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


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…

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…]

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…]

I’ve Been On Retreat, Climbing A Mountain With An Elevation Of 6,500 RPM…

My Eaton M112, surgically removed.

My Eaton M112, surgically removed.*

You probably think I’m off my rocker, but given how unsatisfying this month was shaping up to be, it was time for a break. A break from blogging, hand wringing, and all the other bad stuff happening in the world that I have absolutely no control over.

Did I also mention ridiculous silliness that passes for important stuff these days?

Right. [Read more…]

Joe Six-Pack’s Succinct Thoughts On ISIS, Archbishop Sheen, The Whirlwind At The Archdiocese of Pravda, And MOAR

It’s been a weird month so far in the internet version of Catholiclandia and we’re only up to day 6.

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a cotton-picking thing since the month began. I assure you, my lack of productivity is not on account of me not appreciating those of you who stop by these parts regularly. [Read more…]

James Foley’s Last Letter: Prayers, Family, and Love


Throughout my Marine Corps career, I wrote many letters home to my family. I served long before the advent of social media, so the letter writing kits available at the PX were what I used to write home with. I’d write my mom and dad, let them know how I was doing, etc.

Later, after I got married, the letters were to my wife. And then to my wife and my children. [Read more…]

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…]

Because of the Note Sewn In Blaise Pascal’s Coat

My eyes will follow yours. Go ahead and give it a try.

My buddy Blaise Pascal is a lot like me. That is, excepting the obvious fact that he was a mathematical genius, inventor of a calculator, etc., and though I enjoy mathematics, I am a mere admirer of genius in this and many other departments. No, I mean that just like me, he needed something to constantly remind him of why he remains a Christian. [Read more…]