St. Francis, Poverty, and the Saving Madness of the Gospel…

Months and months ago, long before there was an inkling that Pope Benedict XVI would step aside, I came across this little book, titled simply I, Francis, in a used book store in my town. As I recall, it was a buck (or two) so I picked it up figuring it was a biography of the saint who turned the world on its head. To be quite honest, it sat under a stack of other books for a long time, and I didn’t even flip through it until recently.

Of course, we now have a Pope who for the first time has taken the name of St. Francis of Assisi, so I figured I should start boning up on this saint from Umbria. Very quickly I realized that Carlo Carretto wasn’t just putting a normal biography down on paper when his mind and heart were called to share Francis’s story. Instead, Caretto was called to bring Francis to life for us in way that is fictional, truthful (based on the facts of the saints life), and beautiful.

He does so by becoming Francis himself. [Read more...]

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The Oldest Natural and Organic Food Company in North America Files Suit Against the HHS Mandate, Outraging A Vocal Minority

Michael Potter, founder of Eden Foods

No, it’s not Kraft Foods, or Mondelez International, or any of the other gigantic food processors you may have heard of. The firm is named Eden Foods, and it has been in business for 45 years. According to their website, [Read more...]

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Being Conan the Barbarian vs. Being Civil (The Lost Art of Persuasion) UPDATED

I’ve been not publishing a number of comments these past few days, as they violate the little rule I keep here at the blog. It’s a simple rule based on a passage from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians,

No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to follow. [Read more...]

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A Quote for Election Seasons, Past, Present, and Future

 

“It is your duty to vote. To neglect to do so would be a culpable abdication of duty on your part. It is your duty to vote honestly; that is to say, for men worthy of your esteem and trust. It is your duty to vote wisely; that is to say, in such a way as not to waste your votes. It would be better to cast them for candidates who, although not giving complete satisfaction to all our legitimate demands, would lead us to expect from them a line of conduct useful to the country, rather than to keep your votes for others whose program would indeed be more perfect, but whose almost certain defeat might open the door to the enemies of religion and of the social order.”

Fr. John A Ryan, DD, formerly the Professor of Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America, democracy of the dead (requiescat in pace)

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Because The Prophet Francis Didn’t Sugar Coat the Faith for Politicos

St. Francis Giving His Mantle to a Poor Man
Giotto de Bondoni, 1297-99

It’s the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. You might have noticed this, as he is one of the most popular of the fellows in the Communion of Saints. You can read better posts about Francis elsewhere, for sure. I just wanted to share a brief open letter he wrote to the powers that be.

Francis, see, was a lot like Jesus. He even had the wounds of Christ to prove this. But he also had the temerity to tell it like it is, much like John the Baptist and Jesus did. In short, Francis was a fine example of the prophet, priest, and king, as all Christians are called to be.

Here’s an example of his prophet side. [Read more...]

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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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Because When I Have To Choose Between Believing the POTUS or the Pope…

Regarding threats to religious liberty, I go with believing the Pope every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. The choice is pretty easy to make in my book. See, on the one hand we have a man who says this, [Read more...]

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“First Past the Post” Voting: How the Math Works UPDATED

 

About a week ago, I shared a post where I came out in support of Mitt Romney as the person I will be voting for come November (barring any unforeseen events). Note that I don’t think he’s the perfect candidate, but seeing’s how St. Michael the Archangel isn’t on the ballot, Romney will get my vote, as the incumbent, who I believe is bent on destroying true religious liberty (and for other troublesome quirks), will never, ever, receive my vote.

I know that many want to cast their votes morally, don’t trust Mitt Romney, think he’s not Pro-Life enough, untrustworthy, etc., etc. And I know that this horse has been beaten to death on Catholic blogs and in other venues but voting third party is a waste of your vote, contrary to your attempts to reason your way out of this fact. You want to see proof, so here goes. [Read more...]

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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...]

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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...]

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