Here’s a Heads Up for St. Valentine’s Day…

Learn more about St. Valentine, and how he lost his head, over at Catholic Online. And have a look at this educational little video that tours Rome and the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, where the reliquary seen above is located. [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…]

G.K. Chesterton Inspired the Lyrics for “Hold On” by “Yes?” UPDATED

Jon Anderson of Yes

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been a fan of  Yes. Their sound sort of grated against my nerves. But I got a little more interested for at least one song when I learned that Jon Anderson was reading G.K. Chesterton around the time the group recorded Hold On in 1983. [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…]

About The Palestinian Christians in Gaza…UPDATED

A Palestinian demonstrator with a Rosary holds a stone during minor clashes with Israeli troops in protest against Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip, in the West Bank village of Bir Zeit, near Ramallah, 11/19/2012. REUTERS-Mohamad Torokman

See the photograph above? There are about 10,000 Christians who live in Gaza, you know. It would appear that our Catholic brother is none too happy about something that occurred in his neighborhood.

The CIA World Factbook supplies the following information about Christians living in Palestine. [Read more…]

Federal Judge Upholds Santa Monica’s Decision, So Palisades Park Goes Naked This Year UPDATED

Last year, one of four Christian displays for Christmas along Ocean Avenue at Palisades Park
AP PHOTO/RINGO H.W. CHIU

It’s basically the scorched earth policy of tolerance, as the Santa Monica City Council banned all holiday decorations in a decision made back in June. Jenna Chandler of the Santa Monica Patch brings us up to speed on the courts’ decision today. [Read more…]

The Tragic Death of Savita Halappanavar UPDATED

The news of the tragic passing of Savita Halappanavar is burning up the wires and stirring hate and discontent among folks both in Ireland and elsewhere.

I suggest we pause and say a prayer for her and her family as they sort through their loss. This is not the time to be playing armchair surgeon, nor is it time to grab pitchforks and torches and come after the Catholic Church either. The Halappanavar family has enough grief to sort through without us turning them into political footballs and kicking them hither and yon.

Human Life International has put out a press release which makes a lot of sense to me. [Read more…]