A Poem and a Prayer for Michaelmas UPDATED

 

Today is the Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels, also known as Michaelmas. I like the sound of that calendar name for today’s feast and the knowledge that this day used to be a huge festival marking the beginning of Autumn (which is my favorite season).

I actually hope that this day is still celebrated extravagantly somewhere on the planet. Next year, send me an invitation, or some Michaelmas recipes (and history!) or something. [Read more...]

For Solid Food Like This (Hold the Milk)

Once I met up with Thomas Merton, it didn’t take long for him to introduce me to St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Not exactly the founder of the Cistercian Order, as that distinction belongs to the trio of monks Robert of Molesme, Alberic, and Stephen Harding, all in the Communion of Saints now too, he nonetheless grew the Cistercian Order into a powerhouse of prayer.

Bernard, a Doctor of the Church, was indefatigable in his allegiance to Christ and to the Catholic Church. He was a contemplative, but was constantly being called into action, attending Church councils, while providing counsel to monarchs, and even preaching the Second Crusade. Repairing schisms and matching wits with Peter Abelard (and others constantly), it’s a miracle he had time for prayer, or anything else for that matter.

Personally, I don’t think he slept much. [Read more...]

Because Now I Know Today is the Birthday of the New Eve

I came pretty close to spending an entire lifetime on planet Earth without knowing that it’s Our Mother’s birthday today. The painting above reflects this event from the perspective of a contemporary Russian artist named Vasili Nesterenko, who painted this in the year of Our Lord, 2002. Here’s a little something else I found in the old Roman Breviary over on the YIMCatholic Bookshelf. Genealogists might get a kick out of it. [Read more...]

It’s A Holy Day of Obligation…

The Assumption of the Virgin is a fresco by the Italian Late Renaissance artist Antonio da Correggio decorating the dome of the Cathedral of Parma, Italy. Correggio signed the contract for the painting on November 3, 1522. It was finished in 1530.

Get thee to Mass today!

To Let the Democracy of the Dead Teach Me How to Vote Like A Catholic UPDATED

Are you dissatisfied with the book-length voting guides put out by the USSCB? Do you find it lacks both brevity and clarity?  Are you skeptical of the guides put out by Catholic shills of the Left and of the Right as well? Are you tired of the same old stale arguments in the blog-o-sphere between the folks who can seemingly find no candidates worthy of their vote, doing battle with those who attempt to turn their pet candidates into demi-gods?

Join the club. [Read more...]

Because of Catholics like Hubert of Aquitane (Saints for the Rest of Us)

Wait a second, isn’t that what is on the label of a bottle of Jägermeister  liquer? What does that remotely have to do with being Catholic, you say? Is this some sort of joke, like something from Cracked? Well, let me introduce you to another Catholic saint, and all around swell guy, named Hubert of Aquitane. This is a rendition of the vision he saw while deer hunting. And yes, its on the label of a bottle of Jägermeister too.

Confessor, thirty-first Bishop of Maastricht, first Bishop of Liège, and Apostle of the Ardennes, born about 656; died at Fura (the modern Tervueren), Brabant, 30 May, 727 or 728.

Yawn, right? Yep, just another run-of-the-mill perfect saint story. Where do they come up with these guys, central casting? What happened to all the regular guy saints, like St. Peter and the rest of the crew? [Read more...]

Because Catholics Make the Best “Meme Busters” on the Planet

One of the ironies of the internet age is that of the supposed brilliance of those who concoct memes that allegedly destroy 2,000+ years of thinking based on scriptures, natural law, and tradition (with a capital “T”) in short and sweet snippets of thought, usually in formats of 10 succinct, “self-evident” pseudo-knowledge points or less. Most memes are shorter, and are comprised of a single photograph of a pop-cultural saavy, or iconic, scene that is superimposed with haiku length half-baked wisdom suitable to the internet wizard’s target market of folks willing to commit no more than 2 seconds of their time to “searching their feelings,” with nary a second to spare on searching their thoughts, on whatever subject the meme-meisters magnum opus is meant to destroy. [Read more...]

For the Wisdom of St. Thomas More in Times of Tribulation UPDATED


I take it for granted that you’ve heard of Sir Thomas More by now. Maybe you know of his political classic Utopia, or that he is the patron saint of lawyers, and politicians. Perhaps you remember him as that character that was beheaded for treason while you were watching The Tudors on Showtime. Or maybe the film A Man for All Seasons replays in you minds’ eye the tale of this storied saints’ life.

Here’s the quick recap of his life for those of you who may not know. [Read more...]

Because of Catholics Like Vincent Liem of Vietnam (1732-1773)

November is the month that we Catholics remember the dead. There’s the Feast of All Souls, and the Feast of All Saints, celebrated right after Halloween.  Here in the United States, as the Fortnight for Freedom enters its third day, the Archdiocese of St. Louis suggests we remember the martyrs of Vietnam, and St. Andrew Dung Lac. I don’t know much about Andrew, but I found a treasure trove worth of information about the Vietnamese martyrs, especially one named Vincent Liem. [Read more...]

A Sonnet on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Heart of Mary, by Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996).

Dear sister, I was not divine,
The angel left me woman as before,
And when, like flame beneath my heart, I bore
The Son, I was vestal and the shrine.

My arms held Heaven at my breast—not wine
But milk made blood, in which no mothering doubt
Prefigured patterns of the pouring out,
O Lamb! to stain the world incarnadine.

The Magi saw a crown that lay ahead,
But not the bitter glory of the reign;
They called him King and knelt among the kine.
I pondered in my heart what they said,
Yet could not see the bloody cup of pain.
I was but woman—though my God was mine.


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