Because Thomas Merton Gave Lectures Like This On Love

Of the theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love, St. Paul writes that the greatest of these is Love. Our Lord also said so when He was being questioned by the scholar of the law and gave us the Two Greatest Commandments, both of which are based on love; the love of God and the love of neighbor.

It sounds pretty easy, and in theory it is. But in practice? [Read more...]

Because We Could Be ONE. Maybe the Time is Right…

To break through. To be a part of the Light.

It’s like St. Hildegard of Bingen, our newest Doctor of the Church, says, [Read more...]

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...]


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