Ember Days: What They Are And Where They Went

Photographer Credit: Tyler Parks

Today is the first Ember Day of autumn, the week after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

A long time ago, in a world that seems so very far away, Christian traditions rooted in simple faith thrived among the flock. One such tradition is the celebration of what are known as Ember Days. Traditionally, the first Wednesday after Guadete Sunday is the first Ember Day of Winter.

What are these mysterious days of penance and fasting? Their name alone evokes thoughts of a glimmer of light shed upon a dark world. And yet the story of the practice of this devotion has nothing to do with embers, kindling, or ashes, though it is true that the image of glowing splinters of hot coals did appear in my mind’s eye when I first learned of them. They still do. [Read more…]

Because The Case for Marian Devotion Is Iron-Clad

On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, it’s a good time for a little post on Marian devotion, wouldn’t you agree? Because if it’s Advent, ’tis the season for carping about Catholics and their overdone attachment to the Mother of Christ.

So I’ve got a two-for-one post to help explain this predilection of ours, via the old media (from a book you can’t find) and via the new media from a You Tube video, which ironically is based on passages from ancient media (the Bible). [Read more…]

Because of Thomas Merton, OCSO (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968)

This is part VII of my conversion story, tagged as 2BFrank in the Tag Cloud. I run it every year on this day to commemorate the death of Thomas Merton, who was also known as Father Louis.

Yes, I am well aware that he is not a canonized saint, but the salient point about Fr. Louis’ life is not whether he was a good Catholic, or a bad Catholic. The main thing isn’t even that his writings helped bring me into the Church. [Read more…]

For the Incorruptible, Bilocating, Blue Nuns’ Vision of the Immaculate Conception UPDATED

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary

I’m always the last one to know. And that is pretty much because I keep my head down, my blinders on, and just keep plowing. You know, as if everything I needed to know about anything can be conceived of, and imagined, inside my little head, or from my limited experiences.

But then I woke up after a very long slumber. [Read more…]

Because of Dorothy Day (November 8, 1897 – November 29, 1980) UPDATED

This was written three years ago by my (then) blogging partner, Webster Bull.  Given all the excitement about her cause for sainthood, I think it’s a good time to take a look at Dorothy Day not only from Webster’s viewpoint, but in her own words too.

So sit back, relax, and meet Dorothy Day (and Peter Maurin) and come to know why an encounter with her helps lead us to Christ.

****

Today is the anniversary of the death of a great Catholic. A one-time radical, a sinner, a convert, a courageous pacifist (no, that is not an oxymoron), not yet a saint—she gets my vote for most compelling American Catholic of the 20th century. Her name? Dorothy Day. She died 29 (ed. 32) years ago today.

Let’s begin with three quotes: [Read more…]

For Thoughts On Lectio Divina Prompted by An Interview With Daniel Day-Lewis


On my commute home the other day, I heard an interview on the radio that Daniel Day-Lewis gave regarding his role in the movie “Lincoln.” I was struck by the length and depth he went to, in essence, become the man whom he portrays in the film. [Read more…]

Because Takashi Nagai Could Give Such A Speech

The other day, I posted about a film being made about the life of Dr. Takashi Nagai. Today, I want to share with you a speech he gave after the war.

Keep in mind that he had lost his wife, almost all of his students, and many of his colleagues, when “the Bomb” was dropped on Nagasaki.

And his lesson to us all was to share Our Lord’s new commandment: love one another. [Read more…]

For All the Saints: The Martyrs of Douai College

 A few days back, we learned about the Bond family and their recusant Catholic past. Also a few days ago, CARA released survey results saying Catholics really want to learn more about the saints, and such. So let’s put it to the test with this post, shall we? Because this post has got it all, from daring do, to fidelity to the faith. Sainthood and martyrdom.

It’s dangerous business being a Catholic.  Dangerous, that is, if your idea of being thought well of is to be looked upon with favor by such worldly paragons as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. If by becoming a Catholic you hope to curry favor with the world, here is a little news flash: that ain’t a gonna happen. It never has, and never will.

[Read more…]

For His Majesty’s Secret Service: Agent Henry Morse, SJ


About a week ago, I reported that the world thought the Vatican got all starry-eyed about the latest James Bond film. Did you know that the Bond family were a line of recusant CatholicsOrbis non sufficit.

Perhaps that is part of the reason why L’Osservatore Romano loved the film.

Idea! How about a look at a nonfictional story of recusant Catholics? [Read more…]

After the Election, What Really Matters…UPDATED

There will be much post-election chatter to keep us occupied for days, if not weeks. In the coming hours, much ink will be spilled on the subject and your humble blogger may even indulge in adding to the straw pile of “what it all means” recaps of the election.

But not right now.  [Read more…]