To Break My Fast From Being Merciful

Peter Chrysologus, master of the succinct homily.

I came across some wise words of a Doctor of the Church I had never heard of the other day. The subject? The importance of being merciful.

For the longest time, and long before I became a Catholic, I thought being merciless was the correct tack. After all, that is the way of the world. So I was, in an upside down way, fasting from being merciful. [Read more...]

“Since The Divorce Rate Is So High, Let’s Opt For 10 Year Long (Term Renewable) Marriages Instead!”

Seriously? I LOL’d. Nice try, Adriana Cohen, but you obviously have never been involved in a) contract negotiations, or b)received every businesses idea of a good time: the Request For Proposal. You know, as your current contract rounds the corner for “renewal,” and your services are put out for bid.

Enduring water boarding is a bit more civilized than enduring that. [Read more...]

Blogging And The Art Of Mustang Maintenance (Or, My “Saint Joseph’s Retreat” Explained)

The first thing you need to know is that I just made up the idea of  taking a blogging break  and calling it a Saint Joseph’s Retreat. Why did I call it that? Because Jesus’s foster father wasn’t very chatty, see? The man was a worker bee who either didn’t say much, or else everything he did say was unprintable. Most prefer the former description, but no one really knows for sure.

The second thing you need to know is that my Saint Joseph’s Retreat is over. [Read more...]

Having Some Bubbly Later? Thank the Monks of the Abbey of St. Hilare

The first sparkling wine was not from Champagne

Joe Six-Pack knows who to thank. Now before you get yourself all up in a lather, breaking out sources from Bon Appetit Magazine to refute this assertion, etc., let me just skip you straight to the Wikipedia citation for champagne, complete with footnotes for you to follow up on. [Read more...]

For Dana Gioia’s Thoughts On The Vocation Of The Catholic Writer

Dana Gioia, formerly chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. now a professor at that other university in Los Angeles (USC)
Photograph from Wikipedia Commons

A lot of ink has been spilt these last few days since Evangelii Gaudium was published. Much of what has been said about it isn’t worth the pixels that have been wasted so far. The same old tired arguments from the usual suspects seeking to undermine any moral authority that Pope Francis is seeking to wield by his even bothering to publish it. [Read more...]

St. Francis, Poverty, and the Saving Madness of the Gospel…

Months and months ago, long before there was an inkling that Pope Benedict XVI would step aside, I came across this little book, titled simply I, Francis, in a used book store in my town. As I recall, it was a buck (or two) so I picked it up figuring it was a biography of the saint who turned the world on its head. To be quite honest, it sat under a stack of other books for a long time, and I didn’t even flip through it until recently.

Of course, we now have a Pope who for the first time has taken the name of St. Francis of Assisi, so I figured I should start boning up on this saint from Umbria. Very quickly I realized that Carlo Carretto wasn’t just putting a normal biography down on paper when his mind and heart were called to share Francis’s story. Instead, Caretto was called to bring Francis to life for us in way that is fictional, truthful (based on the facts of the saints life), and beautiful.

He does so by becoming Francis himself. [Read more...]

Why I’m Not Doing Victory Laps About the News Out Of Newark

The Bad Shepherd…

It’s pretty simple. Because everyone lost. [Read more...]

Jim Caviezel on our Christian Vocation…

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 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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