For Our Lady, “The Terror of Hell”

—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

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...]

Christmas Delights, Thanks to the Catechism and Romanus the Melodist

St. Romanus the Melodist

Back in October, I signed up to read the Catechism in a year. I thought it would be a daunting, thankless, task. Instead, it has been light, easy and delightful.

In fact, I’ve been amazed at how the daily selections have been dovetailing with the liturgical calendar. Whether that is by design or not, I do not know. [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 “And You Shall Name Him יהושע”

Today we sing the antiphon “O Adonai,” which we translate as LORD, but which is substituted for YHWH, the unpronounceable name of God.

What’s in a name? Well in the case of Our Lord Jesus, there is more, much more, than I ever knew than I did before I became a Catholic. Shortly after the  New Year, we’ll celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. But why wait until then to learn about the name Gabriel delivered unto the young teenager named Mary? [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...]


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