Because of G.K. Chesterton (29 May, 1874 – 14 June, 1936)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton died on this day in 1936.  A few years back, I had no idea about this fact for several reasons. A) I don’t know everything; B) he isn’t an official saint, so there is no feast day on the calender; C) he died long before I was born.

But I can truthfully say that one of the reasons why I am Catholic today is because of G.K. Chesterton. [Read more…]

There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy (A Few Words for Wednesday)

The Return of the Prodigal Son, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Public Domain)

The Return of the Prodigal Son, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Public Domain)

Long ago, I shared a poem by Frederick Faber in this space.  This week, I share the words of a hymn he wrote. You can add music, too, and sing along if you like.

I first read these words in my favorite book about my favorite Old Testament book. Faber wrote lots of hymns, Faith of Our Fathers being one of the better known ones. The following hymn is a gift that reminds me of the passage that St. Paul writes to the Corinthians: [Read more…]

For Thoughts On The Solemnity Of The Most Sacred Heart Of Jesus

Are you on vacation yet? The funny thing about vacations is that when on holiday from the world, and from the pressures of time, it’s quite easy to see all manner of things through rose colored glasses. In fact, I would go so far as to say that everything is better when one is on vacation, be it food, music, company, or conversation. Have you noticed this too? The phenomenon is what leads me to believe vacations are a foretaste of eternal life in heaven. [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…]

Walt Whitman’s Prayer of Columbus

Happy Columbus Day! I’ve a poem to share with you on the day on which we celebrate Christopher Columbus’ completing his voyage to the New World. And though nowadays the smart money seems to be on disparaging Christopher Columbus, I’ll be taking another path, thanks.

Ignatian spirituality tries to find God in all things. Many take issue with that premise, especially when stuck knee deep in the mire of day-to-day problems. I don’t claim to be Ignatian in my outlook (nor Franciscan, Benedictine, etc) on events or things. As a Catholic, I’m a little bit of all of those charisms, and more. But I do believe God works through the secular, just as I have faith that all things work for the good.

Here’s an example for you from the Pantheist, non-Catholic, and everything else wrong with the world, pen of Walt Whitman. [Read more…]

Lines By The Forgotten Member Of The Chesterbelloc (A Few Words For Wednesday)

NPG 3654; Conversation piece (G.K. Chesterton; Maurice Baring; Hilaire Belloc) by Sir James Gunn

Conversation Piece (G. K. Chesterton; Maurice Baring; Hilaire Belloc), by Herbert James Gunn

What? There is a third person in the Chesterbelloc? George Bernard Shaw forgot someone? Exactly, dear reader.

See the portrait above? Surely you recognize the heavyset fellow on the left, and the irascible looking fellow on the right. But who is the tall guy in the center? That would be Maurice Baring, the friend G.B. Shaw forgot. [Read more…]

“When Great Trees Fall” (Requiescat In Pace)

We were Marines once, and young…

I’m not sure if I will be much of a presence here over the next several days. There has been a death in my family, see, and my duties lie elsewhere. Loss is the cross we bear when we love someone, and they have gone on to eternity before us. [Read more…]

A Poem on St. John the Baptist’s Day

 

"St. John the Baptist Preaching Before Herod," Hans Fries, 1514.

“St. John the Baptist Preaching Before Herod,” Hans Fries, 1514.

Happy Birthday to St. John the Baptist! Here is a little poem I found written by John Keble in honor of this, the greatest of all men. [Read more…]

“On Reproof,” A Poem By St. Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, and Doctor of the Church

I came upon these lines while researching St. Ephrem the Syrian, the Deacon, and Doctor of the Church, whose feast day is today.

As it turns out, St. Ephrem wrote almost all of his homilies in verse or as hymns that could be sung to the same tunes that the Arians were singing at the time. What follows are words of wisdom he offers for us to consider as we journey along The Way.

On Reproof by St. Ephrem the Syrian

Let us be builders of our own minds
into temples suitable for God. [Read more…]

For G.K. Chesterton’s Off The Wall Poem About Palm Sunday

A couple of years back, I shared a movie with you about a saint who called himself “God’s jackass.” Leave it to G.K. Chesterton to write a poem for Palm Sunday from the point of view of the ass. [Read more…]