For Our Lady, “The Terror of Hell”

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception*

—Solemnity, Mary, Mother of God

For most of us, today is a Holy Day of Obligation. It’s the day where we recognize the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as the Mother of God. In this post, we’ll look at something one of my friends from the group I call the Dead Jesuits wrote, exploring another dimension of Our Lady’s role as the Theotokos. [Read more…]

Because Saints Tell Temporal Kings “No!” When They Err

Another day, another magnificent saint for us to model our behavior after. This is one of the great things about the liturgical calendar during the Octave of Christmas. Yesterday, the Church commemorated the Holy Innocents.

For today, we have another martyr, of the type that needs not much of an introduction. You know the type, or do you? The story of St. Thomas Becket shows us that yes, people can change when they answer the call of conversion, open themselves to God, and allow the circumcision of their hearts. [Read more…]

For All the Saints: John, Apostle and Evangelist UPDATED

John the Evangelist, El Greco (Public Domain).

Today is the feast day of St. John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” Jesus called him and his brother James the “sons of thunder,” so they must have been quite a lively pair. This is a portrait of the young John painted by El Greco.

What follows is the citation on John from Jesuit Father Francis Xavier Weninger’s book, Lives of the Saints. [Read more…]

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 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…]


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