For the Pause That Refreshes: Thoughts of the Desert Fathers on Living In Harmony

 

Athanasius Kircher’s Diagram of the names of God.

A while back, I shared some brief thoughts on God by St. Augustine and a lesser know Dominican named Luis de Granada. Short passages they may have been, but they were formulated from swimming in deep waters. The same can be said of the thoughts of the hermits who fled to the deserts of Egypt around the time the Church ceased to be persecuted. [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...]

To Break My Fast From Being Merciful

Peter Chrysologus, master of the succinct homily.

I came across some wise words of a Doctor of the Church I had never heard of the other day. The subject? The importance of being merciful.

For the longest time, and long before I became a Catholic, I thought being merciless was the correct tack. After all, that is the way of the world. So I was, in an upside down way, fasting from being merciful. [Read more...]

To Become Fully Human (A Work In Progress)

 

Vitruvian Man, by Leonardo DaVinci.

Vitruvian Man, by Leonardo DaVinci.

A few thoughts as we endure a day of penance in remembrance of the lives of the unborn sacrificed on the altar of convenience. Thoughts that inevitably revolve around commemorating Jesus’s triumph over death, and His becoming what we are to become if we truly follow him.

A friend of mine asked me once, “If you could be any animal, what animal would you choose to be?” I didn’t think about my answer very long.

In the past, before I was a Catholic, I would probably have just lept to the first thing that popped into my head. An eagle, or a tiger, or some other fearsome predator, you know, one that is lethal and smart, such as these. [Read more...]

Because Thomas Merton Gave Lectures Like This On Love

Of the theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love, St. Paul writes that the greatest of these is Love. Our Lord also said so when He was being questioned by the scholar of the law and gave us the Two Greatest Commandments, both of which are based on love; the love of God and the love of neighbor.

It sounds pretty easy, and in theory it is. But in practice? [Read more...]

For Evelyn Waugh’s Prayer of a Convert

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Psst…I finished reading Evelyn Waugh’s novel Helena . I think it is fantastic and I enjoyed it immensely. Reading it makes we want to head with my family to the Holy Land on pilgrimage, bankrupting us in the process (oops, too late!). St. Helena, as the empress dowager, never faced that particular financial aspect of her own journey to Palestine.

[Read more...]

Dispatches From A Holy Land Pilgrimage…

Church of the Transfiguration

Church of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor*

Let us go to the place where His feet have stood (Psalm 132:7).

That short verse (from Eusebius’s Greek translation of the psalm) sums up the entire reason for coming to the Holy Land. [Read more...]

For Prayers Such As These For Advent

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Candle flame by Jon Sullivan

Before I became a Catholic, I had no idea what Advent meant. It was just another one of those weird, mysterious, Catholic words for a time in the year before Christmas. Nowadays, I appreciate it more because I understand that it commemorates the time when the people of Israel yearned for the Messiah. [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.

Latest News From The Church Of God Without God…UPDATED

Actually, depending how you look at it, this news is either four years old, or ever new. Over at the Atheist Channel, Rational Doubt runs an op-ed of a Rabbi of Humanistic Judaism (?) whose thoughts run to the idea that we have found the problem, and it is the Word of God. [Read more...]


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