t really see dead people. But I make friends with them so maybe they might be saints. [Read more…]

Because the Dalai Lama Says Things Like This UPDATED

 

Which points out to me that though he (perhaps) will be perceived as being on the right/correct side of history, he’ll still be just another casualty in the train wreck of relativism.

All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.

Sounds like anarchy to me. What do I know that the 61,789(and climbing) folks (in four hours) that liked this thought on Facebook don’t know? Something G.K. Chesterton observed regarding our proclivity to throw in the towel and cry uncle. [Read more…]


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